Provincial Nomination Program > Prince Edward Island

Canada is a nation built by immigrants and PEI is one of the world's great success stories. Through hard work, creativity and strength of character, Canadians enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom unequalled anywhere else on earth.

Prince Edward Island has a special place in Canada as its smallest province and as the birthplace of the country in 1864. PEI hopes to draw immigrants who are highly skilled, ingenious and hard working to join as Canadian citizens and new "Islanders" in building PEI`s future.

The Agreement for Canada-Prince Edward Island Cooperation on Immigration was entered into by the federal and provincial governments in 2001. Under this accord, the Government of Prince Edward Island may select, or nominate, foreign nationals for permanent resident status to achieve certain socio-economic goals. The Government of Canada retains final approval over immigrants nominated by the Province of Prince Edward Island.

The Nominee Program targets immigrants who intend to settle in PEI; who have language ability in English or French; and who have earned a baccalaureate degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution. Specific financial criteria apply depending upon the program element under which you intend to apply. These are:

  • Skilled Worker - an applicant with specialized skills and experience which may fill labor market gaps
  • Immigrant Entrepreneur - an applicant who proposes to establish a viable, new business
  • Immigrant Partner - an applicant who proposes to make an investment in an existing PEI company and to take an active role in that company as a director or as a senior manager

Skilled Workers Program Criteria

A bona fide offer of paid employment, at prevailing market rates, from a PEI employer is a requirement for nomination of skilled workers. You may be asked to visit PEI for a pre-employment interview.

In some circumstances, a temporary work permit will be arranged to allow the prospective immigrant to accept employment and to assess whether he/she and their family will be able to settle successfully in PEI.

Skilled workers who plan on being self-employed following settlement on PEI will be treated under the immigrant entrepreneur element of the Nominee Program.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Program Criteria

The immigrant entrepreneur element of the Nominee Program is intended for prospective immigrants who propose to establish a business on PEI or who intend to be self-employed.

Net Worth and Liquidity Requirements

Immigrant entrepreneurs must have a minimum net worth of $750,000, including minimum liquid assets of $350,000. Liquid assets includes for example, cash, demand deposits with a financial institution, term deposits, tax shelters convertible to cash, and readily marketable investments including publicly traded stocks or bonds.

Immigrant Entrepreneur Investment in a New Business Start

Immigrant entrepreneurs must be prepared to make a minimum business investment of $200,000 to establish a new enterprise and to place $25,000 in escrow with the Government of PEI as a good faith deposit.

Business investment refers to investment required to finance the assets and operations of the new enterprise and may include:

  • start-up costs and early cash flow deficiencies financed by cash, demand deposits and other liquid assets held in a business account with a recognized financial institution on PEI, such as a chartered bank, trust company, credit union or brokerage;
  • inventories and accounts receivable associated with the business start;
  • licenses, franchises, trade names and other intangible assets necessary to establish/operate the business and purchased from third parties, at arm's length;
  • machinery, fixtures, tools and other equipment, excluding passenger vehicles;
  • real estate, excluding residential real estate, recreational property, raw land for future development or real estate to be leased primarily to third parties, whether for business or residential uses;
  • leasehold improvements to leased business premises.

Eligible Business Activity

The immigrant entrepreneur may establish an active business in virtually any sector within PEI's economy. Active business refers to a business which generates revenues by selling goods and/or services at arm's length to third parties and excludes investment holding companies, real estate rental operations, loan/investment companies and other non-active investment.

Where professional credentials or licenses to practice are required to establish or operate the business on PEI, the immigrant entrepreneur will be required to demonstrate as part of the business plan that he/she has met, or can reasonably be expected to meet, the conditions precedent to start-up.

Good Faith Deposit

In applying to immigrate to Canada under the PEI Nominee Program, the applicant certifies the intention of settling in PEI. As evidence of good faith, the Province requires that the applicant will place in trust with the Government of PEI a $25,000 performance deposit which is fully refundable, with interest, one year after landing provided that the immigrant entrepreneur can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Province that:

  • the business is fully operational, selling goods and/or services at arm's length to unrelated third parties; and
  • the immigrant entrepreneur and his/her family maintain a residence on PEI.

Evidence that a business is fully operational may include, for example, a visit to the business premises; an examination of the books and records of the enterprise, examination of financial statements independently prepared/reviewed by an independent chartered accountant or certified general accountant, tax returns to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency or the Provincial Treasury; or other corroboration.

Evidence that a residence is maintained in PEI may include, for example, a pre-arranged visit to establish that the dwelling is owned/leased and occupied by the immigrant family; local employment; utility bills; rental receipts; property tax records; registration of any children at a local school or daycare facility; community corroboration and so forth.

Exploratory Visit

Immigrant entrepreneurs are required to make an exploratory visit to PEI of at least three business days duration and preferably, five business days. During the orientation visit, they are encouraged to research business opportunities and the feasibility of the new business start or self-employment. Following pre-assessment of the application, the Province will issue an invitation for the exploratory visit and will schedule the official interview with a Program Officer.

Business Plan

Applicants under the immigrant entrepreneur category are required to prepare and submit a business plan outlining how the new enterprise is to be successfully established.

The business plan is an important part of the selection of immigrant entrepreneurs. The purpose is to allow the Province to assess the prognosis that the new business or earnings from self-employment will provide a reasonable standard of living for the immigrant entrepreneur and his/her family relocating to PEI.

The business plan will form part of the immigration document package for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Immigrant Partners Program Criteria

The Immigrant Partner element of the Nominee Program is intended for prospective immigrants who propose to make an investment in a PEI company and to take an active role in the investee company. That role may be either as a director or as a senior manager defined at level "O" of the National Occupational Code.

Immigrant Partner Net Worth and Liquidity Criteria

Immigrant partners are required to have a minimum net worth of $750,000, of which $350,000 will be in the form of liquid assets.

Investment Amount and Good Faith Deposit

Immigrant partners must be prepared to make a $200,000 investment by way of preferred shares in an eligible PEI company and to place $25,000 in escrow with the Government of PEI.

Exploratory Visit

Immigrant partners are required to make an exploratory visit to PEI of at least three business day`s duration. During this time, the immigrant partner will meet with the Program Officer for an interview to assess his/her application for nomination.

It is also strongly encouraged that prior arrangements have been made for the immigrant partner to meet with the principals of companies in which they may invest, preferably at the primary place of business. The necessary appointments are to be made directly by the immigrant partner (or his/her agent) with the investee company, or an investment intermediary acting on behalf of the prospective investee company(ies).