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Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Provincial Nominee Program

The NSNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is designed for Applicants who have graduated from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College upon completing a minimum of two (2) years of studies, and who have started or acquired a business in Nova Scotia. Applicant must have been operating the business for at least one (1) year and have an intent to settle in Nova Scotia permanently.

Personal Eligibility Requirements

In order to be able to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the NSNP, the Principal Applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit at time of application;
  • Have completed a full-time post secondary diploma or degree of at least two (2) years from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College;
  • Have resided in Nova Scotia during the academic program;
  • Have basic English or French language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark level seven (7) or higher in each category on a valid language test;
  • Demonstrate intent to reside in Nova Scotia;
  • Own and operate a business in Nova Scotia for a minimum of one (1) continuous year prior to date of application;
  • Own at least one-third of the equity of the business;
  • Actively participate in managing and directing the day-to-day activities of the business on an ongoing basis;
  • Demonstrate receipt of a salary from the business that meets LICO;
  • Demonstrate that the business is in sound financial health, is producing revenue and earning sufficient profits.

Upon invitation to apply, the Applicant is required to provide an Audit Opinion and a Special Purpose Report.

Eligibility Requirements for Business

To qualify for the stream, the Principal Applicant must have ownership of at least one-third of the business and provide active and on-going participation in the everyday management of the business from the place of business in Nova Scotia. Furthermore, the proposed business must:

  • Have been started as a career objective and not for the purpose of immigration;
  • Have potential to create significant economic benefit to the province;
  • Meet the legal requirements of the community in which the business operates;
  • Be a for-profit entity with the purpose of making a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • Be considered a permanent business in Nova Scotia;
  • If opening a new business, create at least one (1) full-time job opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Nova Scotia and not related to the Applicant;
  • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that govern the operation.

Purchasing an Existing Business

If the Applicant has purchased an existing business in Nova Scotia, the business must meet the following conditions:

  • The existing business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the last five (5) years prior to purchase;
  • All existing permanent full-time jobs must have been preserved with commitment to maintain existing wages and employment terms.

Applications may be denied on the following grounds:

  • Direct or indirect misrepresentation;
  • If the Applicant proposes an ineligible business;
  • If the Applicant is a passive investor;
  • If the Applicant has a criminal record;
  • If the Applicant is prohibited from entering Canada;
  • If the Applicant has not been legally admitted into their current country of residence and/or is living in current country of residence illegally;
  • If the Applicant is in Canada and is out of status or has been working without authorization;
  • If the Applicant is claiming refugee status in Canada or is under a removal order in or outside of Canada.

Acquiring Permanent Residence

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is a multi-step process requiring registration and application to the NSNP first. The NSNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit a full application. Upon review of the application and determination that the Applicant meets the eligibility criteria, NSNP will invite the Applicant to participate in an in-person interview. If the interview is successful, the NSNP will issue a nomination with which the Applicant and any eligible family members may apply for permanent residence to IRCC to become permanent residents under the Provincial Nominee Class.

Applications may be denied on the following grounds:

  • Direct or indirect misrepresentation;
  • If the Applicant has a criminal record;
  • If the Applicant proposes an ineligible business;
  • If proposing to purchase an established business, if the Applicant has not identified the target business, or if the business has not been in operation under same owner for at least five (5) years;
  • If the Applicant does not meet the minimum point requirements for any section;
  • If the Applicant does not score at least 32 points in the business concept section.

Application Processing Time

Processing times for NSNP applications are around three (3) months or more. Permanent residence application processing times for the Provincial Nominees Class are currently 15 to 19 months.

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