The Advantage Immigration Program: Alberta's pathway to economic growth; your pathway to Canadian PR
Updated: May 7
Alberta introduced the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), a points-based program that nominates people for permanent residence in Alberta to attract skilled labor and create job opportunities, supporting the provincial economy.
It currently has four streams for entrepreneurs who plan to call Alberta their new home.
1. Rural Entrepreneur Stream
2. Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
3. Farm Stream
4. Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
The following are the most sought-after streams:
RURAL ENTREPRENEUR STREAM:
An entrepreneur, is commonly a source of new ideas, products, services, and innovation. Under AAIP, the population should be less than 100,000 for a community to be regarded as rural in Alberta.
Such communities are identified and listed for ease of selection by the entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur, you must coordinate and connect with the community contact person to schedule an exploratory visit. After the exploratory visit, you must complete and submit Rural Entrepreneur Business Proposal Summary to the community contact person, who then shall reaffirm the benefits of you and your business to the community and issue a Community Support Letter, a crucial application requirement under AAIP. The community will also endorse your business proposal while issuing the Community Support Letter.
To be eligible under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, the following criteria, amongst others, must be met:
1. Work Experience: You must have at least three years of experience as an active business owner or a minimum of 4 years as a Senior Manager in the last ten years.
2. Education: Your educational credentials must be assessed by the IRCC-designated organizations and equivalent to a minimum of High School.
3. Language: CLB 4 in English or NCLC 4 in French must be obtained in each reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
4. Business Investment: As the applicant, you must invest a minimum of $100,000 in equity (as updated via changes introduced on April 3, 2023). Higher the investment amount, the higher the points awarded.
5. Job Creation: To receive more points, ensure that the business can create more jobs for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents for six months or more.
GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR STREAM:
As a qualified international graduate from Alberta post-secondary institution, Alberta can nominate you to apply for permanent residence and support your dream to run a business in Alberta.
Slightly varied eligibility requirements when compared to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, Graduate Entrepreneur Stream requires the following criteria to be met:
1. Education: You must have completed at least two years of full-time education and obtained a degree or diploma from an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution.
2. Work Permit: You must have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) at the time of EOI submission.
3. Language: You must have obtained CLB 7 in English or NCLC 7 in French, through a test recognized by AAIP, in each reading, writing, speaking, and listening within the last two years of EOI submission.
4. Business Establishment: You must hold a minimum of 34% ownership in a newly established business or when purchasing an existing one.
Factors like your work experience, the economic benefit of the business, your age, and your relative residing in Alberta increase your chances of receiving a request to submit a Business Application through this stream.
FOREIGN GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR STREAM
If you are a foreign-educated graduate intending to launch an innovative start-up enterprise, this stream is of your interest.
As a collaborative program with designated agencies, you - the nominated applicant - must work with one. If deemed fit, the designated agency will issue a letter of recommendation in support of your permanent residence application, affirming that you meet AAIP requirements.
Some of the eligibility criteria for this stream include the following:
1. Work Experience: A minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience highlighting the expertise of owning and actively managing the business.
2. Education: You must have a degree from a post-secondary institution equivalent to a Canadian degree as assessed by IRCC-designated organizations for ECA.
3. Language: As the applicant, you must obtain a CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French for each reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Ensure the test is taken through an IRCC-recognized organization to be eligible for AAIP.
4. Business Investment: The mandatory minimum investments for an urban centre and a regional area are $100,000, and $50,000, respectively. Before coming to Alberta, this amount must be invested as your equity or raised from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investor.
5. Letter of recommendation: As stated above, the designated agency must issue a letter of recommendation to support your business plan.
Factors affecting the points awarded include language proficiency, education, work experience, a business plan with projected financials, investment ability (pre and post-launch of business), and the ability of the business to create job opportunities for Canadians.
While applying for AAIP, you must also ensure your business is not listed under ineligible businesses. If AAIP discovers fraud or misrepresentation in an application, a ban for up to 5 years from reapplying to the AAIP may be imposed. Therefore, utmost care must be taken at the time of submission of the application.
At Yanique Russell Law, we assist clients interested in AAIP through our expert solutions. With the proficiency of our Immigration Lawyer, we ensure that all applications are submitted error-free, avoiding any delays and hassles in the process. Learn how we can help you or directly schedule a consultation call here.