What is the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?

The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is a permanent residency pathway for international graduates who have obtained their education outside of Canada and are interested in establishing innovative businesses and start-ups in Alberta. This economic immigration program aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Alberta.

What are the eligibility criteria for Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?

To be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, candidates must have:

  • Minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience managing or owning a business or equivalent.
  • Completed a degree from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada, equivalent to a Canadian degree, within the last 10 years.
  • A business plan with projected financials.
  • A 10-minute presentation (pitch deck) outlining the proposed business venture.
  • Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 5 for each English language skill or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of 5 for each French language skill.
  • Minimum of 34% ownership if the business is located in an urban centre or a minimum of 51% ownership if located in a regional area outside Calgary and Edmonton Census Metropolitan Areas.
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents as business partners.
  • A minimum level of investment from the candidate’s equity or a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investment firm.
  • A letter of recommendation from an AAIP-approved designated agency.
  • Candidates must demonstrate that they have the funds needed to set up their business and support themselves while they are on a work permit and launching their start-up based on the Low-Income Cut-Offs (LICOs).

Additionally, foreign graduates who are currently operating a business in Alberta have the option to apply to the AAIP for permanent residency. However, they must meet specific criteria at the time of EOI submission. The business must have operated in Alberta for a minimum of one year before the EOI submission, and candidates with the highest-ranking points will be requested to submit a business application to the AAIP. 

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Contact us for a Consultation About your Desire to Immigrate to Canada

If you’re a foreign graduate looking to start or already own and operate a business in Alberta and want to apply for permanent residency through the AAIP, our business immigration lawyers can assist you with every aspect of the AAIP application process, including ensuring that you meet all of the program’s requirements and helping you to develop a strong pitch deck to present your business to the AAIP panel. Schedule a consultation to learn more. 


Can I apply for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream if my business has been operating for less than a year in Alberta?

No, in order to be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, your business must have been operating in Alberta for at least one year immediately prior to submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the AAIP portal.

What is the minimum investment required to be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?

There is no specific minimum investment requirement for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, but you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support your business venture in Alberta and to support yourself and your family.

Can I apply for the AAIP if I am not a foreign graduate?

No, the AAIP is specifically designed for foreign graduates who own and operate businesses in Alberta.

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