A new immigration pathway for qualified international graduates from outside Canada is now open to Expressions of Interest from eligible candidates.

The Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream was launched on January 27, 2021, and the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is accepting applications, a spokesperson for Alberta’s Minister of Labour and Immigration confirmed in an email to CIC News.

In order to be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS), candidates must have graduated from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada within the last 2 years and have an educational credential equivalent to a Canadian degree.

Among other criteria candidates must also have:

  • a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience in the management or ownership of a business or work experience with a business incubator or business accelerator;
  • a business plan with financial forecasts;
  • a 10-minute presentation of the proposed business, focusing on what investors would like to see;
  • a minimum CLB level of 7 for each skill in English or CLB of 7 for each skill in French;
  • the ability to show a minimum of 34% ownership if their business is located in an urban centre or 51% if located in a regional area outside of Alberta’s two major cities, Calgary and Edmonton;
  • a minimum level of investment from the applicant’s own equity, a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital or angel investment company before coming to Alberta.
  • a letter of recommendation from an AINP-approved designated agency;
  •  the ability to demonstrate that they have the funds needed to set up their business and support themselves while launching their start-up.

Submitting an EOI

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is not an application but rather a means for interested candidates to let the AINP know that they wish to be considered for a provincial nomination for permanent residence under a given immigration stream.


Candidates are invited to submit their EOI by accessing the AINP Portal. They will be asked to answer a series of questions online that pertain to their education, work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors. Profiles will then be given a ranking score based on the FGSVS points grid and a set number of highest-scoring candidates will be invited to submit a Business Application.

The AINP says it does not have a set quota for applications and that it also “reserves the right to limit application intake and provincial nominations under this stream.”

In addition to the new stream launched over the past days, the AINP offers two other streams for entrepreneurs interested in buying or starting a business in Alberta :

  • the Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream, targeting applicants with farm management skills and enough financial resources to invest in a farming business in Alberta;

  •  the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream for recent international student graduates from Alberta post-secondaries.

The province also operates the Alberta Opportunity Stream and the Alberta Express Entry Stream for qualifying skilled workers and international graduates.


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