Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP)

Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP)

The Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP) selects skilled businesspeople and senior business managers who want to run their businesses in the province. This also helps Nova Scotia upgrade its business environment and add to its economy.


To qualify, meet the following terms:

  • Firstly, buy or start a business in Nova Scotia;
  • Secondly, run the business for a minimum of 12 months;
  • Finally, meet the terms of the program to apply for a nomination for a Canada PR.

Terms to Apply to the Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP)

To apply, both applicants and its business must match the following terms such as:

For Applicant

  • Have a minimum net worth of $600,000 CAD;
    • Also, net worth must be legal and must be verified by NSOI-designated 3rd party professionals;
  • Have a minimum of either 3 years of business ownership experience (including 33.33% ownership) within the past 10 years or a minimum of 5+ years of experience as a senior business manager within 10 years;
  • Also, have a minimum CLB Level 5 in English/French. Also, give valid test results for English – IELTS/CELPIP, for French – TCF/TEF;
    • Besides, the IELTS report can not be more than 2 years old at the time of applying to the NSNP Entrepreneur stream.
  • Further, have a minimum of either a Canadian high school education or an ECA report. Because an ECA report shows that your foreign education is equal to the Canadian education system;
    • Besides, the ECA report must not be more than 5 years old at the time of application;
  • Moreover, must agree to make a minimum capital investment of $150,000 CAD to start/buy and run a business;
  • Finally, show intent to settle in Nova Scotia.

For Applicant’s Business

  • Must own a minimum of 33.33% (one-third) equity of its business;
  • Be actively involved in the day-to-day management and activities of the business;
  • Also, the business must be legal. Also, it must meet all the rules and regulations of the province;
  • The aim of business must be to earn profits through the sale of goods and services;
  • Business must be permanent as per subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
    • Also, must meet the income tax rules and regulations;
  • The applicant must be actively running their business from Nova Scotia;
  • The business must be profitable for the economy of the province. Thus, it must add value to manufacturing or processing, exports, research and development, technology development and tourism sectors;
  • Create innovative ways to grow traditional businesses;
  • Serve the under-serviced or local or regional market.

Additional terms for starting a business in Nova Scotia

When an applicant is starting their business, they must meet additional terms such as:

  • Create a full-time or equal part-time job for a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
  • The job position created must be in relation to the business.
  • Also, jobs for the applicant’s relatives and or dependents are not eligible under this program.
  • Besides, must match the prevailing wage levels in the province.

Additional terms for purchasing a business in Nova Scotia

If an applicant intends to buy a business in Nova Scotia, then they must meet additional terms such as:

  • The business must have been running for a minimum period of 5 years by the same owner in the province.
  • An exploratory visit by all partners or buyers is mandatory to meet the current owners of the business.
  • Show proof that the business has been bought at a fair market price.
  • The business must be running actively. But should not be in receivership.
  • Also, existing staff members must get jobs on terms matching their existing wages and employment conditions.

How can one apply to the Entrepreneur Stream of the NSNP?

To apply to the Entrepreneur stream you must do the following:

1. Expression of Interest

  • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) if you meet the terms of the program.
  • Your EOI profile will get points under the Entrepreneur EOI points grid.
  • Also, your profile will then move on to an EOI pool.
  • Besides, your EOI profile is valid for 12 months in the pool.

2. Invitation to Apply

  • If the EOI profile is selected you will get an ITA from NSOI.
  • Thus, you must submit the following:
    • A complete Entrepreneur application form.
    • All applicable supporting documents.
    • Business Establishment Plan
    • A report for Net Worth Verification (to be made by designated NSOI net worth verifiers).
  • After receiving a complete application with the required documents NSOI will then process the same.

3. In-Person Interview and Business Performance Agreement (BPA)

Once NSOI completes their assessment and evaluation of the application, you will be asked to come for an in-person interview with an NSOI staff member. After the successful completion of the interview, NSOI will send a BPA and:

  • This agreement must be scanned, signed and submitted within 15 days of getting the BPA.
    • The BPA is a legal agreement between the applicant and the province.
    • And it will show the investment amount, business type and sector.
    • Other information such as creating jobs, business location, and business succession.
    • Besides, BPA is made as per the Business Establishment Plan.


Applying to IRCC for a Canada Work Permit

Once NSOI gets the signed Business Performance Agreement it will further issue Entrepreneur Approval Letter. And details on how to apply for a Canada Work Permit. A Canada Work Permit will help the applicant run their business in Nova Scotia.

Thus, the Entrepreneur Approval Letter helps in applying for a work permit visa. However, you must do the same within 2 months of getting the Entrepreneur Approval Letter.

4. Canada Work Permit and Setting up Business in Nova Scotia

After getting a Canada Work Permit Visa you must come to Nova Scotia within 12 months to get the Entrepreneur Approval Letter. After coming to the province, the applicant must start running their business in 6 months after coming to Nova Scotia.

Besides, after coming to the province, all applicants must meet the NSOI staff within 60 days from their arrival date.

5. Requesting Nomination

So, to qualify for nomination, the applicant and their dependents must be living in Nova Scotia. Also, they must meet the terms of the BPA such as:

  • Transfer of funds to Canada.
  • Maintaining a legal status in Canada.
  • Besides, your business must be functioning as per the BPA terms.
    • For a minimum period of 1 year.


Further, if the applicant meets the above terms, can apply to get a Provincial Nomination. So, to do the same they must submit a nomination application with Review Engagement and Special Purpose Report.

NSOI will then assess the profile and give a nomination letter to successful candidates. It will also notify IRCC of the same.

6. Apply for permanent residency in Canada

After getting a nomination from Nova Scotia, you must submit a complete and error-free Canada PR visa application to IRCC. IRCC will then process your application and if processed successfully give you permanent residency in Canada.

Which business does not qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP)?

The following businesses do not qualify under this stream:

  • A company that is run/managed from outside Canada or Nova Scotia;
  • Property, rental, leasing and investment activities;
  • Real estate construction/brokerage/development, insurance or business brokerage. NSOI will allow running this business if the applicant proves the business will surely benefit the province;
  • Any self-employed businesses or professional services that need licenses and accreditation;
  • A payday loan, cheque cashing, cash machines and money changing;
  • Credit unions;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Home-based business, unless the applicant proves its profitability;
  • Cooperatives;
  • Investment in a business run for only getting passive income;
  • Any business related to the production, distribution and or supply of explicit material;
  • Joint ventures between applicants of the NSNP program;
  • Also, any other business that brings disrepute to the Nova Scotia government or NSNP.

Points Grid for Expression of Interest (EOI) Profile

To apply to the Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP), you must submit an EOI. An EOI is not a formal application to NSNP but shows your interest in applying to the program. To qualify, you must also meet the terms of the EOI points grid. Because as per this grid, your EOI profile will get a score. If you have the minimum score, NSNP will select your profile and invite you to apply to NSNP.


The following are the factors that you must meet:

  • Language skills – Max 35 points (first language) and Max 07 points (second language)
  • Education level – Max 25 points
  • Business Ownership or Senior Management Experience – Max 35 points
  • Net Worth – Max 10 points
  • Age – Max 10 points
  • Adaptability – Max 10 points
  • Nova Scotia Economic Priorities – Max 10 points
  • Investment – Max 15 points

Language Skills

To prove your language skills, give 1 of the following test results for English and French:

  • IELTS (English)
  • CELPIP (English)
  • TCF (French)
  • TEF (French)


First Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing Max 35 Points
CLB Level 7+ 7 7 7 7 28
CLB Level 6 6 6 6 6 24
CLB Level 5 5 5 5 5 20
Second Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing Max 7 Points
Minimum CLB Level 5 5 5 5 5 7

Education Level

Education Maximum 25 Points
High school diploma 8
Post-secondary degree or diploma, for a 1-year study program 12
Post-secondary degree or diploma, for a 2-year study program 19
Post-secondary degree or diploma, for a 3-year or more study program 21
2 or more post-secondary degrees or diplomas (at least 1 must be for a study period of 3 years) 22
Master’s degree 23
Entry-to-practice professional degree (University level)

The degree must be related to the occupation under:

·        NOC A Skill Level; and

·        Must be licensed by Canada-approved authorities.

PhD 25

Business Ownership or Senior Management Experience

Business Ownership or Senior Management Experience Maximum 35 Points
3 to 5 years of business ownership experience

(Minimum 1/3 ownership) within the past 10 years

5+ years of experience in a senior

management role within the past 10 years

5+ years of business ownership experience

(Minimum 1/3 ownership) within the past 10 years


Net Worth

Net Worth Maximum 10 Points
$600,000 CAD – $999,999 CAD 5
1 million CAD – $1.5 million CAD 7
More than $1.5 million CAD 10


Age Maximum 10 Points
21-24 5
25-32 7
33-39 10
40-44 7
45-55 5
More than 56 0



Adaptability Maximum 10 Points
You or your spouse/common-law partner has a language skill level of CLB 4 or higher in all 4 skill areas. 5
You completed a minimum of 2 years of a full-time study program. This program must have 15 hours of study per week. Also, you must have completed this program from a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia. 10
Spouse or common-law partner completed a minimum of 2 years of full-time study. This program must have a minimum of 15 hours of study per week. Also, they must have completed this program from a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia. 5
You have past work experience in Nova Scotia in an occupation under NOC Skill Level 0, A or B. You were also on a valid work permit or were authorized to work in Canada. 10
Spouse or common-law partner has previous work experience in Nova Scotia of a minimum of 1 year. They were also working with a valid work permit or authorization to work in Canada. 5
You or your spouse or common-law partner has relatives in Nova Scotia. 5

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities Maximum 10 Points
Export business 5
Business outside Halifax 5
Business succession/takeover 5


Investment Maximum 15 Points
$150,000 CAD – $300,000 CAD 10
More than $300,000 CAD 15