Canadian Immigration News

Alberta Launches the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)

3.25 minute read
"The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) recently introduced the Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) for international graduates living abroad who want to establish their business in the province. The AINP is responsible for addressing the demands of the local labor market by bringing foreign skilled workers required in the province. International entrepreneurs play an important role in sustaining Alberta’s economy and ensure development by creating employment for local skilled workers. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 13, 2021
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The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) recently introduced the Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) for international graduates living abroad who want to establish their business in the province. The AINP is responsible for addressing the demands of the local labor market by bringing foreign skilled workers required in the province. International entrepreneurs play an important role in sustaining Alberta’s economy and ensure development by creating employment for local skilled workers. 

While the stream is being categorized as a lengthy and more complex option for immigration, it can prove to be an effective way for motivated foreign graduate entrepreneurs to establish their businesses and also gain permanent residence in Canada

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)?

If you want to apply for this stream, you must meet the following requirements for work experience, education level, language proficiency, and more:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time business management and ownership experience or complete an approved entrepreneurial program 
  • Complete at least a 2-year full-time study program from a designated post-secondary institution in Alberta
  • Have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) that expired 2 years from the date of application
  • Score at least a level 7 on an approved language test based on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English and French
  • Own at least 34% of the established business

The highlight of this program is that it allows you to replace the requirement of work experience with an entrepreneurial program that has been preapproved by the AINP. This includes the following:

  • Aboriginal Entrepreneurship
  • Artisan Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Master of Business Administration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Culinary Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

How to Apply for the Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)?

This program operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Therefore, you will be required to submit your profile through the AINP portal containing detailed information about how you meet the eligibility criteria. This profile will be assessed and reviewed by the system to grant you an EOI score within 30 days. The highest-scoring applicants will receive an invitation to submit their Business Application within 90 days with all the required supporting documents. 

This application will be reviewed and if approved, will get you a Business Performance Agreement (BPA). A BPA is a legal document that states the terms and conditions that must be fulfilled by the business for the applicant to receive the provincial nomination. Once this agreement has been signed and returned by you within 14 days to the AINP, you will receive a Business Application Approval Letter. You can use this letter to apply for a temporary work permit. 

You will be required to come to Alberta on a temporary work permit and establish your business. After a year, you can submit a final report stating how your business has met the conditions set out in the BPA. If this report is accepted, you will receive the provincial nomination. You can then apply for permanent residency to the government body of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

What Are the Alternatives to the Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)? 

The province of Alberta offers the Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream for international farm owners and investors who want to establish their own farms and the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Program for international graduates living abroad. 

Apart from that, the AINP also offers the Alberta Express Entry and the Alberta Opportunity Stream for skilled foreign workers and international graduates.

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