Newfoundland and Labrador is focusing on immigration as a means to foster provincial growth. The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program seeks to recruit immigrants with specialized occupational or entrepreneurial skills to contribute to provincial economic and social goals.
Earlier this year, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador launched its first immigration strategy to encourage Canadian immigrants to establish their new homes in this Atlantic province. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes about 450 newcomers on an annual basis. Of these, only 36 per cent stay. The new strategy sets firm targets to triple the province’s immigration numbers and double the retention rate over the next five years. The provincial government has pledged $6 million over three years to establish an Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism and to support immigration services and initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We need people if we are going to grow the province, attract investment and address rapidly emerging skill shortages in the economy,” stated Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. Of the 18 practical goals set out in the new strategy, strengthening the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) is a significant one.
To be nominated for Canadian Permanent Residency by Newfoundland and Labrador, applicants must satisfy minimum requirements for age, education, work experience, and language ability and must qualify under one of the following categories: Occupational/ Skilled Worker, Immigrant Entrepreneur, or Immigrant Partner. The province is looking for immigrants with knowledge, skills, and experience in its strategic sectors (knowledge-based industries, manufacturing, natural resources, agriculture and agrifoods, health care, tourism, creative/cultural industries, and fisheries). Applicants in all categories must complete a self-assessment form and then submit a pre-assessment form.
Occupational/Skilled Worker: Applicants must have a job offer within the strategic sectors from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer for a position that otherwise could not be filled by Canadian residents. They must have the necessary training and credentials for the position and may be required to visit the province prior to arrival. Applicants who are already in Newfoundland and Labrador on a temporary work permit must have been in the province for six months prior to submitting a PNP application.
Immigrant Entrepreneur: This category is intended for prospective immigrants who plan to establish a new business in Newfoundland and Labrador or purchase all or part of an existing one. A business plan must be submitted with the pre-assessment documents so that the PNP Officer can ensure that the business is eligible. Applicants will need to be self-employed in this business and have the required business experience. Along with making a minimum investment in the business, applicants must meet minimum net worth and liquidity requirements. They must make an exploratory visit to the province and sign a performance agreement.
Immigrant Partner Category: This category is designed for those who wish to partner with other prospective immigrants (up to three additional) to establish a new business in the province or purchase an existing one. Applicants must have business and entrepreneurial expertise and must play an active role in the everyday operations of the enterprise. All partners must qualify and their business plan must meet local requirements. They must make a good faith deposit and satisfy minimum requirements for net worth, liquidity, and amount invested in the business.