Newfoundland and Labrador – International Entrepreneur Stream

Newfoundland and Labrador – International Entrepreneur Stream

October 19, 2019

About Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is an Eastern province of Canada. Generally, it is a linguistically homogeneous place, in which 97% of the residents use English as their mother tongue. Regardings the economy, it is quite developed. In 2017, its GDP is higher than the average GDP, precisely, it ranked third only to Alberta and Saskatchewan out of Canadian provinces. In addition, it concentrates on the services industry such as finance, healthcare or public administration. Besides, other factors like mining, oil production, manufacturing or tourism are outstanding, too. 

What is the International Entrepreneur Stream?

To attract skilled workers to come and work in NL, the Government participate in Provincial Nominee Program. As a result, there are five main streams of this, including Express Entry Skilled Worker, Skilled Worker, International Graduate, International Entrepreneur, and International Graduate Entrepreneur. If you are an experienced business owner or a senior business manager who wants to settle down in NL, and you want to start a new business or buy an existing business, the International Entrepreneur Stream is for you.

Requirements for applicants

1. Background:
  • From 21 to 59 years old.
  • Have the genuine intention to settle in NL.
2. Skilled work experience: 

You must meet one of these requirements:

  • Have at least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (25 percent minimum ownership) in the last five years 
  • Have at least five years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years.
3. Assets and investment:
  • Have at least $CAD600,000 in unencumbered net business 
  • Personal assets that can be transferred to Canada without obstacles
  • Be able to invest at least $CAD 200,000 to establish a business in NL with a minimum of 33.3% of the ownership, or $1 million in equity investment.
4. Language ability:

You can take English or French. The minimum requirement for each ability is 5 in Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)/Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)

5. Education:

You must complete a Canadian high school program (or equivalent qualification certified by an Education Credential Assessment).

Requirements for businesses

  • Must meet the legal requirements of the community in which it operates.
  • Must be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • Must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985.
  • Must be able to pay all of the taxes required by the authorities.
  • Must be actively managed from the place of business in NL. Other places are not allowed, even in different places in NL.
  • Can create at least one full-time equivalent job for the local population
  • Must have the potential to create significant economic benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador. 
  • You must provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.

Note: The business support regional economic development or focus on high-demand industries or sectors (Agriculture, Aquaculture, Technology or Natural Resources) will receive priority consideration.

The additional requirements if the business is new and is established
  • Must create at least one full-time equivalent employment opportunity for a legal resident in NL. This position must:
    • Not be filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant
    • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business
  • Meet the prevailing wage levels.
The additional requirements if the business is existing and be purchased
  • The business must have been continuously operated by the same owner for the past five years
  • If the applicants are outside NL, you must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s) 
  • You must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff.
The businesses may be not accepted in some cases

Besides not meeting the requirements above, the business is not eligible for NL International Entrepreneur if it is operated in the field of:

  • Property rental, investment, and leasing activities;
  • Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage; unless the applicants can prove their business is beneficial to NL and can demonstrate their ability to manage the daily operations of the business
  • Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation
  • A payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Taxi companies
  • Home-based businesses; unless the applicant can prove their business will benefit the province
  • Involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services
  • Not-for-profit businesses
  • Deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains
  • Business that will compensate employees solely on the basis of commission
  • Business can be harmful for the normal operation of OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of NL.

Requirements for Partnerships

The International Entrepreneur stream allows up to 10 partners associated with one application. Both international and Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible. To be eligible:

  • Participators must actively involve in the day-to-day management. 
  • Each applicant seeking permanent residency must submit the application by their own and must meet one of the requirements below:
    • Invest $CAD 200,000 and have at least 33.3% of the ownership 
    • Invest at least $CAD 1,000,000.


Here are the main steps of the application:

Step 1. Submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI)

You submit the EOI through the online system, answer all the questions required.

You will then be ranked based on the criteria below. The current pass mark is 72 out of 120:

  • Age
  • Language
  • Education
  • Business ownership experience
  • NL economic priorities
  • Adaptability

Step 2. Applying the application

If you are approved, you will receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA). At this step, you need to fill out all the forms and prepare all the documents listed:

1. Business Establishment Plan

The plan must include these categories:

  • Business Idea
  • Sales and Marketing Plan
  • Explanatory Visit
  • Critical Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Investment/Financial
  • Business Relationships
  • Human Capital
  • Business Establishment Plan change requests
2. Net Worth Verification Report

The report must be verified by one of the Audit Services Verifiers:

3. Documents:
  • Travel Documents and Passports
  • Proof of legal status in your country of residence
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Children’s Information (if applicable)
  • Education Information
  • Proof of Language Proficiency
  • Previous work in NL (if applicable)
  • Relatives in NL (if applicable)
  • Proof of payment of $1,000 (bank draft, money order or certified cheque)
  • Applicants with senior management experience
    • Résumé
    • Reference letter from all employers for the past 10 years where Senior Management experience is being claimed
    • Employment contracts with Senior Management experience
    • Pay stubs or payroll records for a period of the most recent 12 months from the current employer(s)
  • Applicants with Business Ownership Experience
    • Business registration license of each enterprise owned
    • Registration with taxation authorities for each enterprise owned
    • Proof of shareholding enterprise
    • A notarized reference letter
    • Enterprise’s last year’s financial statement
    • Income certificate prepared by a member or affiliate of the principal applicant’s current enterprise
    • Business items of principal applicant’s current business/employer 
    • Any other documents that will support business owners.
  • Supporting Documents Required for Purchasing a Business
    • Proof of establishing fair-market value for the business being purchased
    • Financial statements from the business for the previous five years
    • List of current employees with their salaries and number of hours of work paid by the employer per week and employment terms 
    • Proof of payment of employees’ salaries for a period of 12 months 
    • Employment offer letters accepted by employees of the business 
    • Proof of exploratory visit to Newfoundland and Labrador
4. Forms

Step 3. Interviewing in-person 

After the assessment of the application is complete, if you meet all the requirements, you will be contacted to participate in an in-person interview with the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism (OIM) staff. 

Step 4. Completing the Business Performance Agreement and applying for the work permit

If your interview is successful, you will receive the Business Performance Agreement. You must sign and return to OIM within 15 days.

After that, the OIM will issue you an International Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions on how to apply to IRCC for a work permit. 

Step 5. Getting the nomination and applying for permanent residence

Once your work permit is approved, you must meet the OIM staff within 30 days.

After that, you must live in NL and operate your business for at least one year prior to being nominated. To get the nomination, you fill in the Nomination Form,  Audit Opinions and Special Purpose Reports (you can find out how to complete these forms through the Audit Services Verifiers above) and send to:

Provincial Protocol Office

P.O. Box 5517

St. John’s, NL A1C 5W4

Telephone : (709) 729-3670

Fax: (709) 729-2234


If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a nomination. Next, you apply for PR through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) paper-based process within six months. Read the Document Checklist Permanent Residence – Provincial Nominee Class and Quebec Skilled Worker to prepare documents that must accompany your application to Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You then send all your documents to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) – Sydney.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship

Provincial Nominee Class

Centralized Intake Office

PO BOX 1450

Sydney, NS

B1P 6K5


Step 6. After the approval for permanent residence

If you are approved for permanent residence, you will receive:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
  • A PR visa (if you’re from a country that requires a visa).
  • Letter with important information about your COPR and other requirements.


  • You provide OIM a copy of the signed COPR within 30 days of landing in Canada.
  • If you have already been in Canada, you have to make an appointment to IRCC office or border crossing entry to ensure your information is valid, and you are still eligible for permanent residence. Besides, you info your mail so that you can receive a permanent residence card (PR card).
  • If you have not been to Canada yet, then when you arrive in Canada, you will meet an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). He or she will check your passport, your COPR, your information to make sure you are eligible to immigrate to Canada.


Besides the amount you have to pay for the Permanent Residence process (click here to know how to pay the fees), you have to pay the additional fee for NL International Entrepreneur:

  • Application for NL International Entrepreneur stream, $1,000
  • Your application with right of permanent residence fee: $CAD 1,040
  • Your application without right of permanent residence fee: $CAD 550
  • Include your spouse or partner with right of permanent residence fee: $CAD 1,040
  • Include your spouse or partner without right of permanent residence fee: $CAD 550
  • If you include dependent child: $CAS 150 per child
  • Biometrics (if you have not done before): $CAD 85 per person, maximum $CAD 170 for family
  • Medical checkups
  • Language tests
  • Police certificate
  • Other fees

How long does it take?

The approval for the NLPNP application varies based on your documents. Processing for permanent residence can take up to 19 months including the time for biometrics to receive the outcome. You can experience delays if:

  • Your photocopies of the documents are unclear.
  • Verification of your information and documents takes more time than expected.
  • A medical condition that may need more tests or consultations.
  • A criminal or security problem.
  • Consultation is needed with other offices in Canada and abroad.


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