Government eliminating entrepreneur Provincial Nominee Program
The provincial government will no longer accept applications from immigrants looking to set up a business on Prince Edward Island in exchange for immediate permanent residency.
The move eliminates the entrepreneur stream of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It puts Prince Edward Island in line with most jurisdictions across Canada.
“Since forming government in 2015 we committed to do business differently, and we delivered on that commitment. We recognized the need for greater scrutiny of our immigration programs, we set up tighter oversight over the agents who act on behalf of newcomers, we launched initiatives to help rural communities attract newcomers, and we increased overall accountability,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said.
“Even as these changes are providing better results, it is clear that concerns remain – specifically around the entrepreneur program. We understand these concerns and believe it is in the best interest of our province to eliminate the entrepreneur escrow program entirely.”
To provide adequate notice to applicants and immigration agents, government will undertake one more draw to select applicants on September 20. No more than 10 applicants will be selected, and no more applications will be accepted moving forward.
Prince Edward Island will continue to accept applications for workers coming to the province to fill jobs that employers have not been able to fill locally. Additionally, the province will accept applications from individuals to come and open a business if they meet a series of controls proving the business is successful and continuously operational for at least a year. As is done in other jurisdictions across the country, only then would they be considered for permanent residency.
“As a government we must ensure that our programs are working to benefit our province,” said Minister Palmer. “It is clear that previous successive governments were unable to alleviate concerns about the entrepreneur stream. This decision will ensure that our programs are working in the best interests of Islanders.”
The entrepreneur Provincial Nominee Program allowed the province to nominate individuals for permanent residency who agreed to either purchase an existing business or open a new one.
- were awarded permanent residency on arrival by the federal government; and
- agreed to post a $200,000 deposit with the province that would be refunded in part or in full should certain conditions be met.
Concerns were raised over the number of deposits being forfeited once an immigrant arrived on Prince Edward Island and failed to open a business, keep it open, or decided to move to a different province after already receiving permanent residency.