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Nationwide Immigration » Canada » How to immigrate to Nova Scotia as an Entrepreneur from India

How to immigrate to Nova Scotia as an Entrepreneur from India

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How to immigrate to Nova Scotia as an Entrepreneur from India?

Nova Scotia is one of the smaller provinces of Canada that is surrounded by Atlantic Ocean. Famous for its food styles, it has a booming economy that is fuelled by an ethnically diverse community comprising of the immigrants coming from all over the world. In order to sustain the growing economy, province of Nova Scotia has an immigration pathway in special agreement with Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows them to nominate the skilled and capable immigrants for permanent residency in the province – Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP).

To allow the immigrants with different skill sets for permanent residency, NS PNP has the following immigration pathways:

  • Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Entrepreneur
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur

What is Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Program?

With the help of the Entrepreneur stream, experienced business owners or senior business managers are able to live in the province of Nova Scotia as permanent residents. Immigrants have to start a new business or can buy an existing and running business and must be able to actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business.  After successfully running the business for a year, the entrepreneur can be nominated for permanent residency. Application for this stream is done only by the invitation.

What are the eligibility criteria for Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream?

Following are the eligibility criteria for the applicants that will allow them to apply under the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream:

  • The applicant needs to be older than 21 years old.
  • Must possess the minimum $600,000 CAD in Net Business and personal assets, that is verified by third party professionals designated by Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI)
  • Have to demonstrate the accumulated net worth is gathered by legal means, that is also verified by third party professionals designated by Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI)
  • Have to agree to make a minimum capital investment of $150,000 CAD to establish or purchase a business in the province of Nova Scotia
  • Have to show that the applicant possess required language proficiency by scoring CLB level 5 in either English or French
  • For educational qualification, applicant must have a minimum Canadian high school diploma OR an equivalent foreign credential that is proven by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • Must possess a Business Establishment Plan and have to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the business plan
  • Must agree to reside in the province of Nova Scotia

In order to qualify as an eligible business under Entrepreneur Program, it is also needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant have to own at least one third (33.3 percent) of the equity of the business
  • Applicant has to provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management of the business from the location of the business in the province. Business must not be managed from any other location in Nova Scotia or from any other Canadian province or territory or other country
  • Business has to be a for-profit entity with the main purpose of earning points via the sales of goods and/or services.
  • Business must meet the legal requirements of the community in which it operates
  • Business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985
  • Business is liable to pay income tax on income that is earned as a result of “permanent establishment” in Nova Scotia, irrespective of income or other taxes which may be payable in other jurisdiction as a result of income earned or other business activity
  • Business must have the potential to be able to create an economic benefit to Nova Scotia

As we discussed before, an entrepreneur can buy an existing business or start a new business in the province. If the applicant chooses to start a business then the applicant must also:

  • Create at least one full time (or equivalent) employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Nova Scotia. The position created must:
  • Be over and above any position filed by the approved applicant
  • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business and
  • Meet the prevailing wage rates in the province

For the applicants who are purchasing the existing business in Nova Scotia, following requirements must be met:

  • Business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the past five years
  • Applicants must compete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner
  • Applicants must provide evidence that proves reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business
  • Business must be active and not in receivership; and

Applicant have to offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff that includes maintaining existing wages and employment terms

What is the process to apply for Canada PR visa via Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream?

There are total six steps for the application process and these steps are as follows:

Step 1: Applicants have to submit an Express of Interest (EOI) profile to the Immigration office of Nova Scotia. EOI profile of the candidates will be created by submitting the credentials like about their business ownership or management experience, language proficiency, educational qualification, investment, age, adaptability, and business. Applicants who are able to meet the criteria will be able to submit an EOI. Candidate’s EOI profile will be awarded points based on the point matrix. EOI profiles are then submitted into the EOI pool with the profiles of the other candidates. EOIs can remain in the pool for a period of one year from the date of receipt.

Step 2: As mentioned before, profiles of the candidates are awarded points based on the point matrix. The highest scoring profiles are notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) that they are given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to submit their application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP).  Complete application submitted then will be assessed by NSOI. In order for the application to be complete, it must contain:

  • Complete application form (submitted within 90 days of issuance of ITA letter);
  • Supporting documentation (submitted within 90 days of issuance of ITA letter);
  • Business Establishment Plan (submitted within 90 days of issuance of ITA letter); and
  • Net worth verification report that is prepared by one of NSOI’s designated Net Worth Verifiers (submitted within 180 days of issuance of ITA letter)

Step 3: After the successful assessment of the application by the NSOI, candidate will be contacted for an in-person interview with an official of NSOI. All the interviews will be held in the province of Nova Scotia and are expected to take place within 60 days of being contacted. On successfully finishing the interview, candidate will be sent a Business Performance Agreement which is to be reviewed and signed by the candidate.

Business Performance Agreement is a legal agreement with the province that mentions the amount of investment the candidate will make and business sector in which the business will operate, along with other major information.

Once the NSOI receives receipt of Business Performance Agreement, candidate will be issued an Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions to apply for work permit to the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Step 4: On successfully landing the work permit, applicants will be able to land in the province of Nova Scotia with their family members and can settle, and start or acquire their business. For this, applicants are given time duration of 1 year on receiving the Entrepreneur Approval letter or their file will be closed. Applicants are also required to attend an arrival meeting with an NSOI officer within 60 days of their arrival.

Step 5: Once the applicants is able to satisfy the conditions of business agreements, then they are able to apply to be nominated for permanent residency in the province via NSNP by submitting a Nomination Request Form.  In case the applicant is nominated by the NSNP:

  • Applicant will receive a letter to confirm their nomination that is issued by NSOI
  • Proof of Nomination which is sent directly to IRCC by NSOI, which expires within 6 months of date of issuance

Step 6: On getting the nomination, applicant will be able to apply to IRCC for permanent residence within six months. It is to be noted that NSNP nomination does not give assurance for getting the Permanent Resident Visa.  When the application is approved by the visa office, then the candidate is issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence.

What makes an ideal Business Establishment Plan?

Business Establishment Plan must be a well thought and coherent plan for a successful settlement and business development in the province of Nova Scotia. It should include a detailed an Action plan that shows the planned actions of the business over the next two to three years.

An ideal business plan must include the following topics:

Business Idea

 This section of the plan must signify the following points:

  • Industry/sector that the business will be operating in
  • Description of the business
  • Information of the business ownership – partnership, proprietorship, corporation, acquisition, franchise
  • Location of the proposed business
  • Details of the geographic coverage of the business

Sales and Marketing plan

This section of the plan must signify the following points:

  • Market strategy and market analysis
  • How the business will acquire space to operate
  • Products or services business will offer
  • Distribution channels
  • Working hour of the business
  • Outside professional services
  • Details of research undertaken to support these plans

Exploratory Visit

This is a requirement for the applicants that are intending to purchase an existing business in the province. Applicants have to prepare and submit a report as a part of their Business Plan. This report must contain:

  • Length of stay in Canada
  • Name of professional business service providers or settlement organization visited during the trip
  • Description of the meeting to the applicant’s business establishment or settlement
  • Copies of airline tickets, boarding passes, and hotel receipts
  • Copies of the business cards collected from relevant contacts and business service providers
  • Details of visit to existing business location

Critical Factors

Section has to identify the following points:

  • Government regulations that are applicable to proposed business
  • Special insurance requirements
  • Overall anticipated challenges


This section of the plan must signify the following points:

  • Proposed investment
  • Forecasted start-up funds and expenses
  • Source of financing
  • Financial Statements of the past five years
  • Three years pro-forma financial statements

Business Relationships

In this section, candidate must provide:

  • Name, organizations, mailing addresses, phone numbers and emails of the contracted professional business service providers
  • Name, organizations, mailing addresses, phone numbers and emails of the person who complied or help in compilation of the Business Establishment Plan
  • Summary of people contacted or consulted for the preparation of the Business Establishment Plan

Human Capital

The final section of the Business plan must outline:

  • Management contribution of the applicant
  • Nature and number of the jobs to be created by the business for the citizens or permanent residents
  • Applicant’s plan to offer the existing staff similar terms and conditions
  • Educational requirements and experience that are needed for the new employees
  • Any preparation and training for entrepreneurship in the province
  • Applicant’s educational background

Applicant’s entrepreneur experience

What is the point matrix for Expression of Interest (EOI) profile?

Selection factor Maximum Points
Language abilities 35
Educational Qualification 25
Business ownership or senior management experience 35
Net worth 10
Age 10
Adaptability 10
Nova Scotia economic priorities 10
Investment 15
Total 150

Factor 1: Language Abilities in English and/or French

First official language Points
Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 7 or higher 7 7 7 7 28
CLB level 6 6 6 6 6 24
CLB level 5 5 5 5 5 20
Below CLB level 5 Not eligible to apply


Second official language Points
At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities 7

Factor 2: Education Qualification

Education Points
University degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level or equivalent 25
Post-secondary degree at the Master’s level, or equivalent OR university level entry-to-practice professional degree Occupation related to the degree must be: NOC 2011 Skill Level A, and Licensed by a provincial regulatory body 23
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas, or equivalent (at least one must be for a program of at least three years) 22
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer, or equivalent 21
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a two-year program, or equivalent 19
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a one-year program, or equivalent 12
Canadian secondary school education credential (also called high school), or equivalent 8
Less than secondary school Ineligible

Factor 3: Business Ownership or Management Experience

Business Ownership or Management Experience Points
Greater than 5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33% ownership) in the last 10 years 35
Greater than 5 years of experience in a senior business management position in the last 10 years 20
3-5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33%) in the last 10 years 20

Factor 4: Net Worth

Net Worth Points
Greater than $1.5 Million CAD 10
$1 Million CAD – $1.5 Million CAD 7
$600,000 CAD – $999,999 CAD 5
Less than $600,000 CAD Ineligible

Factor 5: Age

Age Points
Under 21 years Ineligible
21-24 years 5
25-32 years 7
33-39 10
40-44 7
45-55 5
56 years and older 0

Factor 6: Adaptability

Adaptability Points
Spouse or common-law partner’s previous study in Nova Scotia Candidate’s spouse or common-law partner finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia. 5
Candidate’s previous work in Nova Scotia Candidate has at least one year of full-time work experience in Nova Scotia In an occupation listed in NOC Skill level 0, A or B completed on a valid work permit or while candidate was authorized to work in Country 10
Spouse or common-law partner’s previous work in Nova Scotia Candidate’s spouse/partner has at least one year of full-time work experience in Nova Scotia on a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada. 5
Relatives in Nova Scotia candidate or, if applicable, his/her spouse or common-law partner, has a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year and must be minimum of 19 years of age 5
Spouse or common-law partner’s level of language proficiency Candidate’s spouse or common-law partner has a language level in either English or French at CLB 4 or higher in all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) 5

Factor 7: Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities Points
Export-oriented business 5
Proposed business location outside of Halifax Regional Municipality 5
Business succession 5

Factor 8: Investment

Investment Amount Points
Greater than $300,000 CAD 15
$150,000 CAD – $300,000 CAD 10
Less than $150,000 CAD Ineligible
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