Nova Scotia Startup Visa Program

Nova Scotia Startup Visa Program targets innovative entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to start successful businesses in the province with an aim to bring innovation, job creation and economic growth of the province. The program offers a pathway for entrepreneurs to receiving Canadian permanent residence and their families. The approved entrepreneurs initially received a temporary visa to stay and after settlement in the province and operate their businesses for 18-20 months can be nominated for permanent residence status.

Nova Scotia Startup Visa Program

Why is Nova Scotia a Great Place to Invest In?

Nova Scotia is a province in Canada that is often referred to as Canada’s ocean playground. The province is known for its stunning coastline, vibrant culture, and thriving economy. Investing in Nova Scotia can be a wise decision for many reasons including:

Tech and Communication Industry

Nova Scotia has a thriving technology market where meaningful collaboration is happening to achieve profitable growth in the sector. More than 1,300 information and communication companies operate in the province. The digital sector is booming, with over $2.5 billion in industry and more than 25,000 tech employees working.

Ocean Technology

Nova Scotia is recognized as a global leader in ocean technology innovation. The province has a strong cluster of companies, research institutions, and government agencies dedicated to advancing technologies for ocean exploration, monitoring, and sustainable resource management.

Life Science

Nova Scotia has a developing biotechnology sector for genomics, medicine personalizing proteins/drug discovery, etc. The province is an example of a technology company building tools for medical purposes such as diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring in different medical circumstances. Such devices include scanning, surgical equipment, monitoring of patients’ healthcare procedures, and telemedicine.

Government Support

The Nova Scotia government offers various incentives and support programs to captivate the imagination of investors, entrepreneurs and local businesses, including tax credits, grants and assistance.

Important Factoids

Here are some key facts about the business sector in Nova Scotia:

  • Labour Force Participation: 61.5%
  • Population: 1.0M
  • Median Household Income: $87.5K
  • Unemployment Rate: 497.8K
  • Total Establishments: 30,521
  • Top Employment Sectors: Healthcare and Social Assistance, Retail
  • Trade, Public Administration, Educational Services, Construction

Exciting Opportunities for Investment in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia offers exciting investment prospects. Here are some opportunities you might find interesting:

  • Businesses of Diversity: Diverse businesses help forge new partnerships through participation in the Supplier Diversity procurement program.
  • Ocean Technology: The ocean technology sector thrives and creates many new investment opportunities. There are many subsidiaries where innovative start-ups can be opened, including marine defence and security, marine transportation, fisheries and aquaculture, ocean science and others.
  • Seafood Industry: Many new companies are emerging in this thriving industry because of the growing exports of fish harvesters and processors.
  • Advanced Manufacturing: Nova Scotia is blessed with many natural minerals and resources, which have created many small and medium-level manufacturing industries.
  • Competitive Landscape: Nova Scotia has one of the top regions in the world for having the most competitive operating costs and incentives.
  • Time Zone Advantage: Nova Scotia’s work timing overlaps with Europe and the West Coast of North America.
Nova Scotia Startup VIsa Streams

Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream

The Entrepreneur stream under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is tailored for skilled business owners or senior managers aiming to reside in Nova Scotia as part of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) administered by the province of Nova Scotia.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
  • Reside permanently in Nova Scotia while actively managing a private business.
  • A net income of at least $600,000 CAD (or $400,000 CAD if the business is outside Halifax Regional Municipality—HRM) is required.
  • Nova Scotia area: Own investment of at least $150,000 CAD.
  • Outside HRM: Required investment of $100,000 CAD.
  • Company founder with at least 3 years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (ownership stake of at least 30%).
  • OR senior manager with over 5 years of experience in a business management function.
  • Language Proficiency: Minimum score of 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in speaking, listening, reading, and writing (English or French).
  • Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an application online.
  • Job Search: Engage in job search activities through Nominate to Work, Labour, Skills, and Immigration.

Nova Scotia offers two pathways for individuals under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream to set up businesses and take advantage of the province’s lucrative business environment.

NSNP Entrepreneur Category

Designed for foreign businesspersons who want to acquire or set up a new business in Nova Scotia.

NSNP International Graduate Entrepreneur

Designed for International University of Nova Scotia graduates or the Nova Scotia Community College.

Common Eligibility Criteria – Nova Scotia Startup Visa Program

The objective of the Nova Scotia Startup Visa program is to allow innovative foreign entrepreneurs to create new jobs and contribute to the province’s economy.

  • Express Entry Not Required: Unlike other immigration pathways, the Nova Scotia Startup Visa program does not require applicants to go through the Express Entry system.
  • No Job Offer Needed: Applicants do not need a job offer from a Canadian employer to qualify for this program.
  • Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 or higher in either English or French. This ensures that you can effectively communicate in one of Canada’s official languages.
  • Education Level: You should have completed a post-secondary degree within the last ten years. An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required to verify the equivalence of your foreign education.
  • Work Experience: A minimum of 6 months of work experience as a business owner or manager is necessary. This experience demonstrates your ability to manage and operate a business effectively.
  • Venture Capital Support: You must demonstrate the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor, or business incubator. This backing indicates that your business idea has potential and is worthy of investment.
  • Voting Rights: You need to have at least 10% voting rights attached to all company shares. This ensures your active involvement in decision-making within the business.
  • Settlement Funds: To support yourself and any dependents, you must demonstrate sufficient settlement funds. These funds cover initial living expenses upon arrival in Nova Scotia.

Get Professional Help with Your Canadian PR Application

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Nova Scotia Startup Visa:

Can I and family members have free healthcare and education in Nova Scotia?

Yes, you can. Canadians who are permanent residents have the right to free public school education up to the age of 18. University fees are also less than international students’. You can apply for public health insurance, which allows you to pay only for selected health services.

Do I need a medical check-ups and security clearance for the start-up visa program?

Yes. Canada does not allow any candidate with medical, security or criminality reasons.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Startup Visa Programs, please contact our immigration experts.

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