International Entrepreneur Category

Newfoundland and Labrador-International Entrepreneur

NLNP offers a unique opportunity for international business people with the finances, management experience, resources or connections to start their own company in one of our province’s most exciting markets.

The International Entrepreneur category is intended for experienced business owners or senior business managers who wish to permanently reside in Newfoundland and Labrador.  They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business.  After operating the business for at least one continuous year, the international entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status, subject to fulfillment of certain criteria outlined by the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Newfoundland and Labrador-International Entrepreneur

Requirements International Entrepreneur Category

Express Entry ProfileNo
Work Experience2 years of managing or owning a business. Or spending 5 years as the senior business manager
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyCLB 5
Connection to ProvinceNo
Level of EducationHigh School
Investment RequirementNet Worth: $600,000 CAD
Investment: $200,000 CAD

Language Proficiency

Applicants will need to prove their ability to speak English or French. You need to be at least CLB level 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).


Students must have a Canadian high-school diploma or have passed a test. If they do not finish the program in Canada, they need to get an educational credential assessment.

Work Experience

In Newfoundland and Labrador, you have to have two years of experience as an active business owner-manager. Or you can have more than five years of experience as a senior business manager.

Investment Requirement

Candidates need to show that they can invest in a business. They must have at least CAD 600,000 worth and then spend at least CAD 200,000 on a new or existing business.

Application Procedure

In this program, people who want to apply must first submit an expression of interest. The service is only open for a short time a year. When it’s open, the most competitive people will be able to apply.

  • After you get the Invitation to Apply, you need to submit an official application. 
  • It includes some documents about yourself and your company. You also have to pay a fee of $1,000.
  • If an application is complete, you will have to go to Newfoundland and Labrador for an interview. 
  • If the interview is successful, you will have to sign a Business Performance Agreement.
  • If your application is approved, you will get a letter that says that you can apply for a work permit
  • It would help if you moved to Newfoundland and Labrador to start your business. After you do it following your agreement with the province, you can apply for the provincial nomination.

Want to apply for a Canadian visa Click here to start the process with our help →

Eligibility Criteria for the Principal Applicant of International Entrepreneur Category

To qualify, an individual must:

  • Be at least 21 years and no more than 59 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 educational credential assessment (ECA), taken in the last five (5) 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 Newfoundland and Labrador with minimum ownership of 33.3 percent, or $1 million in equity investment.
  • Demonstrate ability to create at least one (1) full-time equivalent job for the 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 (2) years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (25 percent minimum ownership) in the last five (5) years or five (5) or more years experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years.
  • Have a score of at least five (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 EOI.
  • Receive an invitation to apply (ITA) from the office of immigration and multiculturalism.

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).
  • An individual who does not have legal status (ineligible to apply until their status is restored).

Eligibility Criteria for Applicant’s Business

In addition to meeting the minimum eligibility criteria above, the applicant’s proposed business must also meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.
  • Businesses must meet the legal requirements of the community in which they operate.
  • The business must Be A for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • The business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian income tax regulations, 1985.
  • The business is liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Newfoundland and Labrador, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity.
  • The business must be actively managed by the applicant from the place of business in Newfoundland And Labrador. The business must not be managed from another location in Newfoundland And Labrador or from another Canadian province or territory or other country.
  • The business must have the potential to create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland And Labrador. For Example:
    • Increasing value added manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization.
    • Developing innovative approaches to traditional businesses.
    • Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to Newfoundland And Labrador.
    • Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market.

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, and can demonstrate their ability to manage the daily operations of the business.
  • Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation.
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines.
  • Pawnbrokers.
  • 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 would tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, Or the government of Newfoundland And Labrador into disrepute.

International Entrepreneur – Additional Criteria

There are two sub-categories within the International Entrepreneur Category – Starting a New Business and Purchasing an Existing Business. Each sub-category 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.


The International Entrepreneur (IE) category allows up to 10 partners (i.e. the primary applicant and nine (9) additional partners) associated with one application. Both international and Canadian citizens or permanent residents can be partners on the application. Each applicant seeking permanent residency through this category must either:

  • Invest $200,000 (CDN) and have at least one-third (33.3 Per Cent) ownership of the company.
  • Must invest $1,000,000 or more.

It must also be shown that participating partners are actively involved in the day-to-day management of the proposed business.

Note: If there are associated partners seeking permanent residency through the same business, they are responsible for submitting the same documentation as the principal applicant.

Want to apply for a Canadian visa Click here to start the process with our help →