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Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Program

This Entrepreneur Stream is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to establish and operate a business in the province of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Program offers a pathway to obtain Canadian Permanent Residence for entrepreneurial candidates and their families.

The approved candidates initially receive a temporary work permit with which they can start their business in Nova Scotia. After operating the business for 18-20 months, the candidate can be nominated for permanent residence status.

What are the eligibility criteria for applying to the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream?

  • Age: The candidate should be at least 21 years of age.
  • Net worth: The candidate should have $600,000 in personal assets. The demonstrated net worth should be through legal means and must be verified by a designated third-party professional.
  • Business experience: The candidate should have a minimum of three years of business experience and must have had at least 33.3 percent ownership or the candidate should demonstrate at least five years of senior business management role in the last ten years.
  • Investment: the candidate should make a minimum investment of $150,000 CAD in either purchasing or establishing a business in Nova Scotia.
  • Language Proficiency: The applicant should demonstrate proficiency in either English or French with a sufficient score according to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all four components: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Note, that the language proficiency test must be taken within two years of submitting the application of Expression of Interest (EOI). Following are the approved language testing agencies that the candidate can choose from:

  • For English:

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)


    For French:

  • Test d'Evaluation Du Francais (TEF)
  • Educational assessment: The applicant should have a Canadian high school diploma or a foreign equivalent and must be verified by an Educational Assessment Credential (ECA) that shall be dated within five years of EOI submission.
  • Business Concept: A business establishment plan is necessary that shows the business's relevance to the economic needs of Nova Scotia.


What is the step-by-step process to apply?

Step 1: Submit Expression of Interest (EOI)

The first step for the applicants is to show an Expression of Interest to reside and establish a business in the province of Nova Scotia. The applicants need to provide information like business ownership or management experience, net worth, adaptability, intended investment etc. Candidates are assessed on the basis of a points matrix system. Then they are assigned a score and added to the EOI pool. The EOIs can remain in the pool for up to one year from the date of receipt. The candidates have to submit a new application if they are able to score additional points after their submission of EOI.

Step 2: Get an Invitation to Apply

The candidates whose EOI gets approved shall be notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) gets an invite to submit an Invitation to Apply (ITA) letter. These applications then further undergo an assessment by the NSOI. The complete application along with all supporting documents, a business concept plan needs to be sent within 90 days of issuance of ITA. The net worth assessment report needs to be submitted within 180 days of issuance of the ITA letter.

Step 3: Sign the Performance Agreement

The candidates who meet the eligibility requirements shall go through an in-person interview with a NSOI official. The interview shall take place in Nova Scotia with 60 days of the candidate being notified about the interview. If the candidate performs successfully in the interview, they sign a Business Performance Interview that states the investment to be made, operational plan of the business and other relevant information. An Entrepreneur Approval Letter is then issued which enables the candidate to apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Temporary Work Permit within 2 months of the date of the Entrepreneur Approval Letter.

Step 4: Establishing the Business in Nova Scotia

After successfully receiving a Work Permit, the applicant can enter Canada along with their family and start or acquire the business. The applicants are required to do so within one year of receiving the Approval Letter. The applicant should also start operating their business in Nova Scotia within six months of arriving.

After arriving in Canada, the applicant must attend an arrival meeting with NSOI within 60 days of arrival. The NSOI officer will provide the applicant regarding further guidance and information related to the terms of Performance Agreement.

Step 5:  Apply for Nomination

Once the applicant successfully fulfils the terms of Business Performance Agreement and submits a Business Establishment Progress Report to NSOI, he/she can then apply to be nominated by the province of Nova Scotia under the NSNP by submitting a Nomination Request Form. The Nomination Request Form includes information like Special Purpose Report and an audit opinion, both of which should be provided by a designated Audit Service Verifier. The applicant then receives a letter from NSOI regarding the confirmation of Nomination. After the candidate receives a proof of nomination, the application will be directly to IRCC by the NSNP.

Step 6: Apply for Permanent Residence

After receiving a nomination by NSNP, the applicant can apply to IRCC for a Canadian PR within 6 months. If the PR application gets approved, the applicant shall receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and will receive a copy of confirmation by NSOI within 30 business days.


How can Nationwide Visas help with your application? 

As one of the best Canadian immigration team of experts, Nationwide Visas ensures that your application meets all the documentation standards and has the highest chance of success. Here at Nationwide, we help you assess your chances and guide you at every step of your Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Program application.