Eligibility criteria for the International Graduate Entrepreneur category:
To qualify, an individual must:
- Be at least 21 years old;
- Provide a business continuity plan with supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized third-party professional service (applicants are solely responsible for payment of associated fees related to obtaining these documents);
- Have completed a degree or diploma after at least two academic years of full-time, in-person study at Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic with the degree or diploma having been completed within two years of submission of the Expression of Interest;
- Have a valid post-graduate work permit;
- 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 one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business (33.3 per cent minimum ownership);
- 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 a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French;
- Complete an online Expression of Interest; 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.
International Graduate Entrepreneur – Additional Criteria
There are two streams within the International Graduate 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 year-round 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.
- Meet the prevailing provincial 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;
- 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;
- Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.
Ineligible Applicants for International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
- An individual living illegally in one’s 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 Graduate 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;
- Businesses that will compensate employees solely on the basis of commission; and
- Any other type of business that by association could would tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador into disrepute.