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Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream


The Rural Entrepreneur Stream is a program in Alberta designed to nominate skilled and capable entrepreneurs seeking to initiate or acquire a business in a rural community within the province. This initiative aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Alberta’s rural areas. Basic requirements include a minimum of 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, a min. investment of C$100,000 & net worth of C$300,000, minimum high school education and English or French language proficiency at CLB 4 or above. The way it works is that you purchase or start a business in one of these 40+ rural communities of Alberta. And by doing so you eventually get your work permit, PR and citizenship.

Rural Alberta Communities: The Definition

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) defines rural Alberta communities as those with a population of fewer than 100,000 people, excluding the Calgary and Edmonton Census Metropolitan Areas. 

Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream Step by Step Process

Here are the 12 main steps of the program:

  1. Research and Identify a business.
  2. Visit the community physically or in some cases virtually.
  3. Get a letter of support from the community.
  4. Submit an expression of interest to the government of Alberta.
  5. Receive an invitation to submit a complete application.
  6. Apply to Alberta government with the details of the business & letter of support.
  7. Sign a performance agreement.
  8. Apply for a work permit.
  9. Start your business.
  10. Submit a report after running the business for 12 months.
  11. Get nomination certificate.
  12. Apply for PR.

Exploratory visit to Alberta

A few points about the exploratory visit to the community. The visit can be you physically going in the community or these days due, it can also be a web-based exploratory discussion with the community. That really varies depending on the community. Keep records of the trip, including any contacts and meetings, as this information will be needed for the Exploratory Visit Report.

After the exploratory visit, provide a copy of the complete Rural Entrepreneur Stream Business Proposal Summary to the community. This allows the community to reaffirm the discussions during the exploratory visit. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

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: Min. high school education (ECA required)

Language: Min CLB 4 in English or French

Net Worth: Min $300,000 (Can be in the main applicant and spouse’s name)

Investment: Min $100,000 (More investment, more points)

Business Ownership: Minimum ownership of 51% for a new business. Business Partners must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. Or 100% ownership for business succession

Job Creation: Only if a new business. 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.

Community Support Letter

Factors that increase your chances of success

Business Succession i.e. if you’re buying 100% of an existing business as it’s good for the economy for the community.

Age: 21 – 49

Spouse: At least CLB 4 or 1 year of post-secondary education.

Relatives in Alberta: Immediate family only.

Population: The smaller the town, the more points you get. For example, if the population of the town is less than 10,000 people, you score 25 points instead of 10 points for a larger town.

Business Experience: If you have 6 or more years of business ownership + management or senior management experience in the last 10 years, you score maximum points.

Higher investment & Net Worth: If you invest $800,000 instead of $100,000 and have a net worth of $500,000 or more, you score maximum points in these factors.

Create more jobs: You need to create at least one job. But if you create 5 or more, you score maximum points.

Language skills: If you score CLB 6 or higher, you score maximum points.

Education: Even though you need at least a high school diploma, if you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, you score maximum points in this category.

Canada/Alberta Work Experience or Education: If you’ve lived in Alberta, or outside of Alberta elsewhere in Canada, you will score points.

I had the opportunity to interview Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream’s mangers of community development to get more insights into the program. Those interviews are posted below:


Businesses that are ineligible under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream:

  1. Those violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, such as immigration-linked investment schemes or passive investments.
  2. Businesses lacking a value-add economic component, such as pay day loan, cheque cashing, and related businesses.
  3. Businesses engaged in trading used goods.
  4. Businesses categorized as passive investment or lacking active management, including property rental, investment, and leasing activities; real estate development/brokerage; insurance brokerage; and business brokerage.
  5. Coin-operated businesses like laundromats and car wash operations.
  6. Project-based or seasonal businesses.
  7. Home-based businesses that are not zoned for commercial or industrial operations, including bed-and-breakfasts and lodging houses.
  8. Businesses part of a succession plan and owned or operated by a relative of the candidate, were previously owned/operated by a current or former AAIP entrepreneur stream candidate/nominee within the past 4 years, or have changed ownership within the past 3 years prior to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream Business Application.
  9. Businesses involved in producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services.
  10. Any other type of business that, by association, could potentially bring the AAIP and the Government of Alberta into disrepute, as determined by the AAIP.

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