New pathway to immigrate to Alberta for international graduates

The foreign graduate startup visa stream is currently one of the options for entrepreneurial immigration to Alberta.

The new immigration pathway for international graduates outside of Canada is now open for expression of interest applications from qualified applicants. The foreign graduate startup visa stream launched on January 27, 2021, and the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is accepting applications.

Applicants must have graduated from a post-secondary educational institution outside of Canada within the last 2 years and have an educational qualification evaluated as equivalent to a Canadian degree.

Among the necessary criteria, it is also necessary to have the following conditions:

At least 6 months of full-time work experience in managing or owning a business or working with a business incubator or facilitator;

Business plan with financial forecast;

10-minute business proposal presentation, focusing on what investors want;

CLB at least level 7 for each of the English or French language skills;

Ability to prove at least 34% ownership for businesses located in urban centers or 51% ownership for peripheral areas outside of Alberta’s two main cities, Calgary and Edmonton;

A minimum level of investment from the applicant’s share, an authorized Canadian financial institution, investment funds or angel investment companies before entering Alberta;

A letter of recommendation from one of AINP’s authorized and approved agencies;

The ability to prove the necessary funds to start the desired business and financial support while launching the start-up.

EOI submission

An Expression of Intent (EOI) is not an application but a means for interested applicants to inform the AINP of their desire to be placed in the Provincial Selection Program for permanent residence through a specific immigration stream.

Applicants are invited to submit an EOI by accessing the AINP portal. They are asked to answer a number of questions online about their education, work experience and proficiency in English or French, along with other factors involved in the selection. After that, their files are ranked according to the FGSVS points table and a certain number of applicants with the highest scores are invited to submit a business application.

According to the announcement of AINP, there is no specific quota for applications, and AINP reserves the right to limit the acceptance of applications and provincial elections in this stream.

In addition to the new stream that was launched in the past few days, AINP also introduces two other streams for entrepreneurs interested in buying or starting a business in Alberta:

The Alberta Farmers Self-Employment Stream, aimed at attracting applicants with farm management skills and sufficient financial resources to invest in an agricultural business in Alberta;

International Graduate Entrepreneurship Stream for international students who have recently graduated from post-secondary educational institutions in Alberta.

The province also runs the Alberta Opportunity Stream and the Alberta Express Entry Stream for qualified skilled workers and international graduates.

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