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Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream permits Alberta to nominate qualified international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions who desire to set up or run a business in Alberta to apply for permanent residence.

Entrepreneurs are an important player in Alberta’s economy, anticipating demands and creating opportunities for Albertans and those that become successful in taking on risks of a start-up business are rewarded with earnings and opportunities for ongoing expansion.

What are the Minimum Requirements?


Have completed at least two years of full-time education at an Alberta Advanced Education publicly supported post-secondary school, culminating in a degree or certificate. and must be able to get a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
Work PermitHave a Post-Graduation Work Permit with at least a 2-year validity remaining by the time you submit your Expression of Interest (EOI).

Have at least a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 for each English language competence and a minimum Niveaux de compétence Linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level of 7 for French for language skill: such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The official test results should be at least two years old at the time you submit your EOI and must be from accredited language testing agencies, such as:

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training Test for the English language; and
  • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) Canada or Test de connaissance du français (TCF) Canada for the French language.
Business Establishment

Must establish a qualified and genuine new business in Alberta or purchase an existing business in Alberta with a least of 34 percent ownership, and all business partners have to be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Candidates are not obligated to open a business in Alberta until the AINP approves their Business Application.

The official website of Alberta provides resources on how to start a business in Alberta, including assistance and services relating to business plan preparation, business start-up, and business loans.

Work Experience

Must have had at least 6 months of full-time job experience, which can be a blend of actively managing or owning a firm, or equivalencies.

Involvement with a business incubator or accelerator, as well as completion of entrepreneurship program courses*, are examples of equivalencies.

Work experience can be obtained from outside or inside Canada, and it can be obtained before or after finishing Alberta education.

Candidates must have the minimum acceptable work experience when submitting their statement of interest.

Alberta education credentials used to satisfy both the education and work experience criterion must span the minimum needed period for both education and work experience.

Remember that at least 2 years of full-time Alberta education and 6 months of work experience are necessary a the time of EOI filing.


* The education utilized to replace job experience must be from an Alberta post-secondary institution. Approved post-secondary university entrepreneur programs and work experience equivalency ideas may include:

  • Aboriginal Entrepreneurship
  • Artisan Entrepreneurship
  • Culinary Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Master of Business Administration – Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Criteria To Increase Your Chances

Economic Benefit

The ability to provide significant economic benefit to the province of Alberta through:

  • creating jobs;
  • economic sector;
  • location of business;
  • A succession of business;
  • intellectual-property development;
  • investment/s; and/or
  • collaboration or assistance from a business incubator/accelerator, venture capital, or angel investor.
AgeAt least 21 to 49 years of age

At the very least, your husband or common-law partner has:

  • a minimum of one year of continuous full-time work in Alberta
  • completed at least two years of full-time study at an Alberta post-secondary institution; and
  • at least CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French in all language skills (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking).
Alberta RelativeYou or your spouse or common-law partner have one or more of the following relatives residing in Alberta full-time: parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, siblings, or stepsiblings.

How do I apply for the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream?

1. Submit an Expression of Interest
Candidates that fulfill the qualifying requirements are eligible to submit an Expression of Interest. Within 30 days of submission, EOIs will be evaluated and graded. The top candidates will be asked to submit a Business Application.

2. Submit Your Business Application Package
Candidates chosen from the EOI pool have 90 days to submit a Business Application. A $3,500 non-refundable application fee is also required.

3. Business Application assessment
The AINP will evaluate a candidate’s Business Application and accompanying documentation whenever they are received.

If a candidate’s Business Application is approved, a signed Business Performance Agreement will be delivered to them (BPA). The BPA is a legally binding contract between the applicant and the government of Alberta. It should be completed and submitted to the AINP within 14 days of receipt. Candidates will be awarded a Business Application Approval Letter after the AINP receives the signed BPA.

4. Establish Your Business in Alberta
Candidates must reside in Alberta and proactively operate and manage their business for at least 12 months after receiving the Business Application Approval Letter, with at least 34% equity.

5. Final Report for AINP Nomination
Once the Business Performance requirements have been satisfied, a final report for nomination is presented to the AINP.

If the final report is accepted, the AINP will submit a nomination certificate to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as a nomination letter to the applicant. Candidates can then apply to IRCC for permanent residence.

Here’s What You Can Read Next

Canadian Immigration Pathways: Which one is best for you?
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Immigrate to a Province or Territory
Immigrate to Canada through the Study-Work-PR Pathway


Ready to Get a Job & Immigrate to Canada?

Discover your Options to Work and Immigrate to Canada! Apply Now!

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