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Specializing in Immigration to Canada

Moving to Canada as an Entrepreneur is Possible


GLI's Canadian Immigration Consultant, Mr. Salim Takieddine, is regulated, licensed member of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), number R508130.

Contact GLI to begin the process of applying to Immigrate to Canada as an Entrepreneur.

Canada: Alberta Advantage Immigrant Program (AAIP)

Rural Entrepreneur Stream

(Source: Province of Alberta)



Alberta is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is part of Western Canada and is one of the three prairie provinces. Alberta is bordered by British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories (NWT) to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south. It is one of the only two landlocked provinces in Canada.

Alberta Map

The eastern part of the province is occupied by the Great Plains, while the western part borders the Rocky Mountains. The province has a predominantly continental climate but experiences quick temperature changes due to air aridity. Seasonal temperature swings are less pronounced in western Alberta due to occasional chinook winds.

Alberta prairie

Alberta is the 4th largest province by area at 661,848 km2, and the 4th most populous, being home to 4,262,635 people. Alberta's capital is Edmonton, while Calgary is its largest city - both exceed one million people with more than half of Albertans live in either Edmonton or Calgary. English is the official language of the province.

Alberta Edmonton

The oil and gas industry is also a part of the province's identity. Alberta's economy is based on hydrocarbons, petrochemical industries, livestock, agriculture and frontier technologies. The oil industry has been a pillar of Alberta's economy since 1947, when substantial oil deposits were discovered.

Alberta oil

Before becoming part of Canada, Alberta was home to several First Nations and was a territory used by fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company. Canada acquired the lands that would become Alberta as part of the NWT on July 15, 1870. On September 1, 1905, Alberta was separated from the NWT as a result of the Alberta Act and designated the 8th province of Canada. From the late 1800s to early 1900s, many immigrants arrived, the biggest wave of which was pushed by Wilfrid Laurier, to prevent the prairies from being annexed by the United States.


Alberta is renowned for its natural beauty, richness in fossils and for housing important nature reserves. Alberta is home to six UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites: the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Dinosaur Provincial Park, the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Other popular sites include Banff National Park, Elk Island National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, and Drumheller.


The Rural Entrepreneur Stream was added to the Alberta Advantage Immigrant Program (AAIP) in February 2022. It allows Alberta to nominate qualified and capable entrepreneurs who want to start a new or buy an existing business in a rural Alberta community. Eligible individuals can apply to this program as a path to working and living in Alberta permanently.



An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business with the aim to make a profit. An entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.

Entrepreneurs play a key role in Alberta’s economy, using their skills and initiative to anticipate needs and create jobs for Albertans. Entrepreneurs who prove to be successful in taking on the risks of establishing a business are rewarded with profits and continued growth opportunities.

Alberta Entrepreneur

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) defines rural Alberta communities as any community with a population of less than 100,000. The AAIP uses the most recent census from Statistics Canada to determine a community’s population. In addition, the community must be outside of the Calgary and Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area.

Candidates interested in a specific rural Alberta community should connect with the community contact person to discuss their business proposal and schedule an exploratory visit. Each community will have their own process for scheduling an exploratory visit. Communities reserve the right to meet only with potential entrepreneurs whom they deem as a fit.



Candidates coming on an exploratory visit need to meet visa requirements to be able to come to Alberta. The AAIP and the community will not provide you with a letter of support to obtain a visa for the exploratory visit.

Prior to coming to Alberta for the exploratory visit, we recommend candidates research current market opportunities in the community, licensing and registration requirements, and steps involved in establishing a business in Alberta. The exploratory visit will provide you with the opportunity to meet with local business contacts, economic development officers from the community as well as any other prospective contacts to learn and understand the local business environment, and requirements to build a successful business in the community.

MArket research

The purpose of the exploratory visit is to assist you in making an informed decision about operating and managing a business in a rural Alberta community. Keep records of the trip, including any contacts and meetings, as this information will be needed for the Exploratory Visit Report.

The Exploratory Visit Report must include the following information:

  • The name of the professional business service providers or settlement organizations you visited during your trip, including mailing addresses, telephone numbers and emails.
  • A description of the activity or meeting and how it relates to your business establishment or settlement.
  • Copies of business cards you collected from relevant contact and business service providers contacted during your visit (if applicable).
  • Details of visits to existing business locations and meetings with current owners if you are planning to purchase an existing business.
  • You should include the business name, location and the current owners’ names and contact details

Business proposal

After the exploratory visit, provide a copy of the complete Rural Entrepreneur Stream Business Proposal Summary to the community contact person. This allows the community to reaffirm the discussions during the exploratory visit. The Business Proposal Summary provides information on the business venture in the community. If the community deems that you and your business proposal is a benefit to the community, a Community Support Letter will be issued, and the community will endorse the Business Proposal Summary. The Community Support Letter and endorsement of the Business Proposal Summary ensures the community is aware and supportive of the business, and supports your retention in Alberta. The community may provide you with additional information on contacts and support available for you to transition into the community upon arrival.

After receiving a copy of the Community Support Letter and endorsed Business Proposal Summary from the community, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the AAIP.


Candidates must have a strong likelihood of becoming economically established in Alberta and the AAIP reserves the right to decline applications if the AAIP is of the opinion that the candidate may not economically establish in Alberta.


Submission of a Business Application or nomination by the AAIP does not guarantee you will be issued a permanent resident visa.

To be eligible for this stream, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Work Experience: Have 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.
  • Education: Completed a minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard with an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).
  • Language: Have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4 for each English language skill or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (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 your Expression of Interest is submitted. The AAIP only accepts the following language tests:
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training Test
    • Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) Canada
    • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) Canada
  • Net Worth: Minimum net worth of $300,000. All assets must be candidate’s own personal holdings or spouse's or common-law partner’s.
  • Business Investment: Minimum investment of $200,000 from candidate’s own (and/or spouse/common-law partner) equity. Higher levels of investment will be awarded more points.
  • Business Establishment: (*Business must not be on the list of ineligible businesses.) Minimum ownership of 51% for a new business. Business Partners must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.
    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).
  • Job Creation: New businesses must create at least one full-time job for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents (not including relatives). More job creation will be awarded more points. Jobs must be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (not including relatives) for a period of at least 6 months. For business succession, job creation is not required.
  • Community Support Letter: Candidates must have a Community Support Letter from a participating rural Alberta community.


Factors that increase your chances of eligibility

If candidates have one or more of the following factors, this may increase their likelihood of receiving a Request to Submit a Business Application:

  • Economic Benefit: Business succession
  • Age: 21 to 49
  • Spouse: 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)
    • a minimum level Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens 4 in French in all four language abilities (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking). Language test results must be less than 2 years old at the time the Expression of Interest is submitted.
  • Alberta Relative: Relatives are defined as father, step-father, mother, step-mother, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, step-brother of candidate or spouse or common-law partner



You are not eligible to apply under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream if:

  • you have an active nomination, which has not expired and/or is eligible for extension under another AAIP stream. Candidates are only eligible for one AAIP Nomination Certificate
  • you have been issued a letter on a previous AAIP application that stated you are not eligible to re-apply to the Program for a specified period of time. You will be declined under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream if you apply during the specified period.
  • you have a removal order issued against you by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • you are a refugee claimant or an individual involved in a federal appeal or removal process. The AAIP does not intervene in the federal refugee claim, appeal or removal process.
  • you are a foreign national living or working in Canada with no valid temporary resident status
  • your business is on the list of ineligible businesses



The following is a list of fees that will be incurred when obtaining citizenship by investment in Alberta via the Rural Entrepreneur Stream. Contact GLI for the current cost for each item below:

  • GLI Advisory & Professional Fees as per Retainer;
  • After submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI) & when receiving invitation to submit a Business Application under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, the Applicant needs to pay the AAIT Business Application - Alberta Government Fees of $3,500.



If you are currently residing outside of Canada and you want to apply to immigrate as an Rural Entrepreneur in the province of Alberta, GLI can assist you in determining your eligibility, once we receive your Assessment Fee. If you are ready to get started, please click the button below to make a secure online payment* and after, we will give you access to the AAIP Rural Entrepreneur Eligibility Assessment Form:

* Note: Payment for assessment is non-refundable and will be applied to the preliminary assessment and background checks and to the detailed assessment of the client’s qualifications for the Alberta Advantave Immigrant Program (AAIP) Rural Enrepreneur Program.

IMC Member

Investment Migration Council (IMC) is the leading global association for investment-related migration. As an IMC member, GLI stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in this field through continuous education and training courses. We are committed to the highest professional standards and enhancing the respectability of the industry overall.

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