International Graduate Entrepreneur

Newfoundland and Labrador-international graduate entrepreneur

The International Graduate Entrepreneur category of the NLNP lets you apply for residency if you have been in business for at least one year. You must be a graduate of a Newfoundland university and own and manage a business in the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador-international graduate entrepreneur

Program Requirements

Express Entry ProfileNo
Work ExperienceSpending 1 year as business owner and manager
Job OfferNo
Connection to ProvinceEducation AND
Work Experience
Language ProficiencyCLB 7
Level of Education2 years of post-secondary program
Investment RequirementNone

Connection to Province

You must have finished a post-secondary program in Newfoundland and Labrador. You need to manage a business in Newfoundland and Labrador, which you can do if you own one for at least one year.

Language Proficiency

Applicants must be outstanding in English or French. They need to be at least level 7 of CLB.

Work Experience

To be an applicant, you must have one year of experience managing and owning a business in Newfoundland. You must also own a minimum of one-third ownership in the company.

Level of Education

People who want to apply must have completed a post-secondary educational credential of at least two years. This diploma must have been received in person at either College of the North Atlantic or Memorial University. They can get it within two years after they submit their expression of interest.

Application Procedure

This program selects candidates with an Expression of Interest (EOI). You can do this by sending the EOI through the PNP’s online service. The most qualified, competitive people are then invited to apply to the program.

After an Invitation to Apply, you must apply. You will need to include more documentation that supports the information on your original EOI. If you are accepted, you will also need to pay CAD 250.

If you get a nomination from Newfoundland and Labrador, you can apply to IRCC for permanent resident status. Once your application is approved, you can apply for the position of Canadian Permanent Resident.

For International Graduate of Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic:

The International Graduate Entrepreneur category is intended for graduates of Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic who have already started or bought a local business and maintained day-to-day operations for at least one continuous year. In order to receive nomination for permanent resident status, the graduate entrepreneur must fulfill certain criteria outlined by the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Eligibility Criteria for the Principal Applicant
To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • 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 (2) 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 (2) 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 (1) year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business (33.3 percent minimum ownership).
  • Demonstrate ability to create at least one 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 a score of at least seven (7) on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French.
  • Complete an online expression of interest.
  • 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.

 Ineligible Applicants for International Graduate 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).

Business and Financial Criteria

Applicants must also meet the following business and financial eligibility criteria:

  • Own, operate, and actively manage a business in Newfoundland and Labrador for at least one (1) continuous year prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Applicants must own at least 33.3% of the equity of the eligible business and provide active and ongoing participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they are receiving compensation in the form of a salary from the business, which must, at minimum, meet the low-income cut-off (LICO) as defined by Statistics Canada. the eligible business has to be in sound financial health. this means that it must be producing revenue and earning sufficient profits to allow the owner to become economically established in the province. an audit opinion and special purpose report from a certified audit verifier will be required to assess the financial health of the business. more information on this requirement can be found in the invitation to apply section.

These requirements must be met by any person or persons applying to this category. It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate with supporting documents (see Appendix B for the Document Checklist) that they meet the eligibility criteria.

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 business has to have been started as a career objective. businesses created solely for immigration purposes are ineligible.
  • 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 registered 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 another country. international graduate entrepreneur category – application guide (December 2018) 8.
  • 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/or 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 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, 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 could would tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, Or the government of Newfoundland And Labrador into disrepute.

International Graduate Entrepreneur – Additional Criteria

There are two sub-categories within the International Graduate 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.
  • 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 Graduate Entrepreneur (IGE) category allows up to three (3) partners (i.e. the primary applicant and two (2) additional partners) associated with one application. International graduates and Canadian citizens or permanent residents can be partners on the same application. Those applicants seeking permanent residency through this category must have at least one-third (33.3 per cent) ownership of the company.

 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.

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