Entrepreneurs offer a major contribution to the economic development of Alberta as they use their skills, take initiative to foresee requirements and create jobs for local people. The government of Alberta in turn offers them incentives and better growth opportunities. This year in February, Alberta launched a new economic immigration pathway for entrepreneurs called the ‘Rural Entrepreneur Stream’. This stream allows the province of Alberta to invite qualified and capable entrepreneurs who wish to start a business or buy an existing business in a rural community of Alberta.
In order to be eligible under the ‘Rural Entrepreneur Stream’, applicants need to meet the following requirements:
· Support Letter from Community: Applicants must obtain a community support letter from a participating rural community in Alberta.
· Net-Worth: Must have a minimum net-worth of CA$300,000. All assets must be applicant’s own personal/spouse's /common-law partner’s holdings.
· Investment: Must make a minimum investment of CA$200,000 from applicant’s own personal/spouse's /common-law partner’s equity. Higher the levels of investment, more the points are awarded to the entrepreneur applicant.
· Business establishment:
a. Minimum ownership of 51% for a new business. Business Partners must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.
a.100% ownership for business succession (the succession buy-out must result in a complete change in ownership where the candidate will assume full control of the business).
b. Business must not be on the list of ineligible businesses.
· Generating Employment:
a. New business must create at least one full-time job for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents (not including relatives), for a period of at least 6 months. More job creation will be awarded more points.
b. For business succession, job creation is not required.
· Work Experience: Either a minimum 3 years of experience as an active business owner/manager or a minimum of 4 years of experience as a senior manager within the past 10 years is needed.
· Education: Completed a minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard that can be proved with an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).
· Language: Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4 for each English language skill or Niveaux de compétence linguistique Canadians (NCLC) of 4 for each French language skill (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Official test results must be less than 2 years old at the time of submission of Expression of Interest. The AAIP only accepts the following language tests:
a. IELTS - International English Language Testing System - General Training
b. TEF - Test d'évaluation de français, Canada
c. TCF - Test de connaissance du français, Canada
d. CELPIP - Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program General Test
FACTORS THAT ENHANCE CHANCES OF GETTING AN INVITE
There are other factors that can increase one’s chances of receiving a ‘Request to Submit a Business Application’ and they are:
· Age: between 21 to 49 years
· Relatives in Alberta: Relatives are defined as father, mother, brother, sister, children, step-parents, step-children of candidate or spouse or common-law partner
· Economic Benefit: Business succession
· Spouse/common-law partner: Your spouse/common-law partner has one of the following:
Completed at least one year of full-time post-secondary education (Certificate, Associate Degree, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree or higher) OR
A Minimum level Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in English or French in all four abilities (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking). Language test results must be less than 2 years old at the time the Expression of Interest is submitted.
The application process of the Rural Entrepreneur Stream includes the following steps:
Step 1: A thorough assessment of the entrepreneur’s eligibility criteria before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).
Step 2: Submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI)
Step 3: Upon receiving a request to submit a Business Application, applicants need to submit a complete Business Application package with all the supporting documents and pay the relevant fees within 90 days of receiving the invite.
Step 4: The application is evaluated against the eligibility criteria and the applicants’ Expressions of Interest (EOIs) points are verified. If the applicant meets the criteria under Rural Entrepreneur Stream, they will be sent a Business Performance Agreement for review and signature.
Step 5: Applicant will then have to submit an application with required documents for a work permit to IRCC.
Step 6: Once the applicant receives the work permit and Business Application Approval Letter, they can come to Alberta to establish their business. They must fulfill all the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement that they signed with the province.
Step 7: When all the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement are met, then application must submit the Final Report for Nomination along with the supported documents and can apply to be nominated by the province for permanent residency.
The Government of Alberta has been making commendable efforts to drive local economic growth and give pathways to Permanent Residence for skilled, talented foreign professionals/entrepreneurs creating new immigration streams. Entrepreneurs with new and innovative business ideas who wish to settle in Alberta can consider this new stream. However, the success of every application depends on a thorough and accurate assessment taken before initiating the process. Contact our business immigration expert for the right guidance to help you set-up your business in Alberta.