Canadian Immigration Programs for Entrepreneurs, Self Employed and Business Persons

Nova Scotia’s 2 entrepreneur streams:

NS International Graduate Entrepreneur – 50 Nominations per year

General requirements:

  • Applicants must have completed a full-time, in-person, post-secondary diploma or degree from a NS university or NSCC of at least 2 years in length
  • 21-55 years old
  • English or French language capability at CLB 7
  • Must be receiving a salary from the business (meeting LICO) and the business must be in sound financial health
  • Business must 100% owned and actively managed by international graduate and be ongoing for at least 1 year prior to application. At least 1 full-time position must have been created for a Canadian citizen or permanent residence, in addition to other criteria to demonstrate the business is genuine and successful.

NS Entrepreneur – 50 Nominations per year

General requirements:

  • Minimum $600,000 in net business and personal assets
  • 3 years of business ownership or 5 years of senior management in the last 10 years
  • Capital investment of $150,000 in the NS business
  • English or French language capability at CLB 5
  • High school diploma or equivalent (verified by an Education Credential Assessment)
  • Intention to own at least 1/3 of the business and provide active and ongoing management
  • If business is selected by the province, the applicant is required to secure a 1 year work permit (based on NSOI selection) and after 1 year of work in the business in NS, can apply for nomination and permanent residence
  • Business cannot be co-owned by other applicants in the program

Canadian Start-Up Business Class

This is a program with a cap of 2750 applications per year. You need post-secondary education, decent ability in French or English and a commitment from a designated investment fund.The forms are posted online:

The designated Venture Capital Funds and Angel Investors can be found here:

Self-Employed (artists and athletes)

This is a notoriously obscure and slow permanent residence application process. But when it fits, it is a wonderful option. There are no “strings” attached to the permanent residence status as there are in the other business categories and there is no age limit for applicants.