Nova Scotia - NSNP Entrepreneur Stream

Immigrate to Canada as a business owner/ senior business manager through Nova Scotia’s NSNP Entrepreneur Stream. Start your free assessment.


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The NSNP 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. Programs like these play a crucial role in bolstering the economy by promoting more business practices and creating employment for residents in Nova Scotia.

Eligibility Requirements

Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to apply for immigration to Nova Scotia through the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream have to meet several qualifying requirements, including:


Applicants must be at least 21 years old to apply for the program.

Net Worth

The individuals applying through this program must have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD.

Minimum Invest

Prospective entrepreneurs must be capable of investing at least $150,000 CAD or more to establish a business in Nova Scotia.

Intent To Reside In The Province

The applicant must have the intention of permanently residing in Nova Scotia while owning and operating a business based in the province.

Work Experience

All applicants must have at least three years of experience in owning and actively managing a business with one-third ownership, OR over five years of experience in a senior business management role.

Language Proficiency

Applicants need to have a score of at least CLB 5 in terms of speaking, writing, and comprehending the language. Additionally, applicants must have a score of at least 5 for reading and writing for English or French.

Expression of Interest

Applicants must fill out and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI).

Nova Scotia Office of Immigration Invitation

Applicants must receive an Invitation To Apply from the NSOI after it reviews their EOI.

Step-by-Step Process

The application process for NSNP’s Entrepreneur Stream involves several steps outlined below:

Stage 1

  • Expression of Interest Criteria & Process
  • NSOI Invitation to Apply
  • In-Person Interview & Business Performance Agreement

Stage 2

  • Work Permit & Business Establishment in Nova Scotia
  • Request for Nomination
  • Application for Permanent Residence

Stage 1

1. Expression of Interest Criteria & Process

  • Prospective applicants must begin the process by exhibiting their interest in applying for the NSNP Entrepreneur Program by submitting an online EOI.
  • The NSOI will review the EOIs and select those that fall within the parameters it defines. Instructions to fill out the form are available online.
  • The system calculates an applicant’s score based on the information they provide and places their EOI in the pool for potential selection by the NSOI.
  • Applicants must ensure that their EOI is up-to-date and that they provided accurate and truthful answers to all the questions.
  • The NSOI may remove an applicant’s EOI from the selection pool if it finds any inaccuracies.
  • If selected, applicants have to notify the NSOI of any changes in the information they submitted in their EOI.

2. NSOI Invitation to Apply

If the NSOI selects an EOI, it will send the applicant an Invitation to Apply (ITA). This invitation is a letter that includes their ITA File Number. NSOI expects applicants to provide the following as part of their application:

  • A complete application form that is available here.
  • All the supporting documentation.
  • A Business Establishment Plan that may be assessed by identified third parties assigned by the NSOI.
  • A Net Worth Verification Report that is prepared by Net Worth Verifiers designated by the NSOI.

Applicants need to ensure that all the documentation they submit as part of their application is in English or French. The NSOI does accept translated documents, provided that the documentation is prepared by certified translators recognized by it.

It is important to ensure that the documentation matches all the information provided in the applicants’ EOIs. Failure of provided documentation to accurately reflect on the information provided on the EOI can result in immediate rejection of the application by the NSOI.

3. In-Person Interview & Business Performance Agreement

The NSOI staff will contact applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for an in-person interview. After that NSOI, will send Business Performance Agreement (BPA) and issue Entrepreneur Approval Letter. Let’s discuss what these are:

In-Person Interview

  • The NSOI staff will contact applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for an in-person interview. Applicants must travel to Nova Scotia for the interview.
  • The in-person interview typically happens within 60 days of the NSOI’s request. The NSOI will close the file of applicants who fail to show up for the interview within the allotted time.
  • The NSOI will send applicants a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) upon successfully completing the in-person interview with NSOI staff for them to review and sign.
  • The NSOI will not send a BPA to applicants with unsuccessful interviews and close their files. Applicants cannot file a dispute or appeal against the NSOI’s decision on the interview.

Applicants must be at least 21 years old to apply for the program.

Business Performance Agreement

The NSOI will send a BPA to applicants with successful interviews. The applicants must scan the signed and dated BPA and submit it within 15 days of receiving the agreement from the NSOI. The agreement is a legally binding contract for applicants with the Province of Nova Scotia and states the amount applicants intend to invest in their business and the business sector in the region.

The agreement also lists down any information relevant to a prospective entrepreneur’s application, including but not limited to: business succession, location, and job creation. This will be based on the information applicants provide in their Business Establishment Plans.

Application for a Work Permit:

Once applicants receive and sign their dated BPA, the NSOI will issue an Entrepreneur Approval Letter to them and share instructions on how to apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Work Permit. The Work Permit is a crucial requirement for entrepreneurs to settle and operate their businesses in Nova Scotia.

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4. Work Permit & Business Establishment in Nova Scotia

  • NSOI expects applicants to arrive in Nova Scotia within a year of receiving their Entrepreneur Approval Letter if their Work Permit is approved.
  • The NSOI will close the file for applicants who fail to show up within 12 months of receiving their Entrepreneur Approval Letter.
  • The NSOI makes exceptions to this rule on a case-by-case basis.

Arrival Meeting With NSOI

Approved applicants must meet with NSOI staff within 60 days of arriving in Nova Scotia. An NSOI Officer will be available to provide answers to any applicant questions regarding fulfillment of the terms in their BPA.

The NSOI can also refer applicants seeking specific guidelines to establish their business or settlement in the province to other service providers.

5. Request for Nomination

To become eligible for a nomination through the Entrepreneur Stream of the NSNP Entrepreneurs Immigration Programs, applicants and their dependents must be living in the province and have fulfilled the terms outlined in the BPA. This includes transferring the necessary funds to Canada and maintaining their legal status in the country.

Applicants can request the nomination after completing one year of operating their business based on their BPA.

Nomination Request Form

Applicants must fill out and submit a Nomination Request Form. The form requests details of an applicant’s business and requires submitting a Review Engagement and Special Purpose Report. The Nomination Request Form is available here.

The Review Engagement and Special Purpose Report have to be provided by a Financial Statement Review Service Provider recognized by the NSOI. The list of NSOI-approved Financial Statement Review Service Providers is available here.

Nomination Decision

The decision to nominate an applicant rests entirely on the NSOI’s shoulders. It will communicate its decision to nominate an applicant in writing to them or a representative.

If nominated by the province of Nova Scotia, an applicant will receive a letter from the NSOI confirming that they have been issued a nomination. The NSOI will send Proof of Nomination to the IRCC.

Refusal Decision

The NSOI sends a letter of intent to refuse to applicants that it is considering for rejection. Applicants who receive the letter have ten business days to provide any additional documentation or information for the NSOI to consider.

The NSOI re-assesses any additional documents submitted by applicants and makes a final decision. Once a final refusal decision is made, applicants cannot appeal it.

6. Application for Permanent Residence

Applicants nominated by the Province of Nova Scotia must submit a completed application for a permanent resident visa to the Centralized Intake Office within six months of receiving the NSOI’s Letter of Nomination.

Applicants interested in applying for a permanent residence visa can apply here. Obtaining permanent resident status requires applicants to apply to IRCC with their NSNP nomination. The IRCC considers applications once it receives the nomination letter from the NSNP. The IRCC issues a permanent residence visa to applicants and their dependents after completing health, security, and criminal reviews and approving them.

The IRCC is entirely responsible for making the final decision regarding the permanent residence visa application, and the NSOI has no influence on it. Provided that the visa office approves, applicants and their dependents will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Applicants must provide a copy of the document within 30 days of receipt to the NSOI.

How ELAAR can help you?

Prospective entrepreneurs and business people who wish to apply for the Nova Scotia NSNP Entrepreneur Stream should get in touch with us. Our team of Regulated Immigration Consultants is familiar with each of NSNP programs and can help optimize your application and improve your chances of receiving a provincial nomination. Start your entrepreneurial journey in Nova Scotia with Elaar Immigration.

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Immigrate to Nova Scotia’s beautiful province as an entrepreneur, through NSNP Entrepreneur Stream.

Check Eligibility

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