Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream – Alberta PNP

Foreign-Graduate-Entrepreneur-Stream-Alberta-PNP

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) provides four pathways for entrepreneurs including the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Farm Stream, and Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. If you are a foreign graduate from outside of Canada and want to establish your business in Alberta, the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is the best option for you.

It is designed to attract international students who have graduated from outside Canada and want to start a business in Alberta.

Eligibility for Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

To apply for the AAIP under the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, you need to fulfill the following eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Factors Conditions
Language ProficiencyApplicant must score CLB/NCLC 5 for English/French language skills. The language test is valid for 2 years, so ensure that it is valid at the time of EOI submission.

Applicants can take IELTS or CELPIP to show their English language proficiency and TCF or TEF for French language proficiency.
EducationApplicant must have post-secondary education with  Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

This degree must be equivalent to a Canadian degree and must have been completed within the past 10 years at the time of submission of Expression of Interest (EOI).
Work ExperienceApplicants must have six months of full-time work experience, managing business or equivalent.
Business PlanA plan for a business that shows how much money it expects to make.
Pitch DeckApplicants must show a 10-minute slide presentation that explains the business idea to investors.
Business Establishment1. Urban businesses need at least 34% ownership, while regional ones outside Calgary and Edmonton require 51% ownership.
2. Partners must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
3. The business cannot be on the ineligible list.
InvestmentApplicants need to invest some money before moving to Alberta.
1. If they are moving to a city, they need to invest at least $100,000, or if it is a rural area they need to invest at least $50,000.
2. Investing more money gets them more points, but they can only get points for one type of area, not both.
Letter of RecommendationApplicants need a letter of recommendation from an agency approved by AAIP.
Settlement FundsApplicants must have sufficient settlement funds to start their business.

Settlement Funds Required for Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Applicants need settlement funds to set up their business in Alberta. The minimum funds they will need to support themselves for the next 6 months are mentioned in the table below.

Size of Family MembersFund Required if Population size < 1,000Fund Required if Population1,000 to 30,000Fund Required if Population1,000 to 99,999Fund Required if Population100,000 to 499,999Fund Required if Population 500,000 and above
1$8,922$10,151$11,093$12,961$12,960
2$11,107$12,636$13,810$16,135$16,135
3$13,655$15,534$16,977$19,836$19,836
4$16,579$18,861$20,613$24,084$24,083
5$18,803$21,392$23,379$27,315$27,315
6$21,208$24,127$26,367$30,807$30,806
7$23,611$26,861$29,356$34,299$34,299

Assessment Grid

The information you provide in your EOI will be assessed by AAIP or you will be awarded points based on the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream points grid.

Below is the assessment grid for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. 

Human Capital (Mandatory Requirements)
CriteriaDescriptionAwarded Points

Language Proficiency 


In this criteria, the applicant can get a maximum of 30 points
First Official language (English language proficiency)
Applicant must score at least CLB 5  in each section of writing, listening, reading, and speaking 10 points
CLB 6  in each section of writing, listening, reading, and speaking 15 points
CLB 7  in each section of writing, listening, reading, and speaking 20 points
CLB 8  in each section of writing, listening, reading, and speaking 30 points
Education
In this criteria, an applicant can get a maximum of 30 points
Applicant must have post-secondary education with  Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Applicant must have at least a  Bachelor’s degree / 2-year Diploma 5 points
Master’s degree10 points
Doctoral degree15 points
Preference will be given to applicants who have one of the following degrees:
Degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)5 points
Degree in Business5 points
If the applicant complete their degree within the 5 years at the time of submission of EOI (Expression of Interest)10 points
If the applicant has Business management, ownership, or equivalent work experience they will get an additional 35 pointsExperience in Business ownership or management (more years of experience = more points will be awarded)
Applicant must have at least 6 months of experience5 points
If they have more than 6 months and less than 1 year of experience10 points
If they have 1 to 2 years of experience15 points
If they have more than 2 years of experience20 points
If applicants have business ownership experience they will be preferred 15 points
Business Factors
Business Plan, in this criteria applicants can score a maximum of 40 points

It is a mandatory requirement.
Applicant must have a business plan along with projected financial information. 40 points
Applicants need some investment before coming to Alberta.

In this criteria, they will get a maximum of 25 points.

It is a mandatory requirement.
Candidates must show they can invest a minimum amount from their own equity or a recognized Canadian financial institution, within 12 months.

Urban areas: Calgary and Edmonton and Census Metropolitan Cities
Applicant must have at least $100,000 5 points
$100,001 to $150,00011 points
$150,001 to $200,00018 points
More than $200,00025 points
Regional areas: Places that are not part of the cities of Edmonton and Calgary.
For regional areas, applicants must have at least $50,0005 points
$50,001 to $100,00011 points
$100,001 to $150,00018 points
More than $150,00025 points
Suggested Investment: additional investment after starting start-up.

In this, applicants will get a maximum of 20 points.

It is not a mandatory requirement.
Urban areas: Calgary and Edmonton and Census Metropolitan Cities
$100,000 to $150,0005 points
$150,001 to $200,00010 points
$200,001 to $250,00015 points
More than $250,00020 points
Regional areas: Places that are not part of the cities of Edmonton and Calgary.
$50,000 to $100,0005 points
$100,001 to $150,00010 points
$150,001 to $200,00015 points
More than $200,00020 points
Job creation

It is not a mandatory requirement. In this criteria, the applicant will get a maximum of 15 points.
Jobs need to create employment for people who are Canadian citizens or have permanent residency for at least 6 months, but it can not be for their relatives.
1 job5 points
2 jobs10 points
3 jobs or more15 points
Maximum Total Points200 points

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Application Process for Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Application-Process-for-Foreign-Graduate-Entrepreneur-Stream

The application process for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur stream is divided into 4 phases. So, follow these steps to apply for AAIP under the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur stream.

Phase 1-  Creation and submission of the Expression of Interest (EOI)

1. Fulfill minimum eligibility requirements and submit an EOI within 120 days: Once you meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) on the AAIP portal within 120 days along with all necessary documents.

2. Obtain a score within 30 days: Your EOI will undergo review within 30 days by AAIP.

3. EOI remains in the pool for a year: Eligible candidates remain in the pool for 12 months. If your Expression of Interest is not selected within this period, it will expire.

4. Receive an invitation to submit a Business Application: If you achieve a high ranking, AAIP will send you an invitation to submit your Business Application package.

Phase 2-  Business Application

1. Submit the Business Application: Once you get asked to send in your Business Application, you need to do it within 90 days. Your plan will be checked by a Qualified Service Provider Report. 

You will find a draft of the form on the AAIP portal, showing all the information you put in when submitted your EOI. You will also need to pay $3,500 when you send in your business application package.

2. Application Assessment: In this step, AAIP will check your business application or your EOI points. If they need more info, they will let you know by email or phone.

3. Approval and Receiving the Business Performance Agreement and Approval Letter: If you meet all the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream requirements, AAIP will email you the Business Performance Agreement for your review and signature. You need to sign and email the scanned agreement within 14 days.

Once all parties have signed the Business Performance Agreement, you will get a copy along with a Business Application Approval Letter and a 205(a) Letter of Support from AAIP. These documents will allow you to apply for a 2-year work permit with IRCC.

4. Applying for a work permit: To apply for a work permit, you need to apply along with the letter of support within 3 months.

Phase 3 – Business in Alberta and Nomination

After obtaining your Business Application Approval Letter and work permit, you must:

1. Reside in Alberta.

2. You must run or acquire an eligible business in Alberta, with at least 34% ownership for urban areas and 51%  ownership for rural areas for a minimum of 12 months.

3. Meet the requirements outlined in the Business Performance Agreement agreed upon with the Government of Alberta.

4. You must show successful business operations by delivering products or services within one year of commencement.

If you satisfy all terms of the Business Performance Agreement, you can apply for permanent residency nomination through the AAIP.

Phase 4 – After Nomination

After getting nominated, you will consider the following things.

  • You must apply for permanent residence within 6 months
  • You will have to submit a business progress report to AAIP 2 weeks after 6 months of your nomination.
  • Keep AAIP and the federal government informed about your personal situations.
  • While waiting for your PR Stay legally in Alberta and keep working.

If the AAIP finds misleading and false information in your application, it will withdraw your name from the nomination.

Documents Checklist

The following documents are needed for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

1. Valid passport

2. Work Permit (if applicable)

3. Language assessment – You can take IELTS and CELPIP to show your English language proficiency and TCF or TEF for French language proficiency (test result must not be older than two years).

4. AIT recognized trade certificate

5. Post-secondary degree, completed within 2 years before EOI submission. This degree must be equivalent to a Canadian degree.

6. Licensing, registration, and certification documents

7. Qualified Service Provider report that consists of your business investment assessment and business net. (if requested an email from the AAIP).

8. Business Plan Evaluation report by the AAIP (Submit same business plan to Designated Agency as EOI application).

9. Employment Reference Letter – The reference letter must be on the letterhead of the company and include:

  • Job Title
  • Period of employment or self-employment
  • Job Responsibilities daily
  • Salary
  • Employer contact details (must be signed by the employer)

10.  Signed income certificate from current employer and pay statements from the past six months.

Processing time and Fee

The processing time for Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream:

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) scoring takes about a month from when you submit your EOI to when it is scored.
  • Business Application decision takes three months to get a decision and receive a support letter.
  • Once you submit your final report, it takes four months to get a decision on your nomination.

The Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream requires a processing fee of $3,500, which must be paid through a debit or credit card. The application fee is non-refundable.

Eligible and Ineligible Businesses

List of Eligible Business

Your business should offer economic benefits to Alberta. Ensure your business proposal meets with eligibility criteria. If it fails to meet requirements your application will be rejected.

The following are the eligible businesses for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

1. The business aim is to earn money by selling or service requirements. The earned money must be active income.

2. The business must follow all laws, rules, and licenses required by the government, including Alberta labor laws like employee rights, safety, labor relations, etc.

3. Your business plan needs to be in tech, aerospace, finance, energy, farming, tourism, life sciences, or pharmaceuticals.

4. You need to own at least 34% in urban or 51% in rural. You must live in Alberta and be involved in daily business.

5. Your business must be in Alberta.

6. Make sure your business follows Alberta’s trade certification rules. Some trades need a certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Trade (AIT). You can look for the following list of trade certificates: 

  • Compulsory Certification Trades
  • Optional Certification Trades and Occupations

List Ineligible Business

The list of ineligible businesses is given below.

1. Businesses breaking immigration laws can not apply for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur stream.

2. Businesses like payday loans, check cashing, and related business.

3. Project-based, seasonal, or home-based without proper zoning.

5. Succession plan businesses

6. Those dealing with pornography, and sexually explicit products/services.

7. Passive investment or lacking active management such as insurance or business brokerages.

8. Any business that damages the AAIP or Alberta Government’s reputation.

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Khusboo Kumari

Khusboo Kumari

She is a content specialist at TCWW. She has expertise in content writing on various topics including immigration, education and travel.

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