Eligibility criteria for the International Entrepreneur category:
To qualify, an individual must:
- Be 21 to 59 years of age;
- Provide a business plan with supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized third-party professional (applicants are solely responsible for payment of associated fees related to obtaining these documents);
- Have a minimum of Canadian high school diploma or equivalent foreign credential verified by an Education Credential Assessment (ECA), taken in the last five years prior to the date the EOI is submitted.
- Want to live permanently in Newfoundland and Labrador while owning and actively managing a local business that has the potential to create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Have at least $600,000 CAD in unencumbered net business and personal assets that can readily be transferred to Canada;
- Be able to invest at least $200,000 CAD of their own money to establish a business in the Newfoundland and Labrador with a minimum ownership of 33.3 per cent, or $1 million in equity investment;
- Demonstrate ability to create at least one full-time equivalent job for local population (permanent residents and Canadian citizens);
- Demonstrate that the business is a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
- Have at least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (25 per cent minimum ownership) in the last five years OR 5 or more years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years;
- Have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French (acceptable tests are Canadian English Language Proficiency Program (CELPIP) General Test, or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), General Training Test; or Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF);
- Complete an online Expression of Interest (EOI); and
- Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Applicants intending to support regional economic development or focus on high-demand industries or sectors (e.g. Agriculture, Aquaculture, Technology, Natural Resources) will receive priority consideration.
All prospective International Entrepreneur applicants applying from outside the province must conduct an initial exploratory visit to Newfoundland and Labrador prior to submitting an official application to the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.
International Entrepreneur – Additional Criteria
There are two streams within the International Entrepreneur category – Starting a New Business and Purchasing an Existing Business. Each stream has unique criteria in addition to the criteria noted above.
Additional Criteria When Starting a New Business
If starting a business, the applicant must create a minimum of one full-time equivalent employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador. This position must:
- Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant. For clarity, jobs created for or filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant are not eligible;
- Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business; and
- Meet the prevailing wage levels.
Additional Criteria When Purchasing an Existing Business
If the applicant is purchasing an existing Newfoundland and Labrador business, all of the following apply:
- The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five (5) years;
- All applicants purchasing or partnering in an existing business must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s) if the applicant is applying from outside of the province;
- Applicants 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; and
- Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.
Ineligible Applicants for International Entrepreneur Category
- Individuals living illegally in their country of residence;
- A person who has had a removal order issued against them by IRCC or Canada Border Services Agency;
- A person who is prohibited from entering Canada;
- A passive investor (individuals who intend to invest in a Newfoundland and Labrador business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business); and
- An individual who does not have status (ineligible to apply until their status is restored).
Ineligible Businesses for International Entrepreneur Category
- Businesses that are conducted remotely (from another Canadian jurisdiction or from another country);
- Property rental, investment, and leasing activities;
- Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage; unless the applicant can prove their business in one of these areas is of compelling benefit to the Province;
- Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation;
- Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines;
- Taxi companies;
- Home-based businesses; unless the applicant can prove their business will have a compelling benefit to the Province;
- Businesses involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services;
- Not-for-profit businesses;
- Investments into a business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income;
- Businesses operating primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains;
- Business that will compensate employees solely on the basis of commission;
- Any other type of business that by association could would tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador into disrepute.