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Provincial Pathways through Entrepreneurship for International Students

Since the Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Worker draws have been paused, many international students are looking for alternatives to being temporary residents. There may be a way for you if you are an entrepreneurial International Student in Saskatchewan and Alberta through its entrepreneurial PNP route.


Saskatchewan has a pathway called the "International Graduate Entrepreneurship Category." You must be an international student graduating from a Saskatchewan university who wishes to be an entrepreneur in order to apply.

To begin, individuals have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

To be eligible to submit an EOI, you must…

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Have completed a full-time post-secondary degree or diploma of at least two years from an eligible Saskatchewan institution.

  • Have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit, with at least 24 months remaining.

  • Have lived in Saskatchewan during their academic program (no distance-learning programs or accelerated academic programs are eligible).

  • Have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7.

  • Those who meet eligibility criteria and are invited to apply must be able to show knowledge of their Business Establishment Plan (BEP).

But that's not all, Those that have been invited to apply must…

1. Reside in Saskatchewan.

2. Have owned and operated a business in Saskatchewan for at least a year prior to applying.

3. Own at least 33% of the business and participate in its management. Direct ownership must be the result of an investment directly made by the applicant, either from their own equity or from an eligible source.

4. Demonstrate that the business is generating the minimum required revenue amount after one year of operation.

5. Sign a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) with the Government of Saskatchewan. SINP will provide you with this after your application is approved.


The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream allows the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) to nominate qualified international graduates from Alberta post-secondary schools who desire to start or run a business in the province to apply for permanent residency.

As in Saskatchewan, individuals must submit an Expression of Interest.

To be eligible, you must...

  • Hold a degree or diploma from an Alberta Advanced Education publicly-funded post-secondary institution after completing at least two years of full-time education.

  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit issued by IRCC at the time of your EOI.

  • Achieve a minimum CLB level of 7 for each English language skill, or an NCLC level of 7 for each French language skill: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. When your EOI is submitted, your official test results must be less than two years old.

  • Establish a new business or purchase an existing business in Alberta with a minimum of 34% ownership. A proposed business type cannot be on the list of ineligible businesses. (Candidates are not required to establish a business in Alberta until the AAIP approves their Business Application.)

If you meet all the eligibility requirements, there are four steps to the application and nomination process:

Step 1: Submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI) to the AAIP

If you meet Graduate Entrepreneur Stream criteria, you may submit your EOI through the AAIP Portal. Within 30 days of receiving your EOI, the AAIP will review and score it. Highest-ranking candidates will be requested to submit a Business Application.

Step 2: Submit your business application package

If you are asked to submit a business application, you can do it using the AAIP Portal. With the information you supplied during your EOI, a copy of the Business Application will be prepared in the AAIP Portal.

Step 3: Business application assessment

The AAIP will evaluate your Business Application once the application and accompanying documentation are received. There is no guarantee that all completed Business Applications will be evaluated or that all individuals who match the requirements will be nominated.

Step 4: Nomination!

Once applicants have met the requirements of the Business Performance Agreement, they can apply to be nominated for permanent residency by the AAIP. Candidates must submit a Final Report for Nomination, as well as all supporting documentation.

The AAIP will evaluate your Final Report for Nomination and notify you of its decision. Your compliance with your Business Performance Agreement and any other criteria in existence at the time you began your application process will be used to evaluate you.

Eligible to explore this Option?

Meet minimum eligibility? The first step is the submission of an Expression of Interest for either Saskatchewan or Alberta. If you need more information and guidance before you begin feel free to book a consultation with one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC)!


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