Are you eligible for Alberta’s Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?
Recently, our office has received numerous inquiries about the Graduate Entrepreneur Program in Alberta. If you’re an international graduate from an Alberta post-secondary institution and interested in establishing or operating a business in Alberta, this program may be the perfect opportunity for you. In this blog, we will address all your queries about the program, including the eligibility criteria and the steps involved in applying for this stream.
What is the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?
The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream allows international graduates of Alberta post-secondary institutions to apply for permanent residence in Canada. This stream is designed for individuals who want to establish or operate a business in Alberta and contribute to the growth of the local economy.
What are the eligibility criteria for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?
To be eligible for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, you must meet the following criteria:
- Education and work experience: You must have completed at least two years of full-time education, resulting in a degree or diploma from an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution. Additionally, you must have at least six months of full-time work experience actively managing or owning a business or its equivalent.
- Post-graduation work permit: You must possess a valid post-graduation work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the time of your Expression of Interest (EOI) submission.
- Language proficiency: You must demonstrate a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
- Business ownership: You must establish a new business or purchase an existing business in Alberta with a minimum of 34% ownership. The proposed business type must not be on the list of ineligible businesses, and all business partners must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Adaptability factors: Candidates with adaptability factors such as economic benefit to Alberta, age between 21 to 49 years, and spouse or common-law partner’s employment or study in Alberta may increase their likelihood of receiving a request to submit a business application.
How to apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?
The application process for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream involves three steps:
- Expression of interest: You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AINP). The EOI is an online form where you provide your personal and business information and answer questions about your eligibility.
- Invitation to apply: If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive an Invitation to apply (ITA) for a business application.
- Business application: You must submit a business application within 180 days of receiving the ITA. The business application requires detailed information about your business plan, financial statements, and other supporting documents.
What are the eligible businesses under the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?
To be eligible for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), your proposed business must meet certain criteria. Here are some points that can help you understand the eligibility requirements for your business:
- The purpose of the proposed business must be to make a profit from active or earned income, not passive income, through the sale of goods and/or the provision of services.
- The proposed business must comply with any applicable federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that govern its operation.
- The proposed business must comply with applicable trade certification requirements in Alberta.
- The proposed business must have a physical place of business in Alberta at all times.
- You must own at least 34% of the business and reside in Alberta.
- Franchises can also be eligible if they meet the program’s ownership requirements and criteria.
If you’re unsure whether your business qualifies under the AAIP Graduate Entrepreneur Stream program, contact Shory Law. We’ll provide you with personalized assistance to ensure that your business meets all the necessary eligibility criteria. Our team of business immigration lawyers can guide you through the application process and help you prepare a strong business application. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your immigration needs.