International Graduate Entrepreneur Category 

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Category targets international graduates who have attended Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic and who wish to create, co-own or manage a business in the province.

The NLPNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is one of several immigration streams of the Newfoundland And Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Newfoundland And Labrador. The International Graduate Entrepreneur category is intended for graduates of Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic who has already started or bought a local business and maintained day-to-day operations for at least one continuous year. The candidate must demonstrate they intend 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. Also, the candidate must have a valid post-graduate work permit.

If the applicant is 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.

Eligibility Requirements of Applicant

In order to be eligible for NLPNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Category, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Age: The candidate must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for International Graduate Entrepreneur Category.
  • Language Proficiency: The applicant must have a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French.
  • Level of Education: The applicant must have completed a degree or diploma after at least two 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 years of submission of the Expression of Interest.
  • Work Experience: The candidate must have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business (33.3 percent minimum ownership).
  • Business Requirements: The candidate must provide a business plan with supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized by third-party professionals. The applicants are solely responsible for the payment of associated fees related to obtaining these documents. Also, the applicant needs to demonstrate that the business is a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • Employment: The applicant needs to demonstrate the ability to create at least one full-time equivalent job for permanent residents or Canadian Citizens.

Eligibility Requirements of Business – Additional Criteria

There are two streams within the International Entrepreneur category – Starting a New Business and Purchasing an Existing Business. Each stream has unique eligibility in addition to the eligibility noted above.

Starting a New Business Stream:

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 provincial wage levels.

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


Ineligible Applicants for International Entrepreneur Category:

  • An individual living illegally in one’s 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); and
  • An individual who does not have status (ineligible to apply until their status is restored).

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;
  • Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation;
  • A payday 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;
  • Businesses that will compensate employees solely on the basis of commission; and
  • Any other type of business that by association could tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador into disrepute.

Application Procedure

This program uses an International Graduate Entrepreneur Category EOI Points Grid (mentioned below) system to select applicants In order to be considered for the program, first a candidate must submit an EOI using the PNP’s online service. The most competitive, qualified candidates will be invited to apply to the program.

After receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) candidates must submit an official application for nomination to the province. This application includes documentation supporting the information included in the original EOI. As well, all applicants must pay an application fee of CAD $250 and must provide an Audit Report and a Business Continuity Plan, outlining their entrepreneurial intentions. If an application is deemed to be complete, the applicant will have to participate in an in-person interview.

If an application is approved, the applicant will receive an official provincial nomination from Newfoundland and Labrador. Once an applicant has received an official nomination, they can apply to IRCC for Canadian permanent resident status.

International Graduate Entrepreneur Category EOI Points Grid

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Points Grid reflects Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic and labour market priorities, and award points for factors such as language, education, work experience, adaptability and age. Each International Graduate Entrepreneur candidate must achieve a score of 67 in the application assessment in order to qualify under the NLPNP International Graduate Entrepreneur category. The maximum score possible is 110.

Overview of Factors

Factors Points
Age 10
Language 28
Education 30
Business Ownership Experience 15
Newfoundland and Labrador Economic Priorities 15
Adaptability 12
Total Points Available 110


Age range Points Documents required
21-30 10 Birth certificate; passport; national identify document
31-40 10
41-50 5
51+ 0
Maximum Points  10


First official language Points awarded
Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 9+ 5 5 5 5 20
CLB level 8+ 4 4 4 4 16
CLB level 7+ 3 3 3 3 12
Second official language Points awarded
CLB level 5+ 2 2 2 2 8
Maximum points 28


Education Level Points Documents required
Completion of Doctoral level (Ph.D.) degree
Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; Letter from University confirming completion
of Ph.D.; Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
Completion of Master’s level degree in NL
20 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; ECA
Completion of a post-secondary degree or diploma of two (2) years or longer
15 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree; ECA
Maximum Points  30

Business Ownership Experience

Ownership Experience Points Documents required
Ownership of the current business of two (2) years or more 10 Incorporation Documents; Proof of
registration with CRA; other proof as
Ownership of current business for one (1) to two (2) years 5
Ownership of current business, related to field of study 5 Transcripts; Diploma / Degree
Maximum Points  15

Newfoundland And Labrador Economic Priorities

Economic Priorities Points Documents required
Business in Technology, Agriculture, Aquaculture, or Natural Resources 10
Incorporation Documents; Proof of registration with CRA; industry-specific permits; other proof as required.
Business in sector not listed as priority above 5
Business in Rural Area (Outside St. John’s CMA)
Maximum Points  15


Education Level Points Documents required
Relatives in Newfoundland and Labrador
6 Proof of status (PR card, passport); Proof of relationship; proof of residency (bills, lease, employer’s letter).
Previous work experience in Newfoundland and Labrador of two (2) years or more (contract of service, i.e. waged employment) 6
Reference letters from previous employers.
Previous work experience in Newfoundland and Labrador of one (1) year to two (2) years (contract of service, i.e. waged
Maximum Points  12

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