Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream

Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream

The Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) is an economic immigration program that nominates talented and qualified foreign educated graduates from outside Canada for permanent residence upon launching start-up enterprises and innovative businesses in Alberta. The FGSVS is a collaboration between the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AAIP) and approved designated agencies.

Foreign graduates from outside of Canada can apply for permanent residence.

Foreign graduates who are interested in applying under the FGSVS must work with a designated agency. The designated agency will issue a letter of recommendation if it deems that the foreign graduate meets the AAIP requirements. The foreign graduate must submit the letter of recommendation with their Expression of Interest (EOI) through the AAIP Portal.

The designated agency will review business plans based on the foreign graduate’s ability to demonstrate market need or demand, the potential for successful market entry in the short-term to medium-term, customer acquisition, business development, key partnerships and financial plans to fund the development and operation of the start-up. The designated agency will provide a written report on their assessment of the proposed business plan. Foreign graduates must submit this report with their FGSVS Business Application.

Level of Education

To be eligible for the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream, candidates must have completed a post-secondary degree and obtained an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) report demonstrating its equivalence to a Canadian credential. The foreign credential must have been completed within the last ten years at the time of EOI submission.

Work Experience

Candidates must have at least six months of relevant full-time work experience. This can be demonstrated through experience as an active business owner-manager, manager, or experience with a business incubator or business accelerator.

Business Establishment

Candidates must establish a new business or buy an existing business in Alberta with at least 34% ownership if it is located in an urban area or at least 51% ownership if the business is located outside of Calgary or Edmonton.

Qualifying businesses must be in one of the following key or priority sectors:

  • Technology
  • Aerospace
  • Financial services
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Life sciences
  • Pharmaceuticals
Eligibility Requirements
Express Entry ProfileNo
Connection to ProvinceYes
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyMinimum CLB Level 5 in English or French
Level of EducationPost-secondary degree
Work ExperienceMinimum six months full-time
Investment RequirementMinimum $50,000 for regional area or $100,000 for urban area