The Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur category is designed for foreign nationals who would like to settle in the province in order to establish, co-manage or purchase a business. 

Note: The Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur category will be accepting Expressions of Interest from August 9, 2019, to August 15, 2019.

The Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur category offers a pathway to Canadian permanent residence to business owners.

There are two streams under the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) International Entrepreneur Category: Starting a New Business Stream and Purchasing an Existing Business. 

Entrepreneurs accepted under this category would receive a Temporary Work Permit to establish and operate their business. 

Candidates in the Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur category will be required to have at least one year of experience owning and actively operating their business in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to pursuing a provincial nomination.

The first step in applying for this category is the submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Newfoundland's Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism. It is important to note that an EOI is not an application but rather a way for an individual to notify the Newfoundland government of his or her interest in being considered for an invitation to apply to the program. 

Learn about the Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur Category in the following sections: 

Minimum Eligibility Requirements for the Applicant

In order to be eligible for this category, the international entrepreneur must:

  • be at least 21 to 59 years of age;
  • demonstrate English or French proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking, listening, reading, and writing;
    • Acceptable tests for English include Canadian English Language Proficiency Program (CELPIP) General Test or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), General Training Test
    • Acceptable test for French is Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF)
  • have $600,000 in unencumbered net business and personal assets that could readily be transferred to Newfoundland and Labrador;]
  • obtain a score of 72 out of 120 in the Expression of Interest (EOI) assessment grid;
  • be able to invest at least $200,000 CAD of his or her own money to establish a business in the Newfoundland and Labrador with a minimum ownership of 33.3 per cent, or $1 million in equity investment;
  • have at least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (25 per cent minimum ownership) in the last five years OR 5 or more years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years;
  • produce a business plan with the required supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized third-party professionals;
  • have a minimum of Canadian high school diploma or equivalent verified by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report dated in the last five years to the submission of the EOI;
  • show intention to reside permanently in Newfoundland and Labrador while owning and actively managing a local business that has the potential to create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • prove the ability to create at least one full-time equivalent job for permanent residents and/or Canadian citizens in the province;
  • demonstrate that the business is a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • conduct a mandatory exploratory visit to Newfoundland and Labrador before starting a new business or purchasing an existing business;
  • submit a complete Expression of Interest (EOI) online; and
  • obtain an Invitation to Apply from the Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Starting a New Business Stream Additional Criteria 

If starting a new business, candidates are required to create a minimum of one full-time year-round equivalent employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador.

This job must:

  • Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant. For clarity, jobs created for or filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant are not eligible.
  • Be relevant and directly related to the candidate's business.
  • Meet the prevailing provincial wage levels.

Purchasing an Existing Business Additional Criteria

If purchasing an existing business in Newfoundland and Labrador, all the following applies:

  • Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business;
  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five (5) years;
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership;
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

An international entrepreneur may propose up to 10 partners (i.e. the primary applicant and nine (9) additional partners) when applying. Partners may be other international entrepreneurs, Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If partners are also seeking permanent residence in Canada through this category, they must:

  • Invest $200,000 (CDN) and have at least one-third (33.3 per cent) ownership of the company; or must invest $1,000,000 or more.

Participating partners must also demonstrate active involvement in the day-to-day management of the proposed business.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements for the Applicant's Business

The international entrepreneur's proposed business must:

  • meet the legal requirements of the community in which they operate;
  • be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
  • pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Newfoundland and Labrador, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity;
  • must be actively managed by the applicant from the place of business in
    Newfoundland and Labrador. The business must not be managed from another location
    in Newfoundland and Labrador or from another Canadian province or territory or other
    country.
  • have the potential to create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador. For instance:
    • Increasing value added manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization;
    • Developing innovative approaches to traditional businesses
    • Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to Newfoundland and Labrador; or
    • Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market.

The following types of businesses are ineligible under the BC PNP:

  • Businesses that are conducted remotely (from another Canadian jurisdiction or from another country);
  • Property rental, investment, and leasing activities;
  • Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage; unless the applicant can prove their business in one of these areas is of compelling benefit to the Province, and can demonstrate their ability to manage the daily operations of the business; Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation;
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Taxi companies;
  • Home-based businesses; unless the applicant can prove their business will have a compelling benefit to the Province;
  • Businesses involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services;
  • Not-for-profit businesses;
  • Investments into a business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income;
  • Businesses operating primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains;
  • Business that will compensate employees solely on the basis of commission;
  • Any other type of business that by association could would tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador into disrepute.

Expression of Interest (EOI) Points System 

An EOI is not an application, a prospective applicant's way of expressing interest in participating in the International Entrepreneur. The Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism will conduct periodic draws and issue an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to submit a full application to the NLPNP. When completing an EOI, prospective applicants will be assigned a score based on the answers they provide. The EOI score is based on the International Entrepreneur Category unique points assessment grid. The total score will determine whether or not the candidate will obtain an ITA under the International Entrepreneur Category.

The International Entrepreneur Category EOI Points Grid

Prospective applicants can claim points under six (6) factors that include language, education, business ownership experience, Newfoundland and Labrador economic priorities, age and adaptability. The maximum score available is 120 points.

Factors Points
Age
Language 32
Education 30
Business Ownership Experience 24
Newfoundland and Labrador Economic Priorities 12
Adaptability  10
Total Points Available 120

Age

Age range Points Documents required
21-30 10

Birth certificate; passport; national identify document

31-40 12
41-50 8
51-59 4
60+ 0
Maximum Points 

12


Language

Potential applicants must demonstrate their language proficiency test results from either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test, Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test, or Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF)

First official language Points awarded
  Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 7 or higher 6 6 6 6 24
CLB level 6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 22
CLB level 5 5 5 5 5 20
Second official language Points awarded
CLB level 5 or higher 2 points per ability 8
Maximum points   32

Education

Education Level Points Documents required
Completion of Doctoral level (PhD) degree
24
Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; Letter from University confirming completion
Completion of Master’s level degree
20 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; ECA
Completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma of two (2) years or longer
15 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; ECA
Canadian high school diploma or equivalent foreign credential
12 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; ECA
Completion of a Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma of two (2) years or longer
6 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree
Maximum Points 

30

Business Ownership Experience

Prospective international entrepreneur candidates may claim points for business ownership experience. All potential applicants must have either a minimum of two (2) years of business ownership experience in the past 10 years (including a minimum 25% ownership) and an active role in the management and operations of a company OR greater than five years of experience in a senior management role in the past 10 years. 

Those individuals claiming five (5) or more years of senior management work experience must demonstrate that their work experience was in an occupation that corresponds to Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B. A reference letter from previous employers can be used as proof of this experience. However, the reference letter must meet the requirements of the program.

Ownership Experience Points Documents required
Ownership of business for three (3) years or more
24
  • Resume
  • Business registration/license
  • Tax registration
  • Reference letters
  • Labour contracts
  • Pay stubs or payroll records
  • Income certificate
  • Income statement
Ownership of business for two (2) to three (3) years
5
Senior Management Experience over five (5) years
9
Maximum Points 

24

Newfoundland and Labrador Economic Priorities 

Economic Priorities Points Documents required
Business in Technology, Agriculture, Aquaculture, or Natural Resources 8
Incorporation Documents; Proof of registration with CRA; industry-specific permits; other proof as required.
Business in sector not listed as priority above 4
Business in Rural Area (Outside St. John’s CMA)
4
Maximum Points 

12

Adaptability

Education Level Points Documents required
Relatives in Newfoundland and Labrador
6 Proof of status (PR card, passport); Proof of relationship; proof of residency (bills, lease, employer’s letter).
Previous work experience in Newfoundland and Labrador of two (2) years or more (contract of service, i.e. waged employment)
4
Reference letters from previous employers.
Previous work experience in Newfoundland and Labrador of one (1) to two (2) years (contract of service, i.e. waged employment)
2
Maximum Points 

10

Invitation to Apply

Submitting an EOI does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited to apply to the NLPNP International Entrepreneur Category. If a candidate is invited to apply, he or she will receive an ITA letter from the NLPNP. If they have been granted ITA, applicants must meet the following deadlines:

  • 20 calendars after the receipt of the ITA:
    • Select a designated Net Worth Verifier and inform the NL Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism. 
  • 90 calendar days after the receipt of the ITA:
    • Submit a complete application form
    • Provide all the required supporting documents; and
    • Submit a Business Establishment Plan.
  • 180 calendar days after the receipt of the ITA:
    • Submit the Net Worth Verification Report.

The Business Establishment Plan

The Business Establishment Plan must include the following:

  • The applicant's plan to establish the business as it aligns with the program's points assessment grid.
  • The percentage of equity ownership and the dollar amount of investment in the business for both the principal applicant and partners (if applicable).
  • The applicant's commitment
    • to provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business at the business site; and
    • to create at least one employment opportunity for a Canadian or permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador (non-relative workers) if applying under the Starting a New Business stream; or
    • to offer to the existing staff similar terms and conditions to what they already enjoy, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms if applying under the Purchasing an Existing Business stream.
  • Details of the mandatory exploratory visit to Newfoundland and Labrador. 
The processing time for a completed application depends on the time required for the verification of documents and the volume of applications received. All applications will be assessed against the International Entrepreneur Category Eligibility Criteria and the applicant's EOI points assessment. Ineligible applicants may submit a new EOI in the future once they meet program criteria. 

Interview and Business Performance Agreement

The applicant is required to attend an in-person interview with NL Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism staff. The applicant is responsible for all travel arrangements and costs associated with the interview.

If the applicant successfully complete the interview, a Business Performance Agreement will be sent to the applicant. The Business Performance Agreement is the applicant's legal agreement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and outlines the commitments required in order to be nominated for permanent resident status. The Business Performance Agreement will also list any other information relevant to the application including but not limited to: job creation, business succession, active role in management of business, and business location.

Work Permit and Business Establishment

Once the applicant, the NLPNP will issue a International Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions on applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit.  A work permit allows an applicant to settle in Newfoundland and Labrador and operate and actively manage the business. Successful applicants must arrive in the province with their valid temporary work permit issued by IRCC within six (6) months of the date of receipt of the International Entrepreneur Approval Letter.

After arrival in Newfoundland and Labrador, applicants must meet with NLPNP staff within 30 calendar days to receive guidance and information related to the establishment of the business and settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Nomination Requirements

The applicant must operate and actively manage your business for a minimum of one year before submitting a Nomination Request. In order to be considered for nomination, the applicant and his or her dependents must be living in the province. The NLPNP will also assess if the applicant has fulfilled the terms outline in the Business Performance Agreement including transferring the required funds to Canada, and maintaining legal status in Canada. 

If successfully nominated by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, applicants will be required to provide an Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report inn six (6) month intervals from the date of your nomination until the applicant obtains permanent resident status with IRCC.

The Audit Opinion will include an audit of the financial statements of the business. The Special Purpose Report will include an opinion regarding the following:
  • The financial viability and sustainability of the business, discussing any relevant issues affecting the business’ ability to continue in the near future as a going concern;
  • Recommendations for the business to improve its viability and sustainability;
  • A determination of any issues, challenges or concerns pertaining to auditing the financial statements; and
  • A business review which may for example include but not be limited to: market analysis, product analysis, competitive analysis, and financial analysis

It is the nominee's sole responsibility to submit a complete application for Canadian permanent residence to IRCC within six (6) months of obtaining the Letter of Nomination.

Federal admissibility requirements, including security and medical background checks apply at this stage.

Who is not eligible to apply to the Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur

  • Individuals living illegally in their country of residence;
  • A person who has had a removal order issued against them by IRCC or Canada Border Services Agency;
  • A person who is prohibited from entering Canada;
  • A passive investor (individuals who intend to invest in a Newfoundland and Labrador business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business); and
  • An individual who does not have status (ineligible to apply until their status is restored).

Discover your options for Canada business immigration by completing our free assessment form now.

Tools and Resources

Latest News

  • Newfoundland and Labrador hails another round of Expressions of Interest for International Entrepreneurs

    Newfoundland and Labrador will open a new round of expressions of interest for its International Entrepreneurs category in August.

  • British Columbia invited 218 Express Entry BC and Skills Immigration candidates in July 9 draw

    The Government of British Columbia issued 218 new invitations to apply for a provincial nomination to Skills Immigration (SI) and Express Entry BC (EEBC) candidates in a new draw held July 9.