Newfoundland Offers More Opportunities to Immigrants

A Look at Canadian Immigration Policies That Actually Work

The Newfoundland provincial government recently loosened its bureaucratic reigns for new immigrants, establishing the international entrepreneur and international graduate entrepreneur under its provincial nominee program making it easier for ambitious newcomers to choose to stay in the province after graduating.

The move is seen as a way to attract immigrants with an entrepreneurial bent, helping them find a foothold in various Newfoundland communities and in-turn keeping the economy robust and diverse.

Over the past decade, Newfoundland has seen its reputation for attracting professionals in advertising and technology rise well above the national average, turning cities like St. John’s into a hub for industry leaders who do not want to set up their main offices in traditional metropolitan areas like Toronto or Vancouver. Even after the offshore oil boom came crashing down, the city still manages to accentuate the positives.

This new decision by the province hopes to keep that momentum going, with a focus on businesses owned by immigrants who are looking for reasons to remain in the province and contribute through innovation and business.

International students will have the opportunity to set up a business for one year, meeting specific milestones along the way that will allow them to set up shop permanently. After that first year, the business owner can apply for permanent residency.

There is a hope within government circles that ideas like this will spread across the country, with provinces providing incentives to keep skilled immigrants from leaving Canada once they graduate.

A poll by The Canadian Press/Ekos Politics claimed St. John’s as Canada’s most open city. This revelation comes at a time when nationalist movements are flourishing worldwide, and when anti-immigrant sentiment seems to be on the rise.

St. John’s is seen as a friendly destination for immigrants, where populist politics is not sustainable. It is a tribute to the character of the people of Newfoundland, and this new program for immigrants is seen as one of the building blocks that will help perpetuate the province’s reputation for being a welcoming place for new Canadians.

“It is a pretty friendly place,” Ekos President Frank Graves recently told CBC. “It may be the case that if you live in an ethnically homogenous, smaller city, you tend to be less open but obviously that’s not always the case.”

Time will tell whether or not this new endeavour will translate into more new immigrants remaining in the province but judging by the reaction from the government and immigrants alike, the end result looks like a win for both.