If you have studied in Nova Scotia and want to set up a business after obtaining permanent residence, the Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream could be the Canadian immigration route you’re looking for.
This is a selective stream, with only 16 invitations having been issued in the two years following its introduction in December, 2016. However, if you satisfy the criteria, it could provide the support and assistance you need to both set up a business and obtain Canadian permanent resident status.
Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur: Eligibility requirements
Potential applicants must have completed a study program of at least two years’ duration at a recognized university in Nova Scotia, or at the Nova Scotia Community College, in order to be eligible.
Applicants must also have started or acquired a business in Nova Scotia, and need to actively run the business for a year before applying to the stream. They must be earning a salary from the business that meets the national Low Income Cut-Off, and own 100% of the equity of the business.
The stream is divided into two categories: Starting a New Business and Purchasing an Existing Business. Applicants who have started a new business must have created at least one full-time or equivalent part-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Applicants who have purchased a business must have offered employment to the existing staff on similar terms, and the business must have been operating continuously under the same owner for at least five years before the applicant bought the business.
Furthermore, candidates must:
- have lived in Nova Scotia during their studies,
- have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit at the time of application,
- demonstrate an intent to settle in Nova Scotia,
- have a language level of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four competencies, in either English or French, as shown by a recognized language test, and
- be at least 21 years old.
It is important to note that not all businesses are eligible under the stream. Certain types of business are specifically excluded, including:
- Businesses that are conducted remotely (from another Canadian jurisdiction or from another country), and businesses operated mainly to derive passive investment income.
- Property rental, investment, and leasing businesses.
- Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage, unless the applicant can prove the business is beneficial to the province.
- Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines, pawnbrokers, and credit unions.
- Home-based businesses, unless the applicant can prove the business is beneficial to the province.
- Joint ventures between NSNP program applicants.