Alberta Launches Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream


Alberta recently launched the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream (FGSVS) in collaboration with the AINP.

Good news for people looking to come to Canada as a self-employed person if you don’t qualify under the federal self-employed stream.

Alberta recently launched the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream (FGSVS).

What is the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream?

The Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream is a new immigration pathway launched by Alberta in Jan 2021.

The program is for talented and qualified foreign graduates in any discipline.

It is a collaboration between the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) and approved designated agencies.

Only candidates who graduated from a post-secondary institution outside Canada in the last two years quality for the FGSVS.

 Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream Alberta

Eligibility Requirements for the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream

To be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream, you must meet the following criteria:-

  • Work experience – a minimum of 6 months full-time work experience as a business manager, owning a business, or a combination of the two or the equivalent such as work experience with a business incubator or business accelerator.
  • Education – A degree from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada within the last 2 years (ECA required)
  • Business plan – a business plan with financial projections
  • Pitch deck – a 10-minute presentation
  • Language – Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level 7 for each skill
  • Business establishment – minimum 34% ownership in the business if located in an urban area or 51% ownership if located outside major cities in Alberta
  • Business investment – a minimum of $100,000 for an urban area or $50,000 for a regional area. It can be your money, your spouse’s, a financial institution, VC, or angel investor.
  • Recommendation letter – letter of recommendation required from an AINP-approved designated agency
  • Settlement funds – the settlement funds for the FGSVS is based on Low-income cut-offs (LICOs), which can be assessed HERE

Once you submit your EOI, you are then accessed and awarded points. If you qualify, you are invited to apply for PR.

What’s The Difference Between the FGSVS and the Federal Self-Employed Steam?

  • The eligibility requirements between the two programs are wildly different – requirements are not as strict with the federal self-employed stream.
  • You can land and settle anywhere you like with the federal self-employed stream while you may be obligated to remain in Alberta for a specific amount of time before you can change locations.
  • You don’t necessarily need language results and an ECA for the federal self-employed stream while it’s mandatory with the FGSVS.
  • You don’t need to show as much money to qualify for the federal self-employed stream.
  • The FGSVS is open to every occupation while the federal self-employed stream is open only to artists, creators, etc.
  • The processing time for the two once a complete application is submitted appears to be similar but so many other things factor in here.
  • While you can be employed somewhere else while also self-employed on the side when you submit an application for the self-employed stream, this is not possible with the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream.

Bottom line, if you’re in an occupation that doesn’t fall under the approved federal self-employed stream occupations, and you have the required funds, you can consider the Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream.

How Do I Apply for the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream?

Start by checking if you meet the eligibility requirements. Take a self-assessment HERE

An EOI (expression of interest) can then be submitted through the AINP portal HERE.

Useful Links for the FGSVS

PS. Finally getting round to catching up on my emails so if you sent me an email in January, expect a response soon!

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