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Interested in starting a business in Canada? The province of Alberta just made it a whole lot easier.

The province of Alberta has recently launched a new economic immigration program under the AINP streams, allowing foreign graduates looking to launch a start-up business in Alberta to apply for a nomination in the province. Eligible candidates can now apply under the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) .

This newly launched program falls under the AINP Entrepreneur Streams category. Similarly, to the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS), the FGSVS is a points-based program. Not only will candidates need to meet the minimal eligibility criteria to submit an application, in order to increase the chances of selection, they should ensure they are claiming all available ranking points.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants interested in applying under the FGSVS must work with one of two designated agencies to receive a letter of recommendation to proceed with the application. In addition to receiving a letter of recommendation, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed a degree from a post-secondary institution outside Canada within the last 2 years;
  • Have a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience in actively managing or owning a business;
  • Obtain a CLB 7 in each category in English or a NCLC 7 in each category in French;
  • Have 34% ownership of the business in an urban centre or 51% ownership in a regional area;
  • Demonstrate that they have the funds needed to set up their business;
  • Invest a minimum of 100 000$ in an urban centre or 50 000$ in a regional area.

In addition to these requirements, candidates will also need to prepare a business plan and a 10-minute pitch deck presentation which outlines the proposed business venture.

How to Apply

The Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) launched in 2021 and is currently accepting Expressions of Interest via the AINP online portal.

To submit an application under the Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream, the applicant must take the following steps:

  1. Secure a letter of recommendation from a designated agency and satisfy the eligibility criteria;
  2. Submit an Expressions of Interest and receive a rank based on the FGSVS points grid (Applicants with the highest-ranking points will be invited to submit a Business Application);
  3. If selected, submit a Business Application to the AINP;
  4. If approved, sign a Business Performance Agreement (BPA), committing to operating the proposed business in Alberta;
  5. Submit an application for a 2 year work permit in Canada;
  6. Enter Canada on the work permit and established the proposed business;
  7. After 12 months of active management of the business and having satisfied the conditions of the BPA, apply for nomination from AINP;
  8. After receiving nomination for the AINP, apply to IRCC for Canadian permanent residence.

With the launch of the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS), the Alberta Entrepreneur Stream now has 3 programs available for entrepreneurs looking to settle down in Alberta.

Serena Nashed

Serena Nashed is an Immigration Attorney and member in good standing at the Quebec Bar, and a member of the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI). She has a developed interest in assisting foreign nationals gain temporary and permanent residency status in Canada through various programs.

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