Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest province in Canada. Despite its size, it is one of the most popular destinations for prospective immigrants due to its riches in natural beauty, history and Canadian culture.
Prince Edward Island has excellent schools, almost no pollution or traffic, and is the home of the historic Charlottetown Conference of 1864 which eventually led to the nation's formation. In addition to being the birthplace of confederation, the province has an exceptionally high quality of life and is very popular among tourists, thanks to its fantastic beaches, top rated golf course and many cultural attractions.
Known as one of the safest and closest knit communities in Canada, it is easy to see why people from around the world want to live and work in Prince Edward Island. The easiest way for a foreign national to immigrate to PEI is under Canada's Express Entry immigration system.
Prince Edward Island PNP
The PEI PNP (Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program) is a program created for foreign workers to help the province’s economy by filling in in-demand jobs.
The program is divided into three main categories.
Prince Edward Island PNP Categories:
|Labour Impact; and|
These categories are further broken down into:
- Express Entry;
- Federal Skilled Worker Program;
- Federal Skilled Trades Program; and
- Canadian Experience Class
- Labor Impact Category:
- Skilled Worker Stream;
- Critical Worker Stream; and
- International Graduate Stream
- Business Impact Category:
- 100% Ownership Stream;
- Partial Ownership Stream; and
- Work Permit Stream
If you have the right skills and experience for the province you will receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate that allows you to apply for permanent residence in PEI. Anyone who receives a PNC will get an additional 600 points in the Express Entry system under the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System). If you get a nomination you will most likely get an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residency in PEI. Please note that a nomination does not guarantee an ITA.
This immigration program is normally a faster process than many other immigration streams that the province offers.
Business Impact Category
The PEI PNP Business Impact category was made for people who wish to start a business in the province. Under this system there are three categories 100% Ownership, Partial Ownership Stream and Work Permit Stream.
1. 100% Ownership Stream
|This stream was created for anyone who wants to full own a business in PEI, invest in a new business or even buy an existing business.|
2. Partial Ownership Stream
|This stream was created if you wish to own 33.33% of a PEI business or if you wish to invest at least $1,000,000 in a PEI business.|
3. Work Permit Stream
|This stream was made for people who wish to invest in a PEI business while waiting for a work permit that will allow them to get a Provincial Nomination. This stream allows the applicant to work in Canada and to research more into the business or company they choose to invest in.|
100% Ownership Stream Minimum Requirements
If you wish to apply for the 100% Ownership stream you must meet the minimum requirements. You must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 59;
- Have a net worth of at least $600,000 that has been gained through legitimate means;
- Have a high school degree or diploma;
- Have management skills and proof of relevant past work experience in the field of business;
- Have a score of at least 4 for the Canadian Language Benchmark test for reading, writing, speaking and listening;
- Have a detailed business plan for the business you wish to own, create or buy;
- Have the intent to mainly monitor and run your company actively from PEI and not from abroad;
- Have signed the Escrow Agreement that requires a deposit of CAD$200,000 that is kept by PEI until all conditions of the stream have been met;
- Have invested a minimum of CAD$150,000 into either a new business or an existing one
About the Escrow Agreement
First, let's start with what the Escrow Agreement agreement is. It is an agreement that you must sign when you apply for the 100% Ownership Stream. This deposit is paid to the province at the Office of Immigration and is only returned to you if you meet all the requirements.
Please note that these requirements will be different for each investor, based on their business plans and intentions. No interest will be paid on this investment.
Refunds of your deposit will be returning as follows:
|CAD $25,000 after you have lived six months in PEI:|
|CAD $25,000 after you have lived in PEI for one year; and|
|CAD $150,000 after you have met all requirements for the agreement|
What Happens If You Buy an Existing Business
If you plan to buy an existing business rather than start your own, here are some tips you should know. You will have to submit a Purchase and Sale Agreement that has the following information:
- Show that your business was not just created to get income from dividends, capital or interest;
- How much you bought the business for;
- How many shares were bought and what class they belong to;
- Accept that there are no redemption options;
- Show that you will be actively running the business while you live in PEI;
- Show what time you bought the business; and
- Describe what business activities your company will follow
Partial Ownership Stream
If you do not want to fully own a company in PEI, then maybe consider investing in the Partial Ownership Stream. In this stream, you only have to invest in 33.33% of a PEI owned company.
You must still be involved in the daily running of the company while you live in the province.
Minimum Requirements for the Partial Ownership Program
To qualify for the program you must meet these basic requirements. You must:
|Be between the ages of 21 and 59;|
|Have a high school degree or diploma;|
|Have a net worth of at least CAD$600,000;|
|Have management skills and past work experience that is relevant to your application;|
|Have scored at least a 4 on the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) for speaking, reading, writing and listening;|
|Be ready to actively participate in your company while you live in PEI;|
|Have a detailed business plan for the company you wish to invest in; and|
|Have signed the Escrow Agreement and supplied a deposit of CAD$150,000 or invest a minimum of CAD$1,000,000 in the company|
There are also other details you must know when you apply for this program, especially the Investment Agreement.
What Is An Investment Agreement?
An Investment Agreement is required if you buy at least 33.33% of an existing business in the province. You will have to submit this agreement and make sure that the following information is included. You must confirm:
- The company was not bought or invested in for the sole purpose of profit through interest, dividends or other forms of capital gain;
- The amount of money you have invested in the company;
- The amount of shares and their class type if applicable;
- The fact that your investment does not have a redemption option;
- The amount of time your investments covers;
- That you have not invested less than 33.33% in the business or that you are willing to invest at least $1,000,000; and
- That you will run and be an active part of the company’s management while you live in PEI
Work Permit Stream
Under this stream, you can start a new business while you use a temporary work permit. This lets you gain valuable information about your company and the local economy before you can be nominated for PN (Provincial Nomination).
Please note that temporary work permits are issued by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) and not the local province.
Minimum Requirements for the Work Permit Stream
To apply for this stream you must meet the following requirements, you must:
|Apply for a work permit from the IRCC to get approval for the business you wish to manage;|
|Have at least a net worth of $600,000;|
|Have a high school degree or diploma;|
|Have previous management experience and employment in a relevant field;|
|Have received at least a 4 in the Canadian Language Benchmark for reading, writing, speaking and listening;|
|Have signed a Performance Agreement;|
|Have the intent to work and actively manage your company while living in PEI;|
|Have a business plan for the company you have either invested in or bought; and|
|Have invested at least $150,000|
Please note that you must meet all of these basic requirements before you can qualify for this stream. If you are successful, you will get a Letter of Support from Immigration Services. You can use this letter to apply for a temporary work permit.
What Is a Performance Agreement
It is an agreement that specifies what requirements you need to meet to get a PN from the province. These requirements are the:
- Reports and watching of guidelines;
- Reports of investments and when they occurred;
- Amount you invested; and
- Requirements of both pre and post nomination
Please note that if you:
- Buy 100% of the company you must hand in a Sale Agreement; or
- Buy 33.33% of the company you must hand in an Investment Agreement
Labour Impact Category
If you want to become a permanent resident of PEI but do not want to own your own business then this category may be for you.
As with all programs, if you have the right skills and work experience that the province needs, then you will be able to apply under one of the PEI PNP Labour Impact Categories.
This category has three subcategories, the Skilled Worker Stream, Critical Worker Stream and the International Graduate Stream.
1. Skilled Worker Stream
|This stream is if you are a potential employee or have already been hired by a PEI company. You must be working in the province or have a job offer with the right qualifications and skilled work experience.|
2. Critical Worker Stream
|This stream is if you are either a unskilled or semi skilled worker. You must be working for a PEI employer or have an employer who wants to sponsor you for permanent residency.|
3. International Graduate Stream
|This stream was made for recent graduates who have degrees or qualifications from PEI education institutions. You must be hired by a PEI employer in a skilled field of study that is related to your degree.|
Skilled Worker Stream
If you have the right skills and work experience then an employer from PEI may support you for Canadian permanent residence through this stream. As a skilled worker you must have a job NOC(National Occupational Classification) code A, B or 0. Please note that you do not need to live in the province to apply.
Minimum Requirements for Skilled Worker Stream
- Be between the age of 21 and 59;
- Have a full time job or job offer from a PEI employer for two years;
- Have two years work experience for a job that is under NOC code 0, A or B, please note this work experience must have occurred within five years of your application;
- Have a legal work permit;
- Have proof that you have enough funds to live in the province;
- Have passed language tests like IELTS, CELPIP or TEF scoring at least a 4, please note that these tests must not be older than two years; or
- Have educational documents that are from a recognized institution that show you studied in either English or French; or
- Have a Declaration of Language Ability that is given by your employer;
- Have the intent to stay and live in the province;
- Have an interview with a person employed by the Office of Immigration in PEI;
- Have at least a two year degree or diploma, though this may not be applicable in certain cases
Be aware that your employer must also meet certain requirements in order to help you qualify for the stream.
What Happens If You Apply Outside the Country?
You must still meet all of the requirements mentioned above to successfully apply for the stream. The only difference is that you must be a legal resident in the country you currently live in when you apply.
What Are The Minimum Requirements for Employers
As your employer there are certain criteria they need to meet before you can go ahead with this immigration stream.
Your employer must:
|Offer you full time employment for two years;|
|Make sure that all the job requirements will be filled by you in terms of education, qualifications and training;|
|Ensure that their job offer and wage matches the legal requirements of PEI labour laws;|
|Be located in the province;|
|Have a clean business record with no employment disputes or legal employment cases against them;|
|Provide a contract of employment;|
|Ensure that the job is verified in certain cases;|
|Provide a LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) in certain cases, to prove that this job cannot be filled by local labour;|
|Attend an Immigration interview;|
|Provide settlement support for your family, this includes the:|
Critical Worker Stream
This stream was created as a pilot project and is reviewed every year by the province. Specifically, this is for unskilled and semi skilled workers who wish to apply for permanent residency later.
There are five jobs that are included in this program, they are for:
- Truck drivers;
- Food and beverage servers; and
- Customer service representatives
What Are The Minimum Requirements?
The minimum requirements for the Critical Worker Stream are that you must:
- Be aged between 21 and 59;
- Have a NOC code of either C or D that falls under one of the following jobs:
- Truck drivers;
- Food and beverage servers; or
- Customer service representatives
- Have a full time offer from a PEI employer, please note that this job offer must be for a least two years;
- Have a legal work permit;
- Have at least six months work experience in PEI;
- Have a high school degree;
- Have enough money to support yourself in the province;
- Have legal status as a resident in the country you currently live in;
- Have scored a 4 in the Canadian Language Benchmark for reading, listening, speaking and writing; and
- Have an interview with the PEI Immigration Office if applicable
Please note that any language tests you take must either be IELTS or CELPIP General for English and TEF for French. Please note that these tests must not be older than two years when you apply.
What Are The Minimum Requirements for Employers
The PEI employer is responsible for ensuring the following elements:
|The employment offer is full-time and permanent or long term (minimum two years);|
|The employment is consistent with the applicant’s ability to perform the job based on education, training and/or experience;|
|The terms and conditions of employment meet federal and provincial standards and industry wage rate;|
|The employment does not contravene existing bargaining agreements or employment disputes;|
|The employment is to be located in PEI;|
|The foreign worker’s licensing or accreditation to perform the job is verified if applicable;|
|An employment contract is provided;|
|Settlement support is provided to the applicant and their family;|
|A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is provided if applicable;|
|Documentation is provided to demonstrate an effort to recruit qualified Canadians for the position; and|
|Attendance at an immigration interview may be required|
Prince Edward Island Express Entry
The Canada Express Entry system allows the province of Prince Edward Island to attract potential immigrants for their provincial nominee program. The province can send a "Notification of Interest" to people whose Express Entry profiles match the criteria the province is seeking. Potential immigrants can also apply directly to the program under the Business Impact or Labour Impact categories.
Individuals nominated for Canadian immigration by the PEI PNP will receive enough points under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System to more or less be assured an invitation during the next draw. Once given an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence, it does not take long to get accepted for PEI immigration, seeing as Express Entry processes applications in six months or less.
Not every applicant will be accepted into the Prince Edward Island PNP through the Express Entry System. Candidates must have skills which meet current PEI labour needs. These requirements vary over time as labour needs change in the province. Candidates are encouraged to investigate the current needs of PEI before applying for the Express Entry System. If nominated through a PEI Express Entry stream, potential immigrants can apply for residency through Citizenship and Immigration Canada's online system which is much faster.
Business Impact Category - Requirements
The Business Impact Category of the Prince Edward Island PNP is divided into three streams.
1 - Requirements for the 100% Ownership Stream:
The 100% Ownership Stream is for foreign nationals who are interested in starting or buying a business in Prince Edward Island. There are several criteria the business must meet in order to be eligible for the PEI PNP.
The Business Must:
|Be a for-profit corporation in good standing on all debts and obligations|
|Maintain corporate headquarters and a "permanent establishment" in PEI|
|Pay all income tax on taxable income|
|Have assets with a minimum book value of $150,000|
|Have the potential to create a "significant economic benefit" to PEI|
Certain types of business are given priority status.
These Priority Businesses Do One or More of the Following:
|They are export-oriented|
|They utilize primary sector resources (for PEI, this is generally considered bioscience, information technology, aerospace, and renewable energy)|
|They help bring economic diversification, especially to rural areas of Prince Edward Island|
Note that some types of businesses are categorically denied participation in the 100% Ownership Stream.
The Following Types of Business Are Ineligible:
|Home-based businesses including hobby farms and bed and breakfasts|
|Cheque cashing, money changing and payday loan services|
|Pawnbrokers and other used good sales|
|Real estate brokerage, insurance brokerage and business brokerage|
|Professional practices, financial services and consulting services|
|Any business which might cause "disrepute" to the government and province of PEI|
|Any business created purely for access to the PEI PNP program|
Under this stream of the Business Impact category there are also detailed requirements for the business owner.
All Applicants in the 100% Ownership, Partial Ownership and Work Permit Streams Must:
|Be between 21 and 59 years old|
|Have a high school education (at minimum)|
|Have a minimum net worth of $600,000|
|Score a minimum of a 4.0 on the IELTS English Test|
Apart from these general requirements, applicants participating in the 100% Ownership stream must meet the following additional requirements.
- Provide a comprehensive business plan for the business being purchased;
- Provide active, on-going management from within PEI;
- Sign an escrow agreement with deposit stipulations of $200,000; and
- Make a minimum investment into the business of $150,000
In addition to the general requirements, individuals participating in the PEI PNP Partial Ownership Stream must meet several additional requirements.
2 - Requirements for the Partial Ownership Stream
For the Partial Ownership Stream, Individuals Must Also:
|Provide a comprehensive business plan for partial ownership of the business|
|Provide active, on-going management from within Prince Edward Island|
|Provide a signed escrow agreement containing stipulations on a deposit of $200,000|
|Invest a minimum of $150,000 for a partial ownership of at least 33.3% of voting shares, or else invest a minimum of $1 million in the company|
Please note, start-ups are ineligible for the Partial Ownership Stream, but newly incorporated companies may be allowed.
Aside from meeting the general requirements, applicants to the Prince Edward Island PNP Work Permit Stream must also satisfy several extra requirements.
3 - Requirements for the Work Permit Stream
For the Work Permit Stream, individuals must also:
- Obtain a work permit for PEI;
- Provide a full business plan for complete or partial ownership of the business;
- Manage the business from within PEI actively and for an on-going period of time;
- Sign the Performance Agreement which contains stipulations on the business investment; and
- Invest a minimum of $150,000 in the business
Labour Impact Category – Requirements
The Labour Impact Category of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program is divided into two streams. There is some slight overlap in the requirements between the two, but mainly the requirements are specific to each stream.
1. Requirements for the Skilled Worker Stream:
The Foreign National Applying Through This Stream Must:
|Be 21-59 years old|
|Have a job offer for a full-time, long-term job from a PEI employer for a N0C 0, A or B level skilled position. In this case, "long term" is considered to be at least two years;|
|Have a valid work permit, if currently employed in PEI;|
|Have legal status in current country of residence;|
|Have a two-year post-secondary degree;|
|Have at least two years of full-time work experience or relevant schooling, within the past two years;|
|Have "sufficient funds" to settle in PEI; and|
|Prove proficiency in English or French. Proficiency can be established by an IELTS test with a minimum score of 4.0, a declaration of language ability from the PEI employer or education from an institution where the primary instruction used was either English or French|
In the Prince Edward Island Nominee Program Skilled Worker Stream, the employer offering the applicant the job must also meet certain requirements.
The Employer must offer employment which:
- Is at least two years in duration;
- Is suitable for the applicant's education, training and experiences;
- Meets federal and provincial standards and industry wage rates;
- Is located in Prince Edward Island; and
- Offers a verifiable employment contract and settlement support
2. Requirements for Critical Worker Stream:
This Prince Edward Island immigration stream is geared towards semi-skilled and unskilled positions.
The Foreign National Applying Through This Stream Must:
|Be 21 to 59 years old;|
|Hold a valid work permit;|
|Have legal status in country of residence;|
|Be a high school graduate (at minimum);|
|Have sufficient funds to live in PEI;|
|Be proficient in English or French. This can be verified with an IELTS with a minimum overall score of 4.0. Minimal individual scores are 4.5 Listening, 3.5 Reading, 4 Writing, 4 Speaking; and|
|Have spent at least six months working full-time for the PEI employer|
Finally, the major requirement for this Prince Edward Island Provincial PNP stream is the individual must have a job offer for a full-time, long-term position with a PEI employer. The position must be in a semi-skilled or unskilled occupation, which is NOC level of C or D.
The most common jobs in this Prince Edward Island PNP Stream are:
- Truck driver;
- Customer service representative;
- General labourer;
- Food or beverage server; and
- Housekeeping attendant
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