Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream – (Step by Step Simple Guide)

Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream – (Step by Step Simple Guide)

The Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for those international graduates who have studied post-secondary institutions within the province and wants to establish or manage a business in Alberta, which will help their application for permanent residence.

Who is eligible for this stream?

Education: Successfully completed a minimum of two years of full-time education, it has to be either a degree or diploma from the designated public post-secondary institution under Alberta Advanced Education.

Work Permit:  Valid Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the time of submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI).

Language: Should demonstrate proficiency with a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 for each English skill (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) or an equivalent Niveau de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of 7 for each French skill.

Business Establishment: Candidate must start a new business or acquire an existing business in province, holding a minimum ownership stake of 34%. Collaborate with business partners who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Ensure that the chosen business qualifies as an eligible business, and refer to the list of ineligible businesses provided for verification.

Increase your chances of selection

  • Work Experience: Possess a minimum of six months of full-time work experience, in the field of active management or ownership of a business or enterprise. This could be outside Canada and even before your Alberta education.
  • Economic benefit to province: Benefits like job creation, rural business location, business succession, investment, development of intellectual property in the province.
  • Age: If the applicant’s age lies between 21 and 49.
  • Relative in Alberta: You, your spouse, or common-law partner have one or more of the following family members permanently residing in Alberta that prove your strong ties to Alberta.
  • Spouse: Your spouse or common-law partner has at least 1 year of continuous full-time employment in Alberta.

How Stream points grid will be accessed?

The AAIP will evaluate the details presented in the Expression of Interest (EOI) which includes the Business Proposal Summary, and the Net Worth Worksheet, assigning points according to the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream Points Grid. Candidates with the highest point rankings may be chosen by Alberta, and they will be invited to proceed with the submission of a Business Application.

Business establishment factors (75 points)

Experience in managing or owning a business, or its equivalent, which may include working with a business incubator or accelerator, or the successful completion of courses within an entrepreneurship program.

Not a mandatory requirement

6 months5
More than 6 months to 1 year10
More than 1 year15
Economic benefit

Not a mandatory requirement

Maximum 40 points can be given

Economic benefits
  • Economic development sector (for example, technology, aviation, financial services, energy, agriculture,, data, telecom, aerospace, fintech
Job Creation (max 15 points):

Jobs must be created for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents for a period of at least 6 months.

This does not include relatives.

  • 1 job
  • 2 jobs
  • 3 or more jobs
Rural (outside Edmonton and Calgary Census Metropolitan Areas)5
Total business investment(Maximum of 20 points)

Not a mandatory requirement

$25,000 or less5
$25,001 to $50,00010
$50,001 to $75,00015
$75,001 or more20

Human capital factors (25 points)

Language proficiency(Maximum of 15 points)

Mandatory requirement

Proficiency in English or French: 
  • CLB 7/NCLC 7 (7 for each Reading, Writing, Learning and Speaking) (mandatory minimum)
  • CLB 8/NCLC 8 (8 for each Reading, Writing, Learning and Speaking)
  • CLB 9/NCLC 9 or higher (9 for each Reading, Writing, Learning and Speaking)
Alberta education(Maximum of 10 points)

Mandatory requirement

Bachelor’s degree or a 2-year Diploma (mandatory minimum)5
2 or more degrees or diplomas7
Master’s degree or higher10

Adaptability factors (25 points)

Age(Maximum of 5 points)

Not a mandatory requirement

21 to 49 years5
Spouse/common-law characteristics(Maximum of 10 points)

Not a mandatory requirement

Your spouse/common-law partner has one or more of the following:
  • at least 1 year of continuous full-time employment in Alberta
  • completed at least 2 years of full-time study at a post-secondary institution in Alberta
  • Achieving at least CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French across all four language abilities.
10(if one or more characteristics are met)
Alberta relatives(Maximum of 10 points)

Not a mandatory requirement

Relatives encompass the candidate’s or spouse/common-law partner’s father, step-father, mother, step-mother, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, or step-brother.10
Maximum points 125

Eligible Businesses Requirements

  • Businesses that are eligible should demonstrate the potential to generate economic benefits for Alberta, as evaluated by the AAIP. To qualify under the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, a proposed business must align with the following general requirements.
  • The proposed business must aim for profit through active or earned income, adhering to all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, including Alberta labor laws.
  • It must also comply with trade certification requirements, maintain a physical presence in Alberta, and meet ownership criteria, with at least 34% ownership.
  • Candidates must reside in Alberta, engage in day-to-day management, and demonstrate continuous residence while on a work permit.
  • For franchises, ownership and program criteria are consistent, and support from the master franchisor is necessary.

Ineligible Businesses

  • Prohibited businesses include those violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, lacking economic value, or falling into categories such as payday loans, used goods trading, and passive investments.
  • Businesses that include property rentals, real estate development, coin-operated ventures, project-based or seasonal enterprises, and home-based businesses are not zoned appropriately.
  • Succession plan-related businesses, those involved in explicit products or services, and any business that may bring disrepute to AAIP and the Government of Alberta are also not eligible.
  • Businesses engaged in the production, distribution, or sale of pornography, sexually explicit products or services, and the provision of sexually oriented services are ineligible.
  • Additionally, any business that could potentially bring disrepute to the AAIP and the Government of Alberta is not permitted.

How to Apply?

  1. EOI Submission: Candidates meeting requirements register on AINP portal.
  2. Ranking and Invitation: Profiles are scored and ranked using the GES Points Grid; top candidates are invited to submit a Business Plan.
  3. Business Plan Submission: Invited candidates submit a complete Business Application within 90 days.
  4. Evaluation and Fee: Qualified Service Provider assesses the Business Plan; a $3,500 CAD application fee is applicable.
  5. Performance Agreement: Candidates sign a Business Performance Agreement with Alberta.
  6. Approval and Residence: Alberta issues Business Application Approval Letter; candidates reside and operate the business for at least 12 months.
  7. Nomination and Federal Application: After provincial nomination, applicants have six months to submit a federal permanent residence application.
  8. Processing Time: Paper-based PNP applications are typically processed within 18 months.


What are the requirements for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream in Alberta requires candidates to have completed at least two years of full-time education in the province, obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit, demonstrate language proficiency, and fulfill business ownership or management experience criteria.

What is the processing time graduate entrepreneur stream Alberta?

The whole process from EOI to AAIP Portal and getting PNP to finally getting PR from federal takes around 18 months to process.

What is defined as an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone who starts and operates a business, taking on financial risks in the pursuit of profit, often characterized by innovation and initiative.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Immigration Topics