Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is one of the pathways of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). It attracts international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions who want to start a business in the province. This stream allows eligible graduates to apply for Canada PR once they are nominated.

Apart from this program, the AAIP has 3 more programs for entrepreneurs which are Rural Entrepreneur Stream, Farm Stream, and Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

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Table of Content

Eligibility Requirements

FactorsEligibility Conditions
EducationYou need to have finished two years of full-time degree or diploma from an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution.
Language ProficiencyCandidates must score at least CLB/NCLC 7 for the English or French language test for each language skill (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
Note: To show English language proficiency, candidates can take IELTS and CELPIP tests.
To show French language proficiency, candidates can take the TCF or TEF test.
The language test results must not be more than 2 years at the time of Expression of Interest (EOI) submission.
Work PermitCandidates must have a Post-Graduation Work Permit issued by IRCC
Note: The work permit must be valid at the time the candidate submits their EOI.
Business EstablishmentYou have to either start a new business or buy an existing one in Alberta, and you need to own at least 34% of it.

Additional Factors to Improve Your Chances

Below are additional favorable factors that will increase your chances of getting permanent residency in Canada through the AAIP.

1. Age: If your age is between 21 to 49 years, it may increase your chances of getting selected.

2. Economic Benefits: Your business must provide benefits to Alberta’s economy by:

  • Creating jobs
  • Operating in rural areas
  • Engaging in economic sectors
  • Making investments
  • Facilitating business succession
  • Developing intellectual property
  • Partnering with business support from incubators, accelerators, or investors.

3. Relatives in Alberta: If the applicant and their spouse/common-law partner relatives include mother, stepmother, father, step-father, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, or step-brother of the candidate live in Alberta permanently.

4. Work Experience: Applicant needs at least 6 months of full-time work experience in managing or owning a business or similar experiences like a business training program.

Experience can be from:

  • Inside or outside Canada
  • Before or after studying in Alberta

5. Spouse: The applicant’s spouse/common-law partner must fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • They worked full-time in Alberta for a year.
  • They studied full-time in Alberta at a post-secondary institution for two years.
  • They must score CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French in all language abilities.

Scoring points for Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The information applicants provide in their Expression of Interest (EOI) will be evaluated by AAIP. According to the information they will be awarded points based on the Foreign Entrepreneur Stream points grid. The applicant who has scored the highest score will be asked to submit a Business Application through the AAIP. The maximum score an applicant can score is 125 points.

Foreign Entrepreneur Stream points are calculated based on the below-given factors:

1. Business Establishment (Maximum 75 points)

2. Human Capital (Maximum 25 points)

3. Adaptability (Maximum 25 points)

Factor 1 – Business Establishment

Applicants can gain a maximum of 75 points in the Business establishment factor. Though these are not mandatory requirements, one can gain the highest points from these factors alone. 

CriteriaDescriptionAwarded Points

If the applicant has business ownership and management experience or any equivalent experience.
In this, they can get a maximum of 15 points
If they have:
6 months of experience
More than 6 months to 1 year of experience10 
More than 1 year of experience15 
Economic Benefits
In this criteria, they can score a maximum of 40 points.
If applicants provide economic benefits to Alberta by working in the Economic development sectors such as energy, agriculture; technology, data, telecom, aviation, aerospace, financial services, fintech15 
Applicant buys an existing business in Alberta
Applicant creates jobs for at least 6 months in Alberta for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
They can get a maximum of 15 points for that.
If they create:
1 job
2 jobs10 
3 or more jobs15 
Regional areas that are not part of Edmonton and Calgary Census Metropolitan Areas
Overall Business Investment
Applicants can get max 20 points for this.
If they invest:
$25,000 or less amount
$25,001 to $50,00010 
$50,001 to $75,00015 
$75,001 or above20 

Factor 2 – Human Capital (mandatory requirement)

In the human capital factor, applicants get a maximum of 25 points.

CriteriaDescriptionAwarded Points
Language Proficiency
Applicants can get a maximum 15 points in language proficiency.
To show proficiency in the English/French language:
Applicants must score CLB/NCLC 7 for each skill
CLB/NCLC 8 for each skill12 
CLB/NCLC 9 or above for each skill15 
If applicants acquire education in Alberta, they can get a maximum of 10 points.Applicant must have at least 2 year’s diploma or bachelor’s degree
2 or more diplomas/degrees
Master’s degree or higher education10 

Factor 2 – Adaptability (not mandatory requirement)

Adaptability factors include age, spouse/common-law characteristics, and relatives in Alberta. You can get a maximum of 25 points.

CriteriaDescriptionAwarded Points
AgeIf your age is between 21 to 49 years
Features of Spouse or common-law partner of applicantsApplicants’ spouse or common-law partner must fulfill one of the following criteria to get the points.
worked as a full-time worker in Alberta for a year.10 
2 years of full-time education in Alberta at a post-secondary institution.
Scored CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French in all language skills.
Applicants’ relatives in AlbertaIf the applicant’s relative such as father, step-father, mother, step-mother, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, or step-brother of a candidate or spouse/common-law partner resides in Alberta10 

Application Process for Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The application process for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is divided into 4 phases, which are the creation and submission of EOI, business application submission, establishing the business in Alberta and once the final nomination comes, the after-nomination phase starts.

If you want to apply for AAIP under the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, follow the steps below.

1. Creation and Submission of EOI

Firstly read all the terms and conditions carefully and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) along with all necessary documents to the AAIP portal within 120 days.

AAIP will review your EOI within 30 days of submission. The highest-ranking applicants will submit their business application package once they receive a request for the same.

The remaining eligible candidates will remain in the pool for 12 months. If their EOI is not selected during this period, it will expire and the candidate will need to create a new one.

2. Business Application Submission

a. Submit the Business Application: After receiving the request to submit your Business Application, you must submit your complete application within 90 days. Your plan will be reviewed by a Qualified Service Provider. You will find a draft of the form on the AAIP portal, which will show the information you provided in your EOI. You also need to pay $3,500 when you submit your application.

b. Assessment of application: AAIP will review your Business Application and your EOI points. If they need more information, they will contact you by email or phone.

c. Obtaining approval and receiving the Business Performance Agreement and approval letter:

If you meet all the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream requirements, AAIP will email you the Business Performance Agreement for you to review and sign. You must sign and email the scanned agreement within 14 days. 

Once all parties sign it, you will receive a copy along with a Business Application Approval Letter. You may request for a 205(a) Letter of Support to extend your work permit, so you can work in Alberta in the meantime. 

3. Establishing the Business in Alberta and the Final Nomination

a. Once you get your Business Application Approval Letter, you need to live in Alberta.

b. You must own and run a business in Alberta with at least 34% ownership for a year.

c. Fulfill all the requirements of the Business Performance Agreement you signed with Alberta’s government

d. Show that your business is doing well by selling products or services after a year of operating

Candidates meeting Business Performance Agreement conditions can apply for permanent residency nomination through the AAIP. Submit the Final Report for Nomination with supporting documents. 

Approved candidates receive nomination certificates via email and they can apply for Permanent Residence to IRCC.

4. After Nomination

a. After being nominated by the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, remember to apply for permanent residence within 6 months. 

b. Submit a Business Progress Report to the AAIP within 6 months after your nomination.

c. Keep the AAIP and federal government informed about any changes in your personal circumstances.

d. Maintain your Alberta residency status while your permanent residence application is being processed. 

e. Remember, the AAIP can withdraw your nomination if you no longer meet the conditions or provide false information in your application. 

Documents Checklist

The following documents are needed to apply for the AAIP under the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

1. Valid Passport

2. Work Permit

  • You must have a valid post-graduation work permit.
  • Provide your previous Canadian work permits if you listed Canadian work experience in your Expression of Interest (EOI).
  • Provide work permits for your spouse or common-law partner if you included their Alberta work experience in your Expression of Interest (EOI).

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. Education –

  • Candidates must have a minimum of 2 years of Alberta post-secondary degree/diploma certificates.
  • For entrepreneurship courses, candidates must upload their certificate, diploma, or degree, along with relevant course transcripts.
  • If candidates claim their partner’s education in their Expression of Interest (EOI), they must upload their Alberta degrees or diplomas, each program should be two years or more.

5. AIT Recognized Trade Certificate (if required)

6. Qualified Service Provider Report (it must include the candidate’s net worth and business investments)

7. Licensing, Registration, and Certification documents (if required)

8. Relatives living in Alberta (if required)

9. Business Plan

  • Submit your full business plan, based on your EOI proposal summary.
  • Make sure to share the same business plan with both the AAIP and the Qualified Service Provider.

10. Business Plan Evaluation Report (must be prepared by AAIP-approved Qualified Service Provider)

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

  • Job Title
  • Salary
  • Employer contact information (must be signed by the employer)
  • Period of employment
  • Job responsibilities 

12. Candidates must have an income certificate signed by the current employer confirming their income, along with a pay statement from the last six months.

Processing Time and Fee

The processing time for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is divided into three parts – Expression of Interest (EOI) scoring, business application decision, final report and selection.

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) evaluation (from submitting EOI to finishing scoring): 1 month
  • The decision of business application (from sending a complete business application to getting a support letter): 3 months
  • Final report and selection (from submitting final report to deciding on nomination): 4 months

To apply for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, you need to pay a fee of $3,500. Remember, this fee won’t be refunded if you decide not to continue with your application.

Eligible and Ineligible Business

Candidates’ businesses must provide economic benefits to Alberta. The business proposal must fulfill all the eligibility requirements. If it fails to meet these requirements, the application for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream will be rejected.

List of Eligible Business

Here is the list of eligible businesses for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

1. The business should earn profit through selling products or services from active source investments.

2. The business must be located in Alberta permanently.

3. The business must follow all laws and regulations, including Alberta labor laws.

4. Applicants must own at least 34% of the business and live in Alberta. They must manage the business daily in Alberta, not remotely or from other places in Canada or abroad. They must show that you live in Alberta if they have a work permit.

5. For franchises, it must meet the same rules as other businesses. They need proof of support from the main franchise owner.

6. Business needs to follow certain rules in Alberta. If your business is in a specific trade, you must have a valid certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Trade (AIT). 

Check these lists to see if you need a trade certificate:

  • Compulsory Certification Trades
  • Optional Certification Trades and Occupations

List of Ineligible Business

Below is the list of ineligible businesses:

1. Businesses breaking immigration laws, like immigration-linked investments or passive investment schemes.

2. Businesses that do not contribute to Alberta’s economy.

3. The project-based, seasonal, and home-based businesses

4. Any business that harms the AAIP or Alberta Government’s reputation.

5. Businesses that involve pornography, and sexually explicit products/services.

6. Passive investment businesses like property rentals, real estate deals, and coin-operated businesses like laundromats or car washes. 

How TCWW Will Assist You

Talent Connected Worldwide (TCWW) is a Canadian government-approved consultancy that recently won the best immigration company award in India. Our experts will help you with the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream for obtaining Canada PR. They will:

1. Assist you in gathering and organizing the required documents, such as educational certificates, language proficiency test results, business plans, etc.

2. Explain the eligibility requirements for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, ensuring you meet the necessary qualifications.

3. Provide legal guidance throughout the application process.

4.  Guide you through the application process, including filling out forms and submitting the required paperwork.

5. Provide post-landing support in Alberta

6. Keep you updated on the status of your application

7. Provide free IELTS training to score better on your language test

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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