The Nova Scotia government has created a new immigration stream geared towards international students who have worked in the province for at least a year.

Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab says the province will nominate candidates through the provincial nominee program for the federal government's new express entry system, which cuts down wait times to about six months.

Diab says the pilot project is necessary because well-qualified candidates, including international students, were not being selected by Ottawa for express entry under other provincial streams.

She says it provides yet another avenue for immigrants hoping to gain permanent residency in the province.

The government is allowed to nominate 1,050 immigrants this year under the provincial nominee program, up from 700 last year.