Immigration Programs

In order to immigrate to Canada, you would need to be approved for permanent residency by the federal government department in charge of immigration known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”). CIC approves applicants for permanent residency based on a number of factors and qualifications for available immigration programs. Each of the provinces also offer a number of programs through which they will nominate applicants to CIC for permanent residency. It is important for potential immigrants to find the right immigration program based on their particular circumstances and eligibility.

Some examples of different types of programs that an applicant might qualify for include the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Provincial Nominee Program, the Canadian Experience Class, or a Family Class Sponsorship programs.

The following chart outlines basic program and eligibility criteria; for additional information please click on the program link; for advice about program options and eligibility specific to your circumstances please contact KCIS at [link to email]


Business Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for application through the Business Impact Category, any business being started or purchased must generate revenue by selling goods and/or services at arm’s length to third parties.

The Office of Immigration will consider applications under the Business Impact Category that meet, or will meet, the following business eligibility criteria:

  • The business must be a for-profit corporation and operated for the primary purpose of earning profits from active income through the provision of products/services.
  • The business must be in good standing with the Province on all debts and obligations.
  • The business’ corporate headquarters are located in Prince Edward Island.
  • The business maintains a “permanent establishment” in Prince Edward Island as defined under the Income Tax Act by regulation 400 (2).
  • The business is liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Prince Edward Island, 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 have good potential for sustained commercial viability.
  • The business must have assets with a book value of at least $150,000 CAD which are actively used for the business. Businesses will also be considered if they have assets with a fair market value of $150,000 CAD as valued by a certified appraiser or have received a valuation for their business from a professional accountant stating a value greater than $ 150,000 CAD.
  • Any business selling a portion of equity to an applicant (i.e., interested in the Partial Ownership Stream) must have also incurred a total of $ 60,000 CAD in wages and/or net income and demonstrate the ability to sustain an applicant’s salary.
  • The business must have the potential to create significant economic benefits to Prince Edward Island by contributing to one or more of the following:
    • Increasing value-added manufacturing, processing or primary resource activity
    • Increasing exports of goods or services
    • Increasing destination tourism, tourism attractions, tourism fixed roof accommodations
    • Increasing research and development/technology commercialization
    • Servicing an underserved local or regional market
    • Diversifying retail and restaurant investment
  • If the business is an Inn or Boutique Hotel, it must
    • not be a startup;
    • have at least 5 rental units, each having at least a three-piece bath;
    • have revenues of at least $100,000 in the last operating year, supported by financial statements or a tax return;
    • have eligible operating expenses of at least $75,000 in the last operating year, supported by financial statements or a tax return
  • If the business is in the Construction/Renovation sector, the Applicant must
    • have at least 3 arms-length staff employed full time for at least 6 months of the year;
    • rent or construct a space that is outside of their residence to conduct business from;
    • demonstrate relevant education or a minimum of 5 years experience in the proposed business;
    • meet all other terms and conditions of the escrow agreement.

Businesses must also meet the investment requirements under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations governing investment for immigration purposes.

Applications will NOT be considered for the following types of businesses:

  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Sale of used goods (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling)
  • Real estate development, unless deemed to be significant economic benefit to the Prince Edward Island economy
  • Real estate, insurance or business brokerage
  • Businesses started for the sole purpose of gaining access to immigrant investment through the program
  • Professional practices
  • Financial services
  • Consulting services
  • Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the program or the Government of Prince Edward Island into disrepute.
  • An entity that cannot issue shares.
  • Any business, or member of an associated group of companies that has received investment through the Provincial Nominee Program within the past 48 months will not be eligible.


Eligibility Criteria

Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry


  • Express Entry profile with a score at least 67 out of 100 points
  • at least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience within the past five years in one of 29 skilled eligible occupations deemed in-demand based on the labour market needs in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 55;
  • Have at least 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Nova Scotia in the three years before the application is made;
  • Have gained experience in Nova Scotia with the proper authorization (work permit, etc.);
  • Have completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential OR have completed foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority accompanied by an ECA report;
  • Meet the required language levels needed for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening). These levels are CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A and CLB 5 for NOC B;
  • Demonstrate that they will become economically established in Nova Scotia and that they intend to live in the province permanently; and
  • Be eligible to enter the federal Express Entrypool through one of the federal economic immigration programs
Skilled Worker Stream

Three subclasses based on NOC:

  • Skilled Worker – NOC Level 0, A or B
  • Semi Skilled Worker – NOC Level C and worked 6 months in NS and supported by employer
  • Low Skilled Worker – NOC Level D and supported by employer
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 55 at the time of application
  • Have a full time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer
  • Have at completed at least a high school level of education (12 years of study) and have the education, training, and licensing/certification needed to perform the job in Canada, if applicable
  • Have at least 12 months of relevant work experience
  • Meet language requirements (NOC levels 0, A or B – CLB level 5 in English or French; NOC levels C or D – CLB level 4 in English or French)
  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to settle in the Province of Nova Scotia

Employer eligibility requirements:

  • Be permanently established in Nova Scotia
  • Have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years
  • Issued a full time, permanent job offer to the applicant
  • The job must be located in Nova Scotia
  • The job must have salary and benefits that meet Provincial employment standards
  • The job must be in a position for which there is a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Job offers made to NOC level C or D occupations will be considered based on local labour market requirements and conditions
  • Demonstrate recruitment efforts to fill the position with a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Entrepreneur Stream International
  • Have a minimum $600,000 CAD in Net Business and Personal Assets, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals.
  • Have a minimum of three years of business ownership experience including 33.33% ownership or greater than five years of experience in a senior business manager role in the last 10 years.
  • Agree to make a minimum capital investment of $150,000 CAD in Nova Scotia.
  • Have Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in either English or French in listening, speaking, writing and reading through an accredited test taken within two years prior to of the date of EOI submission.
  • Have a minimum of a Canadian high school diploma or an equivalent foreign credential verified by an ECA dated within the five years prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Demonstrate accumulation of claimed net worth through legal means, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals.
  • Have a Business Establishment Plan and be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the plan.
  • Agree to reside in Nova Scotia.
Graduate Entrepreneur Stream Human Capital Criteria

  • Applicants must have completed a full-time Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma or degree of at least two years in length from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College.
  • Applicants must have resided in Nova Scotia full-time during the academic program. (No distance learning programs or compressed academic programs will be eligible.)
  • Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages by achieving a test result demonstrating Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four language abilities; verified by an accredited test and taken within two years prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Applicants are required to reside in Nova Scotia while they establish their eligible business.

Business and Financial Criteria:

  • Demonstrate intention to settle in Nova Scotia, and own and operate a business in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Applicants must own 100% of the equity of the eligible business and provide active and on-going 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 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. Audited financial statements from an NSOI approved professional third party will be required to assess the financial health of the business.
Family Business Worker
  • must be directly related to the family business owner or the spouse of the business owner
  • legal status in country of residence
  • a permanent, full time job offer from a Nova Scotia business belonging to a close family member
  • necessary education, training, qualifications or licensing/accreditation needed to perform the job
  • appropriate work experience needed for the position
  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to settle in the Province of Nova Scotia

Business owner, or their spouse, must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have lived in Nova Scotia for at least two years
  • Owns at least 33.3% of the business issuing a job offer.
  • Business has been under current management for at least two years
  • Business is financially viable enough to provide the salary and other parameters outlined in the job offer
  • Not received social assistance or employment assistance within the last two years
  • Issued a full-time, permanent job offer to the close family member that has a salary, benefit, and working condition standards that meet provincial employment standards
  • Does not contravene bargaining agreements or settle any labour disputes
International Graduate Stream
  • have graduated within the last two years from a program of at least one academic year of full-time study in Nova Scotia;
  • have legal status in Canada on a temporary work permit
  • have a permanent, full-time job offer from an employer in Nova Scotia in his/her field of study and at an acceptable level and have been working for at least three months in this position;
  • have sufficient settlement supports; and
  • meet the minimum criteria for age and language ability requirements for the skilled worker stream.


Eligibility Criteria


Skilled Trade


  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec
  • meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply,
  • meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the NOC, except for needing a certificate of qualification, and
  • have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.
Skilled Worker
  • one-year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment within the previous 10 years in one of 347 eligible NOC occupations;
  • work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades);
  • Meet minimum criteria of 67 points;
  • Undergo language testing from a recognized third party and demonstrate intermediate level language skills in English or French corresponding to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7;
  • Possess suitable settlement funding; and
  • Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
Canadian Experience Class
  • have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply,
  • have gained your experience in Canada with the proper authorization,
  • meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital
  • worldwide net worth of $10 million
  • completion of post-secondary education
  • $2 million investment in designated investment fund for minimum of 15 years
Self-employed Class
  • world-class artists, high performance athletes and experienced farmers intending to purchase and operate a farm in Canada