Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is one stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AINP), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Alberta. This stream offers a pathway to permanent residence to international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions that wish to start and operate a business in the province.


This stream uses a points-based Expression of Interest system to rank candidates. Those with the highest-ranking points will be invited to submit a detailed Business Application. Successful applicants will be issued a nomination by the province, which can be used to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Program Requirements

Express Entry ProfileNo
Connection to ProvinceYes
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyMinimum CLB Level 7 in English or French
Level of EducationMinimum two-year qualifying Alberta credential
Work ExperienceNo
Investment RequirementNo minimum investment required
Work PermitYes

Level of Education

To be eligible for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, candidates must have completed a minimum two-year degree or diploma from an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution. The institution must render the applicant eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit

Work Experience

There is no minimum work experience requirement for this stream. However, a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience has been indicated as a factor that could increase a candidate’s chances of success under this program. The work experience should have been while actively managing or owning a business or equivalent. An equivalency can include the completion of entrepreneurship program courses or experience with an incubator or business accelerator.

Work Permit

Eligible candidates must have a valid post-graduate work permit at the time of submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) profile.

Business Establishment

Candidates must establish a new business or buy an existing business in Alberta with at least 34% ownership.

Application Procedure

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Candidates who meet the minimum stream requirements can register a profile using AINP’s online portal. Once the profile has been submitted, candidates will be assigned a score and ranked against one another using the GES Points Grid. The highest-ranking candidates will be contacted by AINP and invited to submit a Business Plan.

Candidates invited to submit a Business Plan must submit a complete application to the stream within 90 days from when they receive the request to do so. The business plan must be evaluated by an AINP designated Qualified Service Provider. All online AINP Business Applications are subject to a $3,500 CAD application fee.

Candidates must sign a Business Performance Agreement. This is a legal agreement signed with Alberta that outlines the conditions under which the candidate will receive a nomination for permanent residence. Alberta will issue a Business Application Approval Letter once all parties have signed the Business Performance Agreement. Candidates are expected to meet the conditions of the business performance agreement and reside and operate their business in Alberta for at least 12 months before submitting a final report for AINP Nomination.  

After receiving a provincial nomination, the applicant has six months to submit a federal application for Canadian permanent residence. Applicants in this program must complete and submit a paper-based application for permanent residence and submit it by mail to the appropriate application centre. Paper-based PNP applications for permanent residence are generally processed within 18 months.

Alberta GES Points Ranking System

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream uses the following points-grid to rank candidates who have registered profiles. Only those candidates with the most competitive scores will be invited to apply to the program.

Scoring SectionsMaximum Points
Management/Ownership Experience15
Economic Benefit15
Business Investment20
Job Creation15
Regional District5
Language                                           15
Alberta Education Level10
Spouse/Common-law Factors10
Alberta Relatives10
Maximum Score Available200

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