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Alberta PNP- Entrepreneur Immigration Streams

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) - Streams for Entrepreneurs

The provincial government of Alberta believes that entrepreneurs significantly contribute to Alberta’s economy. Using their skills and initiative ideas, they tend to create jobs for Albertans. The province also rewards the entrepreneurs with profits and provides them better growth opportunities if they succeed in taking the calculated risks of setting up a business in Alberta.

Note: On February 16, 2022, Alberta PNP announced few key updates:

Ø  The new name of AINP (Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program) is, Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

Ø  Alberta PNP has launched 2 new streams, i.e. Rural Renewal Stream and Rural Entrepreneur Stream 

Ø  Alberta has changed the name of 3 Entrepreneur streams, i.e.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream is now the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
The Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream is now the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.
The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is now the Farm Stream.

Click here to know complete details of new changes to Alberta PNP program w.e.f. February 16, 2022

The AAIP has 4 key streams that are exclusively designed for entrepreneurs who plan wish to permanently live and buy or set up a business in Alberta.

  • Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  • Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  • Farm Stream
  • Rural Entrepreneur Stream (New)

Eligible Businesses in Alberta

Your proposed business type must meet the eligible businesses criteria or demonstrate that it will significantly benefit the economy of Alberta. Else, your business application may be refused/declined.

  • According to the AAIP, your business must be capable enough to create economic benefit to the province. In addition, your proposed business must go in line with the general eligibility criteria of the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

Your proposed business must:

  • Be capable of making a profit from an active or earned income and being precisely not the passive income. Therefore, it should be through the sale of goods or provision of services.
  • Comply with applicable federal, municipal or provincial requirements, including Alberta’s labour laws.
  • Comply with Alberta’s trade certification criteria. For instance, if your business is in a compulsory trade, you must have an Apprenticeship and Industry Trade (AIT).
  • Have a physical place in Alberta, and you must reside in Alberta and be fully involved in the day-to-day management and operations of your business.

AINP Streams for Entrepreneurs

Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is managed under Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). Under this stream, Alberta selects and nominates eligible international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions who wish to move to Alberta permanently and set up or operate a business there.


To be eligible for applying under Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, you must:

  • Have finished a full-time degree or diploma (at least two years long) from an Advanced Education post-secondary institution in Alberta
  • Have a PGWP (Post-Graduation Work Permit) for a minimum of 2 years at the time of submitting your EOI
  • Have score at least CLB level 7 for each English ability or NCLC level 7 for each French language skill
  • Set up a new business or purchase an existing business in Alberta (at least 34% ownership) once your Business Application is approved
  • Ensure that your proposed business is not listed on the ineligible businesses list
  • Have at least six months of work experience (full-time) of managing or owning a business actively either outside Canada or within Canada before or after completing education in Alberta
  • Establish a new business or buy an existing one in Alberta and have a minimum of 34% ownership. Also, the proposed business type has been on the list of eligible businesses.

Selection process

The Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream works under the Expression of Interests (EOI) system. The AINP assess all the information you provide in your EOI, including the Business Proposal Summary and Net worth Worksheet.

Based on the provided information and your business application, you will be awarded EOI points based on the GES Points Grid. Followed by this, only the highest-ranking candidates are invited to submit their Business Applications to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP).

Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (GES) - Points Grid


Maximum Points

Key Criteria

Business Establishment Factors


Mandatory Requirement:

ü  At least six months of Business Management or Ownership Experience or equivalent (max 15 Points)

Not mandatory requirements:

ü  Economic Benefit (Max 40 Points)

ü  Total Business Investment (Max 20 Points)

Human Capital Factors


Mandatory Requirements:

ü  At least CLB 7/NCLC 7 Language Proficiency- Max 15 Points

ü  Bachelor’s degree or a 2-year Diploma from Alberta- Max 10 Points

Adaptability Factors


Not mandatory requirements:

ü  Age

ü  Spouse/Common-law characteristics

ü  Alberta relatives


Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

This particular stream is ideal for qualified foreign educated graduates who finished their studies outside of Canada and wish to launch innovative businesses and start-up enterprises in the province.

It’s an economic immigration program under Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), select, and nominate those foreign graduates who have worked with a designated agency. Candidates must have a letter of recommendation from agency and submit it along with their Expression of Interest (EOI) via AAIP Portal.

What is a role of approved designated agency?

The designated organization reviews the business proposals based on the ability of a foreign graduate. Candidate must be capable of demonstrating market demand or need, have potential to enter the market successfully in the short to medium-term, and more.

Followed by this, the designated agency provides a written report on the assessment of the candidate’s business plan, which must be submitted along with the Business Application.

All the foreign graduates who are willing in applying under Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream must contact an approved designated agency, as it:

  • Supports the stream’s marketing
  • Determines the entrepreneurial readiness of an applicant and the potential success of his/her start-up by evaluating the proposed business plan
  • Support on the development of foreign graduate’s business plan
  • Selects eligible foreign graduates and recommend to the AINP
  • Connects foreign graduates with the right networks, and offer counselling as well coaching with launching their business in the province
  • Guides foreign graduates in achieving the key requirements of the BPA, i.e. Business Performance Agreement

Eligibility Criteria - Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

To qualify under this stream, you must:

  • Have a minimum of 6 months full-time experience of managing or owning a business actively
  • Have a degree from post-secondary institution outside of Canada  obtained in last 2 years and an  Educational Credential Assessment report for the same
  • Have a business plan that projects financials as per the AAIP Business Plan Guidelines
  • Have a 10-minute presentation that clearly outlines your proposed business plan and focuses on what an investor wishes to see
  • Score a minimum of CLB level of 7 for English language proficiency or NCLC of 7 for French language skills in all four abilities, including reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Have at least 34% of ownership if your business is located in an urban centre or at least 51of % ownership if business is located in any regional area outside CMAs, i.e., Calgary and Edmonton Census Metropolitan Areas.
  • Have a minimum level of investment from your spouse or common-law partner own equity or from any Canadian financial institution, angel investor or venture capital before coming to Alberta. For an urban centre, the minimum requirement is $100,000, while for a regional area, its $50,000.
  • Have a recommendation letter from a designated agency, which is approved by AAIP.
  • Demonstrate that you have enough funds to set up your business and support yourself while you have a work permit and launching your start-up.

Farm Stream

This stream is ideal for entrepreneurs with farm management experience and financial resources. Under this stream, you can set up a new farm or purchase an existing one in Alberta.

To apply under this stream, you must submit your application along with a proposed business plan. The Alberta Agriculture and Forestry then review your plan and ensure that it’s feasible and viable, and meets Alberta’s agriculture industry needs and demands.

Eligibility Criteria - Farm Stream

To qualify for this stream, you must:

  • Have farm management skills and as proof must submit financial documentation of your existing farm business, education, training and work experience
  • Have a proposed business plan for a farming business you are planning to set up or own in Alberta
  • Have a proof that a financial institution in Canada is willing to finance your farming business
  • Be capable of investing at least CDN $500,000 of equity in your key production farming business
  • Show a net worth of at least CDN $500,000, or a confirmation of an access to a similar amount from any other source
  • Have a proposed business and investment plan and submit it along with your application to the AINP.

Rural Entrepreneur Stream (NEW STREAM)

This is the newest Entrepreneur stream of all. Launched on February 16, 2022, Rural Entrepreneur Stream is for Entrepreneurs, who wish to start a business or buy an existing business in a rural Alberta community. You can submit an EOI under this stream, if you fall under this category and meet the criteria.

To be eligible for this particular stream, applicants need to meet the following criteria:



Work experience

Have either a minimum 3 years of experience as an active business owner/manager or a minimum of 4 years of experience as a senior manager within the past 10 years.


Completed a minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard with an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).


The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website lists the designated organizations for ECAs


Have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4 for each English language skill or Niveaux de compétence linguistique Canadians (NCLC) of 4 for each French language skill: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Official test results must be less than 2 years old at the time your Expression of Interest is submitted. The AAIP only accepts the following language tests:


Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training Test 

Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) Canada 

Test de connaissance du français (TCF) Canada 


Check the IRCC website on CLB/NCLC equivalency for each of the tests.

Net worth

Minimum net worth of $300,000. All assets must be candidate’s own personal holdings or spouse's or common-law partner’s.

Business investment

Minimum investment of $200,000 from candidate’s own (and/or spouse/common-law partner) equity. Higher levels of investment will be awarded more points.

Business establishment

Minimum ownership of 51% for a new business. Business Partners must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.




100% ownership for business succession (the succession buy-out must result in a complete change in ownership where the candidate will assume full control of the business).


Business must not be on the list of ineligible businesses.


Resources on how to establish a business in Alberta, including supports and services related to business plan development, business start-up, and business loans are available on the Small business resource page.

Job creation

New businesses must create at least one full-time job for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents (not including relatives).


More job creation will be awarded more points. Jobs must be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (not including relatives) for a period of at least 6 months.


For business succession, job creation is not required.

Community support letter

Candidates must have a Community Support Letter from a participating rural Alberta community.

To confirm your eligibility for Canada immigration as an entrepreneur and move to Alberta permanently, take our free profile assessment today. Alternatively, you may get in touch with our team of advisors on Toll-Free Number- 78-18-000-777 or send your queries at

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