New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program: Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program: Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream

The Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream (PGES) is an economic immigration option under the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP). It is open to individuals who have graduated from a recognized university or the New Brunswick Community College.

This New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) stream offers a pathway to reside in New Brunswick permanently for individuals who have graduated from a recognized academic institution in New Brunswick, and have started or acquired a business in the province.

In order to apply for the NBPNP PGES, individuals must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. EOIs will be assessed according to the following factors: age, language, education, work experience, the economic benefit of the business in NB and adaptability. Candidates selected by the NBPNP will be issued an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination from New Brunswick.

This page will explain the following topics:


Eligibility Requirements for Applicants

In order to be eligible under the PGES, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • be between 22-40 years of age;
  • prove a minimum language proficiency level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French for all four language abilities: reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  • score a minimum of 65 out of 100 in New Brunswick's PGES points assessment;
  • have completed a full-time New Brunswick post-secondary degree or diploma for at least two years (15 hours of class per week) from a recognized university in New Brunswick or the New Brunswick Community College;
  • have resided in New Brunswick during the academic program (distance-learning programs or compressed academic programs are not eligible);
  • have owned and operated a business in New Brunswick for at least one full year (100% ownership of business equity);
  • have a valid post-graduation work permit; and
  • demonstrate intention and ability to settle in New Brunswick.

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements for the applicant, the established business must meet eligibility requirements for the program.


Expression of Interest Points

The first step for eligible individuals is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. An EOI will be reviewed based on the following factors: age, language, education, work experience, the economic benefit of the business (to the province), and adaptability. Candidates are assigned a score based on the following:


Selection factor Maximum Points
Age 10
Language 35
Education 25
Work Experience 10
Economic Benefit of Business 10
Adaptability 10
Total 100 points

Age Points
Less than 21 years 0
22-34 years 10
35-40 years 5
41 or more 0


Applicants to the program must submit language test results that are not more than 18 months old at the time of applying for the stream. Test results must be from one of the following designated language test providers:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS — General) for English language proficiency;
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP — General) for English language proficiency; and
  • Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) for French language proficiency.


First official language Points
Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CLB level 9 or higher 7 7 7 7
CLB level 8 6 6 6 6
CLB level 7 5 5 5 5
Second official language Points
CLB level 7 or higher 7
Maximum points 35

Education (Canadian or equivalent) Points
Doctoral level university degree (Ph.D.) Awarded by a New Brunswick university (a Master's degree must have been completed before the PhD). 25
Masters or Professional Degree* Awarded by a New Brunswick graduate college or university (A Bachelor’s degree must have been completed beforehand).

Professional degrees must be licensed by the NB regulatory body in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine or pharmacy.

Two or more Canadian degrees or diplomas At least one degree or diploma shall be awarded by a New Brunswick college or university that required at least 3 years of full-time study. 22
Post Secondary Academic degree Awarded by a New Brunswick college or university for completion of an undergraduate curriculum that required at least 3 years of full-time study. 21
Post-Secondary Diploma Awarded by a New Brunswick college or university in a specific trade that required at least 2 years of full-time study after high school. 19
Maximum points 25


Note: Individuals possessing educational credentials exclusively outside New Brunswick are ineligible to apply. The term "equivalent" refers to the possibility for an applicant to list any further educational credential obtained outside New Brunswick (an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required) in addition to the education completed in New Brunswick.


Work Experience

Applicants are awarded points for their past work experience, excluding the one year of business operations in New Brunswick.

Work Experience (last 10 years) Points
6 or more years in the last 10 years in NOC O, A or B 10
1-5 years in the last 10 years in the NOC O, A or B 5
Maximum points 10

Economic Benefit of the Business
Economic Benefit of the Business to New Brunswick Points
Business is located outside of Fredricton, Moncton and Saint John 5
Business is in the agricultural sector 5
Business is in a priority sector, as defined by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour 5
Maximum points 10

Adaptability factor Points
Spouse/common-law partner has at least one year of continuous full-time employment in New Brunswick 5
Spouse/common-law partner has completed at least two years of full-time study, in a minimum two-year program at a post-secondary institution in New Brunswick with a valid study permit (if applicable) 5
Spouse/common-law partner meets the minimum level CLB 5 in English or French in all four language abilities 5
Applicant or spouse/common-law partner has a close family relative (son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew) who is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada (18+) living in New Brunswick for at least one year. 10
Applicant has additional job skills demonstrated through training or experience and supported by a post-secondary credential (i.e. certificate, diploma, degree) requiring at least one year of full-time study after high school. 5
Maximum points 10
Eligibility Requirements for the Business

For a business to be considered eligible under the PGES, it needs to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • The business must have been in operation for a minimum one year prior to submission of the application;
  • The applicant must have 100 percent ownership of the equity of the business;
  • The applicant must receive compensation in the form of a salary from the business which must, at minimum, meet the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) as defined by statistics Canada + 10 percent;
  • The business must create at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident apart from a family member. The position must meet prevailing wage levels and must be directly related to the business;


Additional requirements for the business.
  • The business must have started as a career objective. Businesses created solely for immigration purposes are ineligible.
  • The applicant must provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business from within New Brunswick by:
    • assuming risk and influencing the direction of the business; and
    • being present at the business premises on a day-to-day basis.
  • The business must 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. An Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report from a designated NB Audit Verifier will be required to assess the financial health of the business.
  • The business must be established as a sole proprietorship or corporation.
  • The business must be a continued operation of an existing business or the establishment of a new business.
  • The business must be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • The business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985
  • The business must create significant economic benefit through:
    • increased value-added manufacturing or processing for New Brunswick exports;
    • enhanced research and development;
    • development of new products and/or services;
    • development of innovative approaches to traditional businesses;
    • development of new technologies;
    • enhanced technology commercialization;
    • the transfer of technology and specialized knowledge to New Brunswick; and
    • providing products and/or services to an under-served local or regional market.
  • The business must pay income tax on taxable income earned in the province, regardless 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 comply with all legislation in the province including, but not limited to, the: Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • The business must comply with all Canadian laws in establishing, purchasing and maintaining the business.
  • The business must obtain the necessary licenses and permits, etc. from all applicable municipal, provincial and/or federal authorities.
  • The applicant must commit to not selling the business for a minimum of three years after receiving permanent residence in Canada.


List of ineligible business

The following business activities are not eligible for the PGES:

  • adult services including but not limited to the production, distribution and/or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products and/or services,
  • and/or the provision of sexually oriented services;
  • aestheticians and services;
  • beauty salons;
  • bed and breakfast accommodations;
  • coin operated;
  • consultancy (business or agency that offers expert professional advice in a field);
  • cooperative (business or organization owned and operated by its member);
  • credit or debit cards (active or inactive);
  • domain names;
  • a farm that is maintained without expectation of being a primary source of income;financial brokerage (business that derives its prime source of income
  • from acting as an intermediary for buyers and sellers)
  • financial services including, but not limited to cooperatives and/or credit unions;
  • home-based and/or businesses operating from a residential property;
  • landlord property and rental management;
  • not-for-profit businesses and organizations;
  • property investment (purchase of real estate for the intention of earning a return on the investment, either through rental income, the future resale of the property or both);
  • professional practices and services where the applicant fails to provide proof of licensing and/or accreditation in New Brunswick;
  • secured loans where items of personal property are used as collateral (i.e. pawnbrokers); and
  • short-term borrowing including, but not limited to, payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines.

The following business activities may be eligible for the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream if the applicant can demonstrate real economic benefit to New Brunswick:

  • brokerage in business, insurance and real estate;
  • e-commerce or online businesses where the service or product is new to the Canadian marketplace is a significantly improved version of existing services and products, and where products are warehoused in New Brunswick;
  • inn or boutique hotel that has at least five rental units, each having at least a three-piece bath; revenues of at least CAD $100,000 and has eligible operating expenses of at least CAD $75,000 in the last operating year, supported by financial statements and tax returns;
  • real estate construction and/or development; and
  • reseller of goods and/or services where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling.

The following business characteristics are not eligible for the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream if the business:

  • is an immigration-linked passive investment scheme pursuant to Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations section 87(5)b and as defined by IRPR 87(9);
  • is conducted remotely from a jurisdiction outside New Brunswick; offers products and/or services that are primarily used during a certain time of the year;
  • promotes and/or sells controlled substances and illegal drugs, prescription drugs and items used to manufacture controlled substances and/or drug paraphernalia;
  • promotes and/or sells illegal items and items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activities including, but not limited to counterfeit products, copies of movies, software and trademarks, etc.; and
  • that by association could bring the department into disrepute.


Application Process, Nomination, and Settlement in New Brunswick

The process of applying for and receiving Canadian permanent residence through the PGES streams can be summed up in five steps:

1. Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the NBPNP

The first step in applying to the PGES is submitting an EOI. Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for the program (listed above) will be placed into a pool of potential applicants and will be assigned a score based on the PGES points-based system.

The highest-ranked candidates will be selected from the pool and invited to apply to the program. To rank candidates, the NBPNP will assess candidates based on a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System.

Candidates who obtain higher scores will have a better chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). It is important that candidates review the eligibility requirements of the program when submitting an EOI to the program.

2. Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

After obtaining an ITA letter, candidates are required to submit a complete application to the NBPNP within 90 days. The ITA letter includes a number that the applicant will need to include with the application.

3. Completing the application and attending an interview

When preparing the application, it is important that the candidate answers all the questions in the form, provides the necessary documents in the required format, and signs the forms as required. Supporting documents that are neither in English or French must be translated by a certified translator or interpreter that is a member of a translation or interpretation provincial or territorial organization.

As part of the application, the candidate is responsible for providing and paying for an Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report. The report must be completed by a New Brunswick designated Audit Service Verifier.

The Audit opinion will include an audit of the financial statements of the business and the Special Purpose Report must include the following:

  • The financial viability and sustainability of the business discussing any relevant issues affecting the business’ ability to continue in the near future as a going concern;
  • Recommendation for the business to improve its viability and sustainability;
  • A determination of any issues, challenges or concerns pertaining to auditing the financial statements; and
  • A business review which may include but is not limited to market analysis, product analysis, competitive analysis, and financial analysis.

When assessing an application, the NBPNP will conduct a full review of the application and verify the information provided in the EOI. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be invited to participate in an in-person interview with a NBPNP Immigration Officer.

The applicant needs to be available for an interview within 15 business days of receiving the request. The interview will include a site visit to the business. There are two possible outcomes following the interview:

  1. Refusal Decision: If the interview is unsuccessful, the applicant will receive a refusal letter from the Department with no possibility of appeal.
  2. Nomination Decision: If the interview is successful, the applicant will receive a nomination certificate which remains valid for six months from the date of issuance.

4. Applying for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC

Candidates must submit a complete Canadian permanent residence application and provide the required supporting documents to IRCC before the New Brunswick provincial nomination certificate expires within six months.

5. Reporting landing

If the permanent residence application is approved by IRCC, a permanent resident visa will be issued to the applicant (and spouse/partner and/or dependents, if applicable). It is important to report landing using the correct forms within 30 days of obtaining a permanent resident visa to finalize the settlement process with the NBPNP.

The New Brunswick business must remain in operation for a minimum of three years after receiving permanent residence in Canada.