Alberta, the breathtaking province in western Canada, has long been renowned for its abundant oil and gas resources as well as its thriving agricultural sector. Its majestic Rocky Mountains, lush forests, and captivating prairies make it a desirable place to live and work. Alongside its diverse economy and cultural richness, Alberta offers a high standard of living, exceptional healthcare services, and outstanding education systems. To attract skilled individuals who can contribute to the province’s growth, Alberta has established the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), an economic immigration program designed to address skill shortages and promote business development. In this article, we will delve into the various streams and requirements of the AINP, enabling you to unlock the door to exciting opportunities in Alberta.

AINP Streams

The AINP offers multiple streams through which prospective immigrants can seek nomination and pursue permanent residency in Alberta. Each stream caters to different categories of applicants, ensuring that individuals with diverse backgrounds and goals can find their path to success. Let’s explore these streams in detail:

Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS)

This stream is specifically tailored for temporary foreign workers who are already employed full-time in Alberta and have received a job offer from an eligible Alberta employer. To be eligible for AOS, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency and work permit: Applicants must possess a valid work permit (excluding implied or restoration status) when submitting their application to the AINP.
  • Occupation requirements: The applicant’s occupation must fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, B, C, or D, as most occupations in these levels qualify under the AINP. However, certain occupations, such as legislators and school principals, do not qualify for AOS.

Alberta Express Entry Stream

Under this stream, candidates from the federal Express Entry pool may receive an invitation to apply for nomination. To qualify for consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Active Express Entry profile: Applicants must have an active profile in the federal Express Entry pool.
  • Eligibility for federal immigration programs: Candidates must be eligible for at least one of the following federal immigration programs: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Federal Skilled Worker Program.
  • Intention to reside and work in Alberta: Applicants must demonstrate their plans and ability to reside and work in Alberta.
  • Occupation requirements: Candidates must work in an occupation that aligns with Alberta’s economic development and diversification goals.
  • Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score: Applicants must have a Comprehensive Ranking System score of at least 300.

International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

This stream caters to international students who have graduated from post-secondary institutions in Alberta and aspire to permanently settle in the province by establishing or purchasing a business. The requirements for this stream include:

  • Education: Candidates must have completed at least two years of full-time education in Alberta, resulting in a degree or diploma from a designated post-secondary institution. Completion of the program must lead to a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
  • Work permit: Applicants must hold a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) with a minimum duration of two years at the time of submitting their Expression of Interest (EOI).
  • Language proficiency: Candidates must demonstrate a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 for each English language skill or Niveaux de comp√©tence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of 7 for each French language skill.
  • Business establishment: Individuals must establish a new business or acquire an existing business in Alberta with a minimum ownership of 34%. The proposed business must not be on the list of ineligible businesses.
  • Business partners: Business partners must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Work experience: A minimum of six months of full-time work experience, either through active business management or ownership, is required. Alternatively, candidates can provide equivalencies, such as participation in a business incubator or accelerator program or completion of entrepreneurship program courses.

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Designed for experienced farmers seeking to purchase or establish a farm in Alberta, this stream follows a two-step process:

  • Submitting a business plan to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
  • Applying to the AINP after receiving a Ministerial Recommendation Letter, which is issued to candidates with an approved business plan from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

To be eligible for the Self-Employed Farmer Stream, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Farm management skills: Applicants must provide evidence of possessing farm management skills, such as financial documentation of an active farm business, educational credentials, work experience, and a future business plan.
  • Financial resources: Candidates must demonstrate the ability to invest a minimum equity of $500,000 CAD in a primary production farming business in Alberta. They should also have a net worth of at least $500,000 CAD or proof of the capacity to access funds of an equal amount from additional sources.
  • Primary production investment: Individuals should outline their investment plans in a proposed business plan and highlight how their business aligns with Alberta’s agri-food targets.

It’s essential to note that certain individuals, such as refugee claimants, live-in caregivers, and international students engaged in co-op work placements or internships, are not eligible to apply under the AINP Self-Employed Farmer Stream.

Language, Education, and Work Experience Requirements

The AINP has specific language, education, and work experience requirements to ensure that applicants possess the necessary skills to contribute to Alberta’s economy and society.

Language Requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum language test scores in English or French, depending on when their application is submitted to the AINP. The language test score requirements are as follows:

  • NOC 0, A, or B occupations: Minimum CLB 5 for each English language skill or minimum NCLC 5 for each French language skill.
  • NOC C or D occupations: Minimum CLB 4 for each English language skill or minimum NCLC 4 for each French language skill.
  • NOC code 3413 (nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates): Minimum CLB 7 for each English language skill or minimum NCLC 7 for each French language skill.

Education Requirements

Candidates must have completed at least high school education in their country of origin. Starting from January 1, 2021, all applicants, except Post-Graduation Work Permit holders, are required to have a high school education equivalent to Alberta standards. Post-Graduation Work Permit holders must possess an Approved Alberta institutions credential issued by a publicly funded post-secondary institution in Alberta.

Work Experience Requirements

Applicants must have work experience that aligns with their current occupation at the time of submitting the application. The work experience requirements vary based on the stream and applicant’s circumstances:

  • AOS: At least 12 months of full-time work experience in the current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in the current occupation in Canada or abroad within the last 30 months. Post-Graduation Work Permit holders require at least 6 months of full-time work experience in their current employment in Alberta within the last 18 months.
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream: A minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience related to actively managing or owning a business, or equivalent experience with a business incubator or accelerator program, or completion of entrepreneurship program courses.
  • Self-Employed Farmer Stream: There are no specific work experience requirements for this stream. However, candidates must possess farm management skills and provide evidence of their abilities.

It is crucial to note that all work experience must be full-time, with a minimum of 30 hours per week, in the same occupation as the applicant’s current occupation. The work experience must also be authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and obtained with valid temporary resident status in Alberta or Canada. Work experience gained during co-op work placements or internships as part of a study program in Canada is generally not considered, except for Post-Graduation Work Permit holders who completed paid co-op work terms as part of their program of study at an Alberta post-secondary institution.

Furthermore, all applicants, including Post-Graduation Work Permit holders, must meet licensing, registration, and certification requirements. They must possess the necessary licenses, registrations, or certifications to work in their current occupation in Alberta at the time of application.

Job Offer Requirements

To be eligible for the AINP, applicants must hold a bona fide full-time employment offer or contract from an Alberta employer in their current occupation. The job offer must meet the following criteria:

  • Continuous, paid work
  • Full-time work, with a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • Employment for a minimum of 12 months or more
  • Wages and benefits that meet the provincial minimum wage requirements and either meet or exceed the requirements set out in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or, if LMIA exempt, meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for the occupation across all industries in Alberta.

However, certain individuals are not eligible to apply or be nominated under the AOS, even with a job offer for 30 or more hours of work per week in a 12-month period. These individuals include part-time, casual, or seasonal employees; independent contractors, business owners, or temporary agency workers; and employees working in a place of employment in Alberta that is not zoned for commercial or industrial operations.

Employees who do not physically work on premises in Alberta, such as those who work in a virtual location or telecommute from outside Alberta, are also ineligible.

Conclusion

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) offers a range of streams to attract skilled individuals who can contribute to Alberta’s economy and enrich its cultural fabric. Whether you are a temporary foreign worker in Alberta, an Express Entry candidate, an international graduate entrepreneur, or an experienced farmer, the AINP provides opportunities for you to achieve your goals and secure permanent residency in this vibrant province.

By meeting the specific requirements of each stream, such as language proficiency, education, work experience, and a valid job offer, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for nomination under the AINP. Alberta’s picturesque landscapes, prosperous economy, high living standards, exceptional healthcare, and excellent education systems await those who are ready to embark on a new chapter of success in this dynamic province. Embrace the opportunities that the AINP presents and unlock your potential in Alberta.

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