The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who wish to start or acquire a business and settle permanently in Nova Scotia.
This Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)stream is for experienced business owners and senior business managers intending to live in Nova Scotia and participate in the day-to-day management of the business.
The NSNP Entrepreneur Stream is a temporary to permanent residence program whereby approved applicants are required to operate a business in the province of Nova Scotia on a valid work permit for a minimum of one continuous year prior to being nominated for permanent residence in Canada. It functions on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system.
This page will cover the following topics:
In order to be eligible under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must:
In order to qualify as an eligible business under the Entrepreneur program, the following criteria must be met:
If starting a business, the applicant must also:
If purchasing a previously existing Nova Scotia business, the following requirements must be met:
When candidates submit their Expression of Interest in Step 1, a points matrix will be used to select the strongest applicants who best align with Nova Scotia’s business and economic priorities based on eight factors: language abilities, education, business ownership or management experience, level of investment in the business, net worth, age, adaptability, and Nova Scotia priorities.
|Language abilities||Maximum 35 points|
|Education||Maximum 25 points|
|Business ownership or senior management experience||Maximum 35 points|
|Net worth||Maximum 10 points|
|Age||Maximum 10 points|
|Adaptability||Maximum 10 points|
|Nova Scotia economic priorities||Maximum 10 points|
|Investment||Maximum 15 points|
|Total||Maximum 150 points|
|First official language||Points|
|CLB level 7 or higher||7||7||7||7||28|
|CLB level 6||6||6||6||6||24|
|CLB level 5||5||5||5||5||20|
|Below CLB level 5||Not eligible to apply|
|Second official language||Points|
|At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities||7|
|University degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level or equivalent||25|
| Post-secondary degree at the Master’s level, or equivalent OR university level entry-to-practice professional degree
Occupation related to the degree must be:
|Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas, or equivalent (at least one must be for a program of at least three years)||22|
|Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer, or equivalent||21|
|Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a two-year program, or equivalent||19|
|Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a one-year program, or equivalent||12|
|Canadian secondary school education credential (also called high school), or equivalent||8|
|Less than secondary school||Ineligible|
|Business Ownership or Management Experience||Points|
|Greater than 5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33% ownership) in the last 10 years||35|
|Greater than 5 years of experience in a senior business management position in the last 10 years||20|
|3-5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33%) in the last 10 years||20|
|Greater than $1.5 Million CAD||10|
|$1 Million CAD - $1.5 Million CAD||7|
|$600,000 CAD - $999,999 CAD||5|
|Less than $600,000 CAD||Ineligible|
|Under 21 years||Ineligible|
|56 years and older||0|
Candidate's previous study in Nova Scotia
The candidate finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia.
Full-time study means at least 15 hours of instruction per week, and must have remained in good academic standing (as defined by the school) during the period of full-time study in Nova Scotia.
Spouse or common-law partner’s previous study in Nova Scotia
The candidate's spouse or common-law partner finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia.
Candidate's previous work in Nova Scotia
The candidate has at least one year of full-time work experience in Nova Scotia that:
Spouse or common-law partner’s previous work in Nova Scotia
The candidate's spouse/partner has at least one year of full-time work experience in Nova Scotia on a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.
Relatives in Nova Scotia
The candidate or, if applicable, his/her spouse or common-law partner, has a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year and is 19 years or older. Accepted relatives include:
Spouse or common-law partner’s level of language proficiency
The candidate's spouse or common-law partner has a language level in either English or French at CLB 4 or higher in all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
|Nova Scotia Economic Priorities||Points|
|Proposed business location outside of Halifax Regional Municipality||5|
|Greater than $300,000 CAD||15|
|$150,000 CAD - $300,000 CAD||10|
|Less than $150,000 CAD||Ineligible|
There are six steps in the application process:
Prospective immigrants will indicate their interest in operating a business and residing in Nova Scotia by completing an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the form of a short online survey. On this survey, candidates will provide required information about their business ownership or management experience, language, education, investment, net worth, age, adaptability, and business. Only applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be able to submit an EOI. Candidates will be assessed based on a points matrix according to their profile and then assigned a score and added to the EOI pool. EOIs can remain in the pool for up to one year from the date of receipt. If the EOI is not selected during this time, it will be removed from the pool. After this point candidates may submit a new EOI if they so choose. If candidates are able to acquire additional points after submitting their EOI, they will need to submit a new one.
Top scoring applicants will be notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) that they are being invited to submit a formal application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) in the form of an Invitation to Apply (ITA) letter. Complete applications received from those invited to apply will then undergo an assessment by the NSOI.
Complete applications are expected to contain the following:
Once the application has been assessed by the NSOI, those candidates who meet the outlined eligibility requirements (see below) will be contacted about an in-person interview with an official of the NSOI. All interviews will take place in Nova Scotia and are expected to take place within 60 days of the candidate being contacted. If the interview is successful, the candidate will be sent a Business Performance Agreement to review and sign. A business Performance Agreement is a legal agreement with the province that states the amount of investment the candidate will make and the business sector in which the business will operate, along with any other relevant information. Unsuccessful interviews or failure to participate in the interview within the 60 day time limit will result in closure of the application.
The NSOI will issue an Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions on how to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a work permit upon receipt of the Business Performance Agreement. Candidates are required to apply to IRCC for a work permit within two months of the date on the Entrepreneur Approval Letter. If IRCC refuses the work permit application, the candidate will no longer be eligible under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream.
Applicants who are successful in obtaining a work permit will be able to land in Nova Scotia with their family, settle, and start or acquire their business. Applicants are expected to do so within one year of receiving the Entrepreneur Approval Letter or their file will be closed. It is recommended that applicants start operating their business in Nova Scotia within six months of arriving in the province on a work permit.
Approved applicants must attend an arrival meeting with an NSOI officer within 60 days of their arrival date. Officers will answer any questions related to the terms of the Business Performance Agreement and may refer candidates to other relevant service providers for further guidance and information. Candidates are required to bring a signed Arrival Report to the meeting.
Once an applicant satisfies the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement, including, but not limited to, making the mandatory investment, operating the business continuously for a minimum of one year, and submitting a Business Establishment Progress Report to the NSOI, he or she can then apply to be nominated for permanent residence by the province of Nova Scotia under the NSNP by submitting a Nomination Request Form. The Nomination Request Form will ask for details of the business and will require the submission of an audit opinion and Special Purpose Report, both of which must be provided by an NSOI designated Audit Services Verifier of the candidate's choosing.
The NSOI will communicate the nomination decision in writing to the applicant or their representative. If nominated by the NSNP:
In the event that the application is being considered for refusal, the applicant or their representative will receive a letter of intent to refuse from the NSOI. In this case, the applicant will be given 10 business days to submit additional information to be considered. After 10 business days the file, including any new information submitted, will be re-assessed and a final decision made, which will be sent in writing and which cannot be appealed.
Upon nomination, the applicant will apply to IRCC for permanent residence within six months. Candidates should note that an NSNP nomination does not guarantee the issuance of a Permanent Resident Visa. If the application is approved by the visa office, the candidate will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. He or she is required to provide a copy of the confirmation to the NSOI within 30 business days.
The Business Establishment Plan must be a coherent and well-thought-out plan for successful settlement and business development in Nova Scotia. The plan should demonstrate that the business meets the minimum required investment level and that the applicant will hold an active managerial position in the business. Additionally, it should show that the candidate has conducted extensive research into the economic, market, and cultural factors relevant to the proposed business.
The Business Establishment Plan must include a detailed Action Plan that outlines, step by step, the planned actions of the business over the next two to three years. These actions include but are not limited to: financial actions required to start or buy the business, anticipated start date of the business, when staff will be hired, timing of planned export activities, etc.
It is crucial that the applicant has complete knowledge and understanding of his or her Business Establishment Plan. In the event that the applicant is unaware of the plan’s contents, he or she may be deemed ineligible.
Regardless of whether the candidate intends to purchase an existing business or establish a new one, the Business Establishment Plan must touch on all of the following topics: the business idea, sales and marketing plan, exploratory visit (only in the case of business succession), critical factors, risk factors, investment/financial information, business relationships, and human capital.
The business idea section of the Business Establishment Plan must:
The sales and marketing plan section of the Business Establishment Plan must outline:
The exploratory visit is a requirement for all candidates intending to purchase an existing business rather than establish a new one. Applicants must create and submit a report on their visit as part of the Business Establishment Plan. The report must cover the entire length of stay in Canada (including time spent in other provinces) and should include:
This section of the business plan should identify any:
The NSOI will consider the potential for any risk factors of the proposed business and the candidate's ability to address them. These include, but are not limited to, whether the candidate is proposing external financing, or if he or she is proposing to invest more than 50 percent of his or her personal net worth.
The investment/financial section of the business plan should include:
In this section of the Business Establishment Plan, the candidate should provide:
This final section of the plan should outline:
Applicants are considered ineligible and should not apply under this stream if they;
The following types of business are ineligible:
The NSOI performs periodic draws, or rounds of invitations, for the Entrepreneur Stream. This table shows the history of these draws.
|Date of Draw||Number of invitations issued||Score of lowest-ranked candidate invited|
|April 4, 2019||27||112|
|February 19, 2019||22||112|
|January 7, 2019||33||112|
|November 14, 2018||30||112|
|October 9, 2018||44||109|
|September 20, 2018||43||109|
|June 26, 2018||22||120|
|May 21, 2018||18||123|
|March 27, 2018||22||108|
|February 20, 2018||22||100|
|January 16, 2018||27||91|
|December 19, 2017||27||91|
|November 15, 2017||24||91|
|October 10, 2017||12||97|
|September 15, 2017||28||91|
|August 9, 2017||25||94|
|July 11, 2017||20||97|
|June 13, 2017||30||95|
|May 9, 2017||35||98|
|March 7, 2017||26||90|
|January 18, 2017||28||90|
|December 22, 2016||36||97|
|November 18, 2016||35||104|
|October 3, 2016||9||110|
|August 11, 2016||12||111|
|June 28, 2016||8||115|
|April 21, 2016||11||108|
|March 31, 2016||8||113|
|March 10, 2016||8||117|
|February 19, 2016||6||112|