Two new immigration pathways in Alberta for international graduates

Alberta has two new immigration streams of choice for international graduates to start a business in the province. International graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions will have two options for immigrating to Canada. The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) will launch two new immigration pathways to encourage international graduates to start businesses in Alberta, which will create new high-paying jobs and contribute to economic diversification.

The flow of entrepreneurial migration of international graduates will begin on October 26. This is the new Provincial Selection Program (PNP) for international graduates of Alberta post-secondary institutions. The new immigration flow is based on the expression of interest system, which is currently ready to be sent.

Applicants who submit their expressions of interest are evaluated and scored by AINP. Applicants with the highest score will receive an invitation to submit a business application. Only applicants who receive this invitation will have access to the AINP portal and begin the immigration process. Receiving this invitation is not a guarantee for the applicant’s permanent residence.

Alberta will also begin the flow of foreign graduate startup visas in January 2021. This stream is for international graduates from American universities and colleges who want to start a business and live in different areas of Alberta. More details of this stream will be announced later this year.

Necessary criteria for the flow of international graduate entrepreneurial migration to Alberta

International graduate students from Alberta colleges and universities must meet the following criteria to enter the International Graduate Entrepreneurial Migration stream.

They must intend to immigrate to Alberta to start a new business or purchase an existing business and own at least 34% of the company concerned. The proposed business type must not be on Alberta’s list of non-eligible businesses.

According to the AINP website, applicants must have at least six months of full-time work experience, which can be a combination of active management or business ownership. This work experience can be equivalent to experience in a business incubator, business accelerator or entrepreneurship program courses. They also need two years of full-time education in Alberta, with a degree from an accredited post-secondary institution in the province, and must have a valid post-graduate work visa for two years at the time of submitting the EOI.

Applicant graduates eligible for the two Alberta immigration streams require a CLB of at least 7 in all English or French language skills.

Other factors that increase applicants’ chances of receiving an invitation include the following:

The proposed business must bring economic benefits to Alberta through job creation, investment and advanced intellectual property. Applicants aged 21 to 49 have a special advantage. If applicants’ first-degree relatives or spouses are permanent residents of Alberta, their chances increase.

The applicant’s spouse or legal partner may contribute to the applicant’s application if they have at least one year of full-time work experience in Alberta, or at least two years of full-time education at a post-secondary institution in the province. If the applicant’s spouse has no experience in Alberta, having a CLB of at least 5 in each of the English or French language skills can help the applicant’s application.

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