The province of Newfoundland and Labrador unveiled two new immigration categories for entrepreneurs on July 30, including one geared toward international graduates from two of the province’s main post-secondary institutions.
The International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is open to graduates of Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic who have a Post-Graduation Work Permit and wish to create or co-own and manage a business in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The other category, the International Entrepreneur Category, is open to foreign nationals who would like to settle in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to “create, join or take over” a business and manage it on a daily basis.
Entrepreneurs accepted through this category would receive a Temporary Work Permit to establish and operate their business in Newfoundland.
Entrepreneurs in both categories will have to own and actively operate their business in the province for one year before they can apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residence.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador says the introduction of the two new categories delivers on commitments made under the province’s Way Forward immigration action plan to make it easier for newcomers to establish businesses and create jobs while improving services and living standards for residents.
“All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians benefit when international students and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to stay and put their talent to work in growing the province’s economy,” said Al Hawkins, the province’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
The move follows calls from business leaders in the province for an immigration stream for entrepreneurs in order to assist with job creation in the province.
The new categories were unveiled at a news conference held in the offices of HeyOrca, a tech startup created by two immigrant graduates from Memorial University.
Officials in Newfoundland frequently point to HeyOrca as evidence of the economic boost immigrant entrepreneurs and international graduates of their schools can bring to the province.
The first step for anyone interested in either category is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.
An EOI is not an application but is rather a way for those interested in the program to let the authorities know that they would like to be considered.
The eligibility requirements for the two categories are as follows:
International Graduate Entrepreneur
- Graduated or completed a program of at least two years in length from a public post-secondary institution, as per Federal Government requirements.
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- No minimum investment is required, but an applicant must have at least one year’s experience in actively managing and owning a business in which they hold a minimum of one-third ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to seeking the provincial nomination.
- 21 to 59 years of age.
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or French in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- $600,000 in unencumbered net business and personal assets that could readily be transferred to Newfoundland and Labrador.
- $200,000 ready to invest in a new or existing business in the province.
- At least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business or more than five years’ experience in a senior business management role.