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Lethbridge Rural Entrepreneur Stream

The Rural Entrepreneur Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) allows Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) on behalf of the City of Lethbridge to potentially nominate entrepreneurs who want to start a new business or invest in an existing business in the city. The Rural Entrepreneur Stream will promote economic growth by attracting immigrants who can start new ventures or assist with succession planning for businesses with owners looking to either retire or move on.

Basic steps in the process:

1. Candidate: Read the AAIP terms and conditions from the provincial website. The AAIP process is involved and takes considerable time. Be sure you understand what is involved. (

2. Candidate: Review the eligibility criteria to ensure you qualify, complete a self assessment. (

3. Candidate: Provide a detailed business plan to us for review. (Email:
4. EDL: Review business plan for alignment with local goals and objectives as well as provincial program guidelines. If successful, issue invitation for exploratory visit. 

5. Candidate: Conduct Exploratory visit to Lethbridge if invited to do so. (Be sure to check travel visa requirements as necessary.) 

6. Both: Review discussions from exploratory visit, update business plan as necessary. 

7. EDL: Conduct second business plan review to ensure alignment and fit. 

8. EDL: Issue Community Support letter. 

9. Candidate: Submit Expression of Interest or EOI (proof of English qualification, all supporting documents etc.) to the Government of Alberta. 

10. Candidate: Complete and submit full Business Application Package (if EOI is approved) to the Government of Alberta. 

11. Candidate: Apply for work permit with the Government of Canada. 

12. Candidate: Begin provincial nomination process. 

13. Candidate: Establish business in Lethbridge.

Investor Eligibility:

The Government of Alberta mandates a number of requirements for prospective investors including but not limited to:

  • must have a minimum of 3 years of experience as an active business owner or manager
  • minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard is also necessary at the time of application
  • minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level of 4 for each English language skill: reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • minimum net worth of $300,000 where all assets are the candidate’s own personal holdings or that of their spouse
  • minimum ownership of 51% of a new business or 100% ownership for business succession

Candidates should carefully review the detailed program eligibility requirements here:

Exploratory Visit:

If we are satisfied that the proposed business will be a benefit to the community, we will extend an invitation to meet for an exploratory visit. This in-person visit is mandatory and the purpose of the exploratory visit is to assist the entrepreneur in making an informed decision about operating and managing a business in our community.

Community Support Letter:

After the exploratory visit, the entrepreneur will provide a copy of the updated Business Proposal to Economic Development Lethbridge for further review and consideration. The Business Proposal Summary should reaffirm the discussions on the business venture in the community during the exploratory visit. If the community deems that the entrepreneur and their business proposal is a benefit to the community, the community representative will endorse the Business Proposal Summary and issue the Community Support Letter to the entrepreneur.

Expression of Interest:

Once the entrepreneur receives the endorsed Business Proposal Summary and Community Support Letter, the entrepreneur can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program Portal pending they meet all Rural Entrepreneur Stream eligibility criteria.
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Did You Know?

The CP Rail High Level Bridge is 95.7 metres tall.