Alberta Start-Up Visa Program

Canada needs skilled entrepreneurs eager to launch ventures that will boost the national economy and provide jobs for its citizens. If you are an entrepreneur, the start-up visa programme can allow you to immigrate to Canada.

Alberta recognizes the role that entrepreneurs play in stimulating economic growth and diversification. To make it simpler for creative entrepreneurs to relocate there, they provide several entrepreneur immigration routes. The Alberta Start-up Visa Program is designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses.

Why Invest in Alberta?

There are many compelling reasons for making Alberta an attractive destination for investors.

Oil and Gas Reserves: The province has huge natural resources, particularly oil and gas. In addition, it boasts abundant minerals and forestry resources, which create many direct and ancillary industries.

Natural Resources: Alberta’s abundance of natural resources has historically allowed for a strong and resilient economy. In the long run, the province has shown stability and prosperity despite volatility in commodity prices. Its economy is diversified, with industries like manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, and technology all contributing to its economic strength.

Economic Policies: The economic and business policies of the province are highly business-friendly, including streamlined regulations, low taxes, institutional strengthening, a supportive legislative framework and a low level of crime.

Highly-Skilled Workforce: Alberta offers a pool of highly skilled and educated workforce in various fields, including engineering, finance and trade. The province also offers various training initiatives to ensure a steady supply of skilled workforce to support various business needs.

Strategic Location: Alberta is a strategically located entry point to important markets in North America and elsewhere, given its location in the centre of Western Canada. Its proximity to important trade routes and transportation corridors increases its appeal as a logistics and distribution hub for companies looking to expand their operations.

Alberta Startup Visa Process

Investment Opportunities in Alberta

Investment opportunities in Alberta, Canada, are diverse and span various sectors, offering potential for growth and returns. Here are several key areas worth considering:

  • Petrochemical Industry: Alberta’s petrochemical industry has a competitive edge in international markets. Consider investing in the manufacturing of ethylene derivatives.
  • Fertilizer Industry: There’s a great opportunity to invest in the fertilizer industry.
  • Coal Mining and Gasification: Alberta offers abundant opportunities in coal mining and coal gasification or liquefaction.
  • Metals and Minerals Industry: Explore investment options in metals and minerals, including heavy metalsspecial steelsflat rolled steel productswire rodsspecialty pipes, and manganese/abrasion-resistant steel castings and valves.
  • Food & Beverage Industry: Alberta’s solid base of agricultural resources drives a booming food & beverage industry. The provincial government encourages this sector as part of its economic diversification strategy.
  • Real Estate: Alberta’s growing economy and population create high demand for residential and commercial real estate projects. Consider investing in real estate development, construction, and related businesses.
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences: Alberta boasts superior quality healthcare infrastructure. Investment opportunities exist in healthcare servicesmedical researchpharmaceuticalsbiotechnology, and medical device manufacturing.

Important Factoids

  • 1,373 Tech. Companies in Alberta
  • 2% Small Business Tax Rate
  • 5% of Companies are classified as ‘High Growth Companies’.
  • 383 Major Corporate Headquarters
  • Highest Human Development Index in Canada
  • Ranked World’s 5th Best Place to Live
  • Home to Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT), The
  • Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII), The Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT Products (ACAMP) and Google Deep Mind’s research base.

Eligibility Requirements for Start-Up Visa Program

The Alberta Start-Up Visa program is designed for international business owners with established products or services. Entrepreneurs who have at least six months of employment, business ownership experience, and sufficient financial stability can apply for this visa.

  • Express Entry is not required.
  • A job offer is not required.
  • Language Proficiency: Minimum CLB Level 5 in English or French or above
  • Level of Education: Post-secondary degree within the last ten years (ECA required)
  • A minimum of 6 months of work experience as a business owner or manager is required.
  • Minimum investment:100,000 CAD (Urban Center), $50,000 CAD (outside Calgary and Edmonton)
  • Business Ownership Amount: 34% or higher (Urban Center), 51% (outside Calgary and Edmonton)
  • A comprehensive business plan is required.
  • A letter of recommendation is mandatory.
  • A minimum of 10 minutes of slideshow presentation is required.
  • Settlement Fund is mandatory.

Alberta Entrepreneur Streams

Alberta offers several entrepreneur streams for investors and settling in the province. Here are the key options:

  1. Graduate Entrepreneur Stream: This stream is designed for international students who have graduated from approved Alberta post-secondary institutions. Applicants can establish or operate a business in Alberta on a work permit and apply for Canadian permanent residence.
  2. Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream: Launched in 2021, this stream aims to attract talented international graduates who are outside Canada and want to start businesses and settle in Alberta communities. To be eligible, candidates must meet specific criteria, including having at least 6 months of business ownership or management experience, holding a degree from a post-secondary institution outside Canada, demonstrating language proficiency, and obtaining a letter of recommendation from an approved designated agency.
  3. Farm Stream: This stream caters to entrepreneurs interested in agricultural ventures in Alberta.
  4. Rural Entrepreneur Stream (New): This stream is specifically designed for entrepreneurs planning to set up businesses in rural areas outside Calgary and Edmonton.


Alberta’s Start-Up Visa Program Explained Video

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Organizations For Start-Up Visa Business List

You need approval of funds for your business idea or venture from one or more of the designated organizations listed below.

Venture Capital Funds (Minimum $200,000):

  1. 7 Gate Ventures
  2. Alt Ventures
  3. Amplitude Ventures Inc.
  4. York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
  5. Apex Innovative Investments Ventures
  6. Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp
  7. BCF Ventures
  8. BDC Venture Capital
  9. Extreme Venture Partners LLP
  10. Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
  11. INP Capital
  12. iNovia Capital Inc.
  13. Intrinsic Venture Capital
  14. Lumira Ventures
  15. Invest Nova Scotia
  16. PRIVEQ Capital Funds
  17. Real Ventures
  18. Red Leaf Capital Corp
  19. Relay Ventures
  20. ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc.
  21. Tangentia Ventures
  22. Top Renergy Inc.
  23. Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
  24. Version One Ventures
  25. WhiteHaven Venture
  26. Westcap Management Ltd.
  27. Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.

Angel Investor Groups (Minimum $75,000):

  1. Canadian International Angel Investors
  2. Ekagrata Inc.
  3. Golden Triangle Angel Network
  4. Keiretsu Forum Canada
  5. Oak Mason Investments Inc.
  6. VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
  7. York Angel Investors Inc.

Business Incubators:

  1. Alacrity Foundation
  2. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  3. Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
  4. Food Processing Development Centre
  5. Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
  6. Creative Destruction Lab
  7. Empowered Startups Ltd.
  8. Extreme Innovations
  9. Genesis Centre
  10. Highline BETA Inc.
  11. Innovacorp
  12. Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
  13. Invest Ottawa
  14. Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
  15. LatAm Startups
  16. Launch Academy – Vancouver
  17. LaunchPad PEI Inc.
  18. Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
  19. NEXT Canada
  20. North Forge Technology Exchange
  21. Platform Calgary
  22. Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
  23. Ryerson Futures Inc.
  24. Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
  25. Spring Activator
  26. The DMZ at Ryerson University
  27. Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
  28. TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
  29. VIATEC
  30. Waterloo Accelerator Centre
  31. York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

Process To Apply for Alberta Start-Up Visa

Let’s break down the steps for pursuing the Alberta Start-up Visa Program:

1. Check Eligibility

Before applying, ensure you meet the following requirements:

  • Language Proficiency: Meet the language proficiency standards.
  • Settlement Funds: Have sufficient funds for settlement.
  • Viable Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan.
  • Letter of Support: Obtain a letter of support from a recognized Canadian organization.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan

Create a detailed business plan that covers the following:

  • Financial Terms
  • Job Creation
  • Innovative Ideas
  • Scalability Elements

3. Secure Support from a Designated Organization

Obtain a financial commitment from one of the following designated organizations in Alberta:

  • Venture Capital Funds
    • Examples: 7 Gate Ventures, BDC Venture Capital, Real Ventures
  • Angel Investor Groups
    • Examples: Canadian International Angel Investors, York Angel Investors
  • Business Incubators
    • Examples: Alacrity Foundation, Innovacorp, LaunchPad PEI Inc.

4. Submit Your Application

Please submit your application and all required documents to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

5. Receive Approval and Obtain a Visa

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction from IRCC. Use this letter to apply for a temporary work permit, allowing you to start your business in Canada.

6. Apply for Permanent Residence

You can apply for permanent residence through this program after successfully establishing and operating your business in Alberta.

Canada Start-Up Visa Success Rate

You can expand your business in Canada if your Alberta start-up visa application is in good hands, all standards are met, and the required paperwork is turned in. According to IRCC, the programme’s success rate is generally higher than 75%.

The kind of designated organization determines the approval rate.

The percentage of businesses backed by business incubators (78%), angel investor networks (80%), and venture capital funds (43%) is the breakdown of startup support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about Alberta Startup Visa:

What is the processing time for a start-up visa program?

It depends on IRCC’s workload. The general guidelines say the waiting period can be between 3 and 5 years.

What are the reasons for rejection or delay in getting a start-up visa?

  • Disproportionately high or low shares of the business.
  • Lack of experience or education.
  • There is no intellectual property right brought to the project.
  • The designated organization has charged unexpectedly high fees.
  • Fail to provide appropriate documents.
  • The applicant has little or no control of the business.

Do I have to invest in my business through my funds?

No, the minimum investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group.

How can I get support from a designated organization?

There is no straight-cut route to success. It largely depends on the pitch deck, your presentation (10-minute slideshow), and the detailing of your business plan. Each organization has its requirements, so you must research well before approaching an organization.

For more information on the Alberta Startup Visa Programs, please contact our immigration experts.

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