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What is Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream?
Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream is for foreign educated graduates i.e. who have completed their studies outside Canada, and, who now want to launch their own start-up enterprise or innovative businesses in Alberta. The above program is a collaboration between the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) and approved designated agencies.
Any applicant desirous to apply under Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) must work with a designated agency. A LOR (letter of recommendation) shall be issued by the designated agency, which shall be submitted with EOI by the applicant through AINP Portal. A written report shall be provided by the designated agency after reviewing the overall business plans of the applicant, which shall be submitted by the applicant along with their business application.
Approved Designated Agencies
The role of the designated agency is to:
- Support the marketing of Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream
- Reviewing the business idea and providing support for development of business plan.
- Selecting and recommending Foreign graduates for AINP.
- Helping foreign graduates in networking and providing business counselling, coaching and guidance to foreign graduates.
To be eligible for this stream, candidates must meet the following criteria:
|Work experience||Minimum of 6 months full-time work experience that can be a combination of actively managing or owning the business or equivalent thereof.|
|Business plan||A business plan with projected financials.|
|Pitch deck||A 10-minute presentation (slides only) that outlines the what the business would do.|
|Language||Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 for each English language skill or NCLC 7 for each French language skill|
|Letter of recommendation||Must have a letter of recommendation from an AINP-approved designated agency.|
|Settlement funds||Candidates must demonstrate that they have the funds needed to set up their business and support themselves while they are on a work permit and launching their start-up.|
Settlement funds requirement for Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream in Canadian dollars.
|Population size of community and funds required|
|Number of family members||Less than 1,000||1,000 to 30,000||30,000 to 99,999||100,000 to 499,999||500,000 and over|
Points grid for Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream
|Language proficiency||First official language|
|CLB 7 (7 for each reading, writing, listening and speaking) (mandatory minimum)||10|
|CLB 8 (8 for each reading, writing, listening and speaking)||20|
|CLB 9 or higher (9 for each reading, writing, listening and speaking)||30|
|Education||Minimum requirement is the completion of a degree from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada within the last 2 years with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).|
Education credential must be equivalent to Canadian standards.
|Bachelor’s degree (mandatory minimum)||5|
|Preference given to candidates with the following degrees:|
|Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics||10|
|Business management, ownership or equivalent||Business ownership or management experience (more points allocated for additional years of experience)|
|6 months (mandatory minimum)||5|
|more than 6 months to less than 1 year||10|
|1 to 2 years||15|
|More than 2 years||20|
|Preference will be given to candidates with business ownership experience.||15|
|Business Plan||A business plan with projected financial information. Business plan guidelines are available on the AINP website.||40|
|Investment: prior to coming to Alberta||Minimum level of investment from candidate’s own equity, and/or from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investment firm before coming to Alberta.|
(Candidates with higher levels of investment available before coming to Alberta will be awarded more points. Points will also be awarded for urban centre or regional area, not both).
Urban centre: Edmonton and Calgary Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs)
Regional area: Communities outside the Edmonton and Calgary CMAs
|$100,000 (mandatory minimum)||5|
|$100,001 to $150,000||11|
|$150,001 to $200,000||18|
|Or, Regional area:|
|$50,000 (mandatory minimum)||5|
|$50,001 to $100,000||11|
|$100,001 to $150,000||18|
|Proposed investment: additional investment after launch||Additional investment after launching start-up from candidate’s own equity, or from recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investment firm.|
Higher levels of investment after launch will be awarded more points. Points awarded for urban centre or regional area, not both.
Urban centre: Edmonton and Calgary Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs)
Regional area: Communities outside the Edmonton and Calgary CMAs Urban centre:
|$100,000 to $150,000||5|
|$150,001 to $200,000||10|
|$200,001 to $250,000||15|
|Or, regional area:|
|$50,000 to $100,000||5|
|$100,001 to $150,000||10|
|$150,001 to $200,000||15|
|Job Creation||Jobs must be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (not including relatives) for a period of at least 6 months.|
|3 jobs or more||15|
|Total points: maximum||200|
Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream mandatory minimums, pass or fail grid
|Criteria||Description||Pass or Fail|
|Ownership of start-up||Must have a minimum of 34% ownership in an urban centre or a minimum of 51% ownership if the business is located in a regional community.||Pass or Fail|
|Businesses in key or priority sectors||Business plan or pitch deck must indicate business connected to one of the following sectors:||Pass or Fail|
|Settlement Funds||Candidates must demonstrate they have funds to support themselves while they are on a work permit and launching their start-up in Alberta. Minimum settlement funds required will be based on the Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs). Refer to the Settlement Fund section.||Pass or Fail|
|Pitch Deck||A 10-minute presentation (slides only) that describes the foreign graduate and their venture focused on what an investor would want to see.||Pass or Fail|
|Letter of Recommendation||The candidate must have a letter of recommendation from an AINP approved designated agency.||Pass or Fail|
Ineligible businesses Eligible businesses for Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream
Following businesses will be considered eligible for Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream:
- The purpose of the proposed business must be to make a profit making from active or earned income, through the sale of goods or provision of services.
- The proposed business must comply with all statutory federal and provincial requirements.
- The proposed business must comply with applicable trade certification requirements in Alberta.
- The business plan must indicate that the proposed business is connected to one of the following sectors: technology, aerospace, financial services, energy, agriculture, tourism, life sciences, and pharmaceuticals.
- The proposed business must have a physical place of business in Alberta at all times.
- For franchises, Candidates must also provide evidence that they have received support from the master franchisor to operate a franchise location.
- Foreign Graduate must own a minimum of 34% of the business in an urban centre, or a minimum of 51% of the business in a regional area.
- Foreign Graduate is required to reside in Alberta and be involved in the day-to-day management of the business.
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