Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream

Last updated: 25 November 2021

Canada Provincial Nominee Immigration Program (PNP)

The Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) is a program that nominates talented foreign graduates from outside Canada for permanent residence when they launch start-up businesses in Alberta.

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Table of Contents

The FGSVS is a collaboration between Alberta and approved designated agencies. If you're interested in applying to immigrate to Canada under the FGSVS, you are required to work with a designated agency.

If you meet the requirements set out by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), the designated agency will issue a letter of recommendation.

You will then be required to submit that letter with your Expression of Interest (EOI) through AINP Portal, the province's online portal. You are required to submit an EOI to show your interest in immigrating to Alberta.

The designated agency will review your business plans based on your ability to demonstrate the potential for successful market entry, customer acquisition, business development, key partnerships and financial plans to fund the development and operation of the business. The agency will provide a report on their assessment of the business plan. You must submit this report as part of your FGSVS Business Application.

Approved Designated Agencies

If you are interested in the FGSVS, you should contact one of the following agencies:

- Empowered Start-Ups

420-744 West Hastings
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 1A5
Phone: 604-229-1052
Fax: 604-229-2037
Website :

- Platform Calgary 

429 – 8 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 0L6
Phone: 403-284-6400

Minimum Requirements

To apply for the FGSVS, you must meet the following requirements:

Work Experience

You need to have at least 6 months of full-time work experience of actively managing or owning the business, or work experience with a business incubator or business accelerator.


You must have completed a degree from a post-secondary institution within the last two years. You must also obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Business Plan

You are also required to submit a business plan with projected financials.

Pitch Deck

You must prepare a 10-minute presentation that outlines the proposed business. Assume this presentation is for an investor.

Language requirements

You must have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 for each English language skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking)


Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of 7 for each French language skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking).

Test results that are more than two years old at the time of EOI submission will not be accepted.

Business establishment

You must have at least 34% ownership if the business is located in an urban centre, or at least 51% ownership if the business is located in a regional area outside Calgary and Edmonton.

Business investment

Before coming to Alberta, you must make an investment of at least CAD $100,000 if the business is located in an urban centre, or CAD $50,000 if it is located in a regional area. The more you invest, the more points you will gain.

The investment must be from your own equity, or from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital or angel investment firm. 

Letter of recommendation

You must have a letter of recommendation from an AINP-approved designated agency.


Settlement Funds

In addition to the above, you are required to demonstrate that you have the funds required to set up your business and support yourself while you are doing so.

The amount you need to have to support yourself depends on two factors: how many people are in your family, and the population of the community you will launch your business in.

Population of community the business will be in
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 Assessment

Human Capital
Language proficiency (maximum 30 points)






Education (maximum 35 points)

Bachelor's degree (mandatory minimum)


Master's degree


Doctoral degree


Additional Points: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics degrees

Additional Points: Business degrees


Business management, ownership or equivalent experience (maximum 35 points)
6 months (mandatory minimum)
more than 6 months to less than 1 year


1 to 2 years
More than 2 years
Additional Points: Business ownership experience

You are also required to meet the following business requirements:

Business Factors
Business Plan (maximum 40 points)
A business plan with projected financial information according to the AINP guidelines


Investment prior to coming to Alberta (maximum 25 points)

Urban Centre:

$100,000 (mandatory minimum)


$100,001 to $500,000


$150,001 to $200,000

Over $200,000


Regional Area:

$50,000 (mandatory minimum)


$50,001 to $100,000

$100,001 to $150,000
Over $150,000
Additional investment after launch (maximum 20 points)
Urban areas and communities outside the Edmonton and Calgary Metropolitan Regions:

$100,000 to $150,000


$150,001 to $200,000
$200,001 to $250,000
Over $250,000
Regional Areas:
$50,000 to $100,000
$100,001 to $150,000
$150,001 to $200,000
Over $200,000
Job Creation (maximum 15 points)

1 job


2 job


3 jobs or more

Pass/Fail Assessment Grid


Pass or Fail
Ownership of start-up (mandatory minimum)
Must have a minimum of 34% ownership if the business is located in an urban centre, or 51% ownership in a regional community.

Pass or Fail

Businesses in key or priority sectors (mandatory minimum)

Business must be connected to one of the following sectors:

  • technology;
  • aerospace;
  • financial services;
  • energy;
  • agriculture;
  • tourism;
  • life sciences;
  • pharmaceuticals

Pass or Fail

Settlement funds (mandatory minimum)

You are required to have enough funds to support yourself and your family while you are on a work permit and starting your business in Alberta.

Pass or Fail

Pitch deck (mandatory minimum)

A 10 minute slides-only presentation that describes you and your proposed business.

Pass or Fail

Letter of recommendation (mandatory minimum)

You must obtain a letter of recommendation from an approved designated agency

Pass or Fail

Contact us for Assistance

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