Newfoundland and Labrador – International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Newfoundland and Labrador – International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

October 25, 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 Graduate 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 graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) or College of the North Atlantic (CNA), and you have already started or bought a local business and maintained day-to-day operations for at least one continuous year, you should apply to the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

Requirements for applicants

1. Background:
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have the genuine intention to settle in NL.
  • Have a valid post-graduate work permit
2. Skilled work experience: 
  • Have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business
3. Assets and investment:
  • Have a minimum of 33.3% of the ownership in the current business.
4. Language ability:
5. Education:

You have to satisfy one of the requirements below:

  • Have a degree or diploma for at least two full-time academic years at Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic with the degree
  • Complete the diploma within two years of submission of the Expression of Interest

Requirements for Businesses

  • Has to have been started as a career objective, not for immigration purposes.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business. 

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
  • 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 Graduate 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 Graduate Entrepreneur stream allows up to 3 partners associated with one application. Both international and Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible. To be eligible for the permanent residence, each applicant must have at least 33.3% of the ownership 

Note: Those seeking permanent residency through the International Entrepreneur category cannot be partners under the International Graduate Entrepreneur category. 


Here are the main steps of the application:

Step 1. Submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI)

You submit the EOI through the online system and answer all the questions required. You will then be ranked based on the criteria below. The current pass mark is 67 out of 110:

  • 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 Continuity Plan The plan must include these categories
  • Business idea
  • Commercial viability
  • Sales and Marketing plan
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Financial analysis
  • Human Resource plan
  • Operations plan
  • Risk analysis
  • Job creation
2. Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report

This must be audited by a firm that is licensed to provide an audit opinion under the Chartered Professional Accountants and Public Accountants Act of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

3. Travel Documents, Passports, and Visas:
  • Passport
  • Post-graduate work permit 
  • Previous temporary residence permits (if applicable) 
  • Proof of legal status in Canada (ex: post-graduate work permit)
4. Identity and Civil Status Documents:
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
5. Children’s Information (if applicable)
6. Residency Documents:
  • Signed lease/mortgage agreement for a residence in NL
  • Utility bills 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan (MCP) Card 
7. Education Documents
  • Educational degrees, diplomas or certificates
  • Transcripts for successfully completed post-secondary studies
8. Language tests (one of them below)
  • IELTS General
  • CELPIP General
  • TEF Canada 
9. Supporting Business Documents: 
  • Incorporation documents (if applicable) 
  • Income statements 
  • Business-specific licenses (if applicable) 
  • Proof of registration with taxation authorities 
  • Title deed or lease agreement for business premises
  • Shareholders agreement (if applicable) 
  • Shareholders registry (if applicable) 
  • Record of share transfers (if applicable) 
  • Signed franchise agreement (if applicable) 
  • A detailed list of products and/or services 
  • Photos of business premises (Interior and Exterior) 
  • Amount of inventory, and photo to substantiate the claim (if applicable) 
  • Company brochure (if available)
  • Canada Border Service Agency statements of the import of equipment and inventory (if applicable)
10. Proof of Investment Documents
  • Bank statement or documentation showing the source of startup investment
  • Bank statement showing the deposit of the start-up investment in the business bank account
  • Receipts for business items such as:
    • Land
    • Buildings
    • Equipment
    • Software
    • Licenses
    • Franchise Fees
    • Leasehold Improvements
11. Job Creation Documents:
  • List of employees with their monthly salaries and number of hours of work paid by the employer per week
  • Proof of payment of employees’ salaries for a period of 12 months Principal applicant
  • Employment offer letters accepted by employees
12. Proof of payment of $250

(bank draft, money order or certified cheque)

13. 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
  • Documents prove the acquisition of the NL business by the applicant including Agreement of Purchase and Sale and additionally for a corporation a copy of the company’s shareholders’ register, notice of officers/directors, a notice of registered office and Certificate of Good Standing from the Registry of Companies at Service NL.
  • 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 
14. Adaptability
  • Previous work in Newfoundland and Labrador (if applicable)
    • Letter(s) of reference from past NL employer(s)
    • A copy of any T4s if available
    • A copy of the employment authorization
  • Relatives in Newfoundland and Labrador (if applicable)
    • Proof of relationship
    • Proof of status 
    • Proof of residency

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. Getting the nomination and applying for permanent residence

If your interview is successful, and therefore, your application is approved, you 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 5. 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 Graduate Entrepreneur:

  • Application for NL International Graduate Entrepreneur stream, $250
  • 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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