Business Work Permit to PR Process in Alberta

Known for its abundant natural resources, Alberta is an integral player in the Canadian economy. Immigration is becoming a critical part of labour force growth in Alberta; therefore, the government has devised various immigration programs targeted at specialized groups of potential candidates.

To increase the momentum of the labour market, Alberta Entrepreneur Immigration programs are developed to attract potential candidates to start a business in the province and contribute to the labour market.

How do you obtain a business Work Permit in Alberta?

  • To obtain a Business Work Permit in Alberta under the Entrepreneur Immigration program, you must meet the eligibility criteria.
  • This program is also known as the Alberta Business Work Permit, although it is not an official term.
  • The permit allows you to work while your permanent residence application is being processed and is designed to support the province’s economic development.
  • To obtain a Business Work Permit as an Entrepreneur in Canada, you can invest at least $100,000 in Alberta and apply through the Alberta Business Immigration programs.
Alberta Business Immigration Steps

Alberta Business Immigration Programs

There are three streams or programs which allow deserving candidates to start a business and live permanently in Alberta.

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Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

To be eligible for the Alberta entrepreneur immigration program through this stream, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:


  • You must have finished at least 2 years of full-time education and earned a degree or diploma from a government-recognized Alberta post-secondary institute.


  • You must secure a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of Level 7 for all English skills, such as reading, writing, listening and speaking, or a minimum of NCLC of Level 7 for each French Skill.
  • Alberta accepts the following English language tests: the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • The following French language tests are accepted: Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) Canada, Test de connaissance du français (TCF) Canada.

Business Establishment

  • You must start a new business or purchase a running business in Alberta with 34% ownership with a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada.

Work Permit

  • You must have a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Application Process for Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Here are the steps to apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Stream in Alberta.

  1. Read the Terms and Conditions carefully, as the immigration process is complex and many subtle factors may affect your application.
  2. Review the eligibility criteria. The AAIP does not assure that all eligible business applications will be issued a nomination.
  3. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
  4. Submit your Business Application Package.
  5. Your business application will be evaluated, and based on various criteria, you will be given a Business Performance Agreement. You must sign and email your Business Performance Agreement to the AAIP within 14 days.
  6. After receiving your Business Application Approval letter, you must come to Alberta and stay for at least 12 months. You must demonstrate that your business works successfully after one year of operation. You must provide a Start-up report within 30 days of the issued Business Application Approval Letter and a Business Progress Report after the end of each six months.
  7. You can apply for nomination for permanent residency after you satisfy the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement.

Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

It is a part of Alberta’s entrepreneur immigration program for international graduates who finished their education outside of Canada and want to establish and settle in Alberta. If you want to immigrate, first, you must work with one of the recognized agencies. The approved designated agency will review your business plans to see if your plan meet the AAIP requirements and then issue a letter of recommendation.

Work Experience

You must have at least 6 months experience owning or managing a business.


You must have finished a degree from a post-secondary institution outside Canada within 2 years before applying for the stream. Your degree must be validated by ECA, showing that the education is equivalent to a Canadian degree.

Language Ability

You must achieve at least CLB Level 7 in all four abilities in either English or French.

Letter of Recommendation

You must submit a letter of recommendation from a designated agency.

Business Plan

You must submit a detailed business plan with projected financials.

Business Establishment

You must have at least 34% ownership if you want to set up in the urban area or a minimum of 51% ownership if it is located in the region area outside of Calgary and Edmonton.

Business Investment

You must have an investment requirement of at least CAD$100,000 for businesses located in urban centres and $50,000 for those located outside urban centres.

Application Process for Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

  1. Obtain a letter of recommendation from an approved designated agency.
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) and get a score based on the points grid.
  3. If selected, submit your comprehensive business plan clearly stating your financial projections.
  4. Apply for a Canadian work permit and travel to the country if your business plan is approved.
  5. After 12 months of active business ownership in Alberta, apply for an official provincial nomination from the AAIP.
  6. If your provincial nomination is approved, apply to the federal government or a Canadian permanent residency.

Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream

The Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream program allows entrepreneurs to establish or acquire a business in a rural Alberta community.

The program is highly demanding as it aims to promote profitable entrepreneurship ventures in rural regions to bolster Alberta’s economy and create jobs and overall development.

Any rural community with a population of less than 100,000 is recognized by the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) as a rural community.

However, these communities must be outside Calgary and the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area.

One of the critical factors of the Alberta Entrepreneur Program under this stream is that you have to show a keen interest in developing a specific rural Alberta community and connect with the community contact person. You must present your business plan and schedule an exploratory visit.

Exploratory Visit

The exploratory visit is an optional choice, but you must finish the visit before you apply for this stream. You must submit a detailed Exploratory Visit Report with the Business Application. It is important to research the current market opportunities in the community and formal requirements such as licensing, registration, etc.

You must gather all crucial local business contacts, economic development officers, and other important people’s contacts. The exploratory visit is required to gather as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision.

Eligibility Requirements of Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream

Here are eligibility requirements for the Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream.

Work Experience

You must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in owning a business or 4 years of experience in managing a business as a senior manager.


You must finish a minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard with an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).


You must achieve at least CLB Level 4 in all four abilities in either English or French.

Net Worth

You must have at least $300,000 as your holding or spouse or common-law partner’s asset.

Business Investment

You need at least $100,000 for business investment.

Job Creation

Your proposed business must create one full-time employment for a Canadian or permanent resident. If your proposed plan creates more jobs, you will be awarded more points. For business succession, job creation is not mandatory.

Community Support Letter

You must have a community support letter from a participating rural Alberta community.

Application Process for Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream

Here are the steps to apply for the Rural Entrepreneur Stream:

  1. Self-assessment: Check if you meet the eligibility requirements for the program.
  2. Connect with a rural Alberta community and conduct an exploratory visit: You must show a keen interest in developing a specific rural Alberta community and connect with the community contact person. You must present your business plan and schedule an exploratory visit.
  3. Expression of Interest (EOI) and EOI Pool: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) and enter the EOI pool.
  4. Request to Submit Business Application: If you are invited to submit a Business Application, you will receive a Request to Submit Business Application from the AINP.
  5. Business Application Assessment: Submit your Business Application within 90 days of receiving the Request to Submit a Business Application. The AINP will assess your Business Application according to the criteria posted on the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program website.
  6. Business Establishment: If your Business Application is approved, you will receive a Business Performance Agreement. You must establish your business in Alberta according to the terms of the Business Performance Agreement.
  7. Final Report for Nomination for Permanent Residence: After you have met the terms of the Business Performance Agreement, you must submit a Final Report for Nomination for Permanent Residence to the AINP.

Alberta is a highly developed community in terms of economic and community engagement. If you are planning to immigrate to this province as an entrepreneur, it is a good decision. However, you must know all the nitty-gritty of the process because the immigration process is complex. Alberta has a diverse workforce with lots of young people, so you must think and propose your business plan according to the current market situation and your available resources.

For more information on the Alberta Business Work Permit, please contact our immigration experts.

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