Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream

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The Entrepreneur Stream is designed for business owners or senior executives who desire to relocate to Nova Scotia. They must either start a new business or purchase an existing one, and they must be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the company. The entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status after a year of operation. The feed is only open to those who have been invited.


To apply, you must first:

  • be at least 21 years old;
  • want to live in Nova Scotia permanently while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business;
  • have at least $600,000 CAD in net worth;
  • be willing to put up at least $150,000 CAD in your own money to start a business in Nova Scotia;
  • have at least 3 years of active management and ownership experience (1/3 ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years of senior business management experience
  • have a Canadian Language Benchmark score of at least 5 in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French;
  • submit an Expression of Interest online;

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will send you an Invitation to Apply.

The Entrepreneur Stream’s distinguishing feature is that it is a temporary to permanent residence programme. This means that approved applicants must work in Nova Scotia for at least one year on a Work Permit (WP) before being nominated for permanent resident status in Canada. An applicant must complete the following six (6) steps:

Step 1: Criteria and Process for Expressions of Interest

Prospective applicants must express their interest in the Entrepreneur Stream by completing an online Expression of Interest form (EOI). NSOI will choose EOIs and send them an Invitation to Apply to submit a full application package for consideration by NSOI. The NSOI will select EOIs based on their points grid score, with the highest scoring EOIs being prioritised for selection.

Step 2: Application Invitation

If your EOI is chosen, NSOI will send you an ITA letter. An ITA File Number will be included in this letter. As part of your NSOI application, you must provide the following information:

  1. A fully completed application form
  2. Any and all supporting documentation
  3. A Business Development Strategy
  4. A Verification of Net Worth Report

Step 3: Personal Interview and Business Performance Contract

Personal Interview

After the application has been reviewed, if you appear to meet the Entrepreneur Eligibility Criteria, you will be contacted for an in-person interview with NSOI staff. To participate in this interview, you must travel to Nova Scotia. The interview is expected to take place within 60 calendar days of NSOI’s request. After a successful in-person interview, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement to review and sign.

Agreement on Business Performance

Following a successful in-person interview, you will be sent the following Business Performance Agreement:

  • You must scan and submit your signed and dated Business Performance Agreement within 15 business days of the date the agreement was sent to you electronically by NSOI.
  • Your Business Performance Agreement is a legal contract between you and the Province of Nova Scotia. It will state the amount of money you intend to invest in your business as well as the industry in which you intend to operate.

The Business Performance Agreement will also include any other information pertinent to your application, such as job creation, business succession, and business location. This is based on the data you provided in your Business Establishment Plan.

Step 4: In Nova Scotia, a work permit and a business establishment are required.

You must arrive in Nova Scotia within 12 months of obtaining your Entrepreneur Approval Letter if your WP application is accepted. It is advised that you begin operating your firm within six months of your arrival in Nova Scotia.

Step 5: Make a Nomination Request

You and your dependents must live in Nova Scotia to be eligible for nomination, and you must have completed the provisions of the Business Performance Agreement, which include moving the required cash to Canada and maintaining legal status in Canada. Before requesting nomination, you must have conducted your firm for at least one year in compliance with your Business Performance Agreement.

Step 6: Make an application for permanent residency.

You must apply to IRCC with your NSNP nomination to get Permanent Residence status. You must do the following:
You must ensure that your legal status in Canada is maintained;

  • While you wait for the IRCC to process your permanent residence application, be sure you have a valid work permit.
  • Following receipt of the nomination certificate from the NSNP, IRCC reviews your application.
  • If your application is granted, IRCC conducts health, security, and criminal background checks before issuing you and your dependents a permanent resident visa.
  • After confirming that all statutory requirements, such as medical, criminality, and security checks, are met, IRCC makes the final decision on whether or not to grant permanent residence visas.