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Nova-Scotia Entrepreneur Stream

Nova-Scotia Entrepreneur Stream


The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia. They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. After operating the business for a year, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status. Application to the stream is by invitation only.


To apply you must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older;
  • Want to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business;
  • Have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD;

Be able to invest at least $150,000 CAD of your own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia;

Have at least 3 years experience actively managing and owning a business (1/3 ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years Experience in a senior business management role;

Have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French;

Complete an online Expression of Interest;

Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

The key feature of the Entrepreneur Stream is that it is a temporary to permanent residence program. This means that approved applicants must operate a business in Nova Scotia on a Work Permit (WP) for at least one continuous year before being nominated for permanent resident status in Canada. There are six (6) steps an applicant must complete:

Step 1: Expression of Interest Criteria and Process

Prospective applicants must indicate their interest in applying for the Entrepreneur Stream by submitting an online Expression of Interest (EOI). NSOI will select EOIs who will then be given the Invitation to Apply to submit a full application package for consideration by NSOI. NSOI will select EOIs based on their score on the points grid, with the top-scoring EOIs being prioritized for selection.

Step 2: Invitation to Apply

If your EOI is selected you will receive an ITA letter from NSOI. This letter will include an ITA File Number. As part of your application to NSOI, you are expected to provide the following:

a. A complete application form.

b. All supporting documentation

c. A Business Establishment Plan

d. A Net Worth Verification Report

Step 3: In-Person Interview and Business Performance Agreement

In-Person Interview

After the assessment of the application is complete, if you appear to meet the Entrepreneur Eligibility Criteria you will be contacted to participate in an in-person interview with NSOI staff. You will be required to travel to Nova Scotia to participate in this interview. It is anticipated that the interview takes place within 60 calendar days of NSOI’s request. Upon completion of a successful in-person interview, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement for your review and signature.

Business Performance Agreement

Upon completion of a successful in-person interview, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement:

• You must scan your signed and dated Business Performance Agreement and submit it as instructed within 15 business days from the date the agreement was sent to you electronically by NSOI.

• Your Business Performance Agreement is your legal agreement with the Province of Nova Scotia. It will state the amount you will invest in your business and the business sector where you will operate your business.

The Business Performance Agreement will also list any other information relevant to your application including but not limited to: job creation, business succession, and business location. This is based upon the information you supplied in your Business Establishment Plan.

Step 4: Work Permit and Business Establishment in Nova Scotia

If your application for a WP is approved, you will be expected to arrive in Nova Scotia within 12 months of receiving your Entrepreneur Approval Letter. Upon arrival in Nova Scotia, it is recommended that you start operating your business within six months of your Arrival Date

Step 5: Request for Nomination Step

In order to be eligible for nomination, you and your dependents must be living in Nova Scotia and you must have fulfilled the terms outlined in the Business Performance Agreement including transferring the required funds to Canada and maintaining legal status in Canada. You must also have operated your business in accordance with your Business Performance Agreement for at least one year before requesting nomination.

6: Apply for Permanent Residence

  • To obtain Permanent Residence status, you must apply to IRCC with your NSNP nomination. You must:

Ensure you maintain your legal status in Canada; and

  • Have a valid Work Permit while you are waiting for IRCC to process your permanent resident application.
  • IRCC considers your application after they receive the nomination certificate from the NSNP
  • IRCC completes health, security, and criminal reviews, and then, if approved, issues a permanent residency visa to you and your dependents.
  • IRCC makes the final decision for the granting of permanent resident visas after ensuring that all legislative requirements are met, including medical, criminality and security checks.
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