Nova Scotia New Business Immigration Streams

Alert Date: February 1, 2016

On January 1, 2016, Nova Scotia introduced two new business streams: the Entrepreneur Stream and the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. Both streams use a temporary to permanent residence model, meaning applicants first enter Canada on a temporary residence basis and once they satisfy all qualifying conditions, they may be granted permanent residency. The province expects to nominate 40-50 applicants per year as permanent residents through these two programs.

Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream

The Entrepreneur stream aims to attract foreigners who have the capacity and desire to establish or take over a business in Nova Scotia. Applicants first receive a work permit in order to enter Nova Scotia to start and run their business for at least one year. If applicants meet all the requirements of the program after the one year period, they may be nominated for permanent residence status.
 
In order to qualify for this stream, applicants must be over the age of 21, have a net worth of at least $600,000 and be able to invest at least $150,000 to establish a business in Nova Scotia. Applicants must also possess at least three years of experience actively managing a business (owning at least 1/3 of the business) or five years of experience in a senior business management role. Applicants must also meet minimum language requirements by having a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in each of the four categories of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The International Graduate Entrepreneur program provides an immigration opportunity for students who have recently graduated from a Nova Scotia university or community college and have started their own business. Applicants are required to have studied for a minimum of two years and then spend a year running their business on a federal post-graduate work permit. If the applicant meets all the program requirements after this time, and intends to settle in Nova Scotia, they may be nominated for permanent resident status by the province.
 
In order to qualify, among other requirements, applicants must have at least one year of continuous experience actively managing and owning a current Nova Scotia business, and have completed a degree or diploma after at least 2 academic years of full-time, in-person study at a university in Nova Scotia or a Nova Scotia Community College. The minimum level of education is a post-secondary diploma for a two year program. Applicants with higher levels of education, such as three year programs, Master's degrees, professional degrees, and PhD degrees, are allocated more points on the International Graduate Entrepreneur Points Grid. Applicants must also meet minimum language requirements by having a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in each of the four categories of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
 
For further details regarding the Nova Scotia Business Immigration Streams and the eligibility requirements for these programs, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.

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Janet L. Bomza
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Larry J. Linton
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Melodie Hughes Molina
Partner, Canadian Immigration
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Mark C. Dey
Partner, US Immigration
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Monika Szabo
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Nadine Landry
Partner, Immigration Law
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Sheila Snyder
Partner, US Immigration
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