The Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) replaced the Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream on June 14, 2018. The AOS provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for foreign nationals working in Alberta and international graduates who have completed their studies at an approved Alberta post-secondary institution.
International Graduates of Alberta Post-secondary Institutions
International students can benefit from the Alberta Opportunity Stream if they have completed their studies at an approved Alberta post-secondary institution and are employed in Alberta on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
The AINP urges student applicants who demonstrate education and skills that are aligned with Alberta's labour market needs to make use of the AOS.
To apply, international students must:
- show that they have at least six months of work experience in Alberta in an occupation related to their field of study (this is less than the requirement for other applicants).
- meet the same minimum language and income requirements listed on this page.
It is important to note that international students who have studied in other Canadian provinces will not be eligible for the AINP as Post-Graduation Work Permit holders. They can, however, be considered for the program if they have a different type of work permit.
Residency Status and Work Permit Requirements
Applicants to the AOS must meet the following residency requirements both at the time their application is postmarked and at the time their application is assessed:
- have a valid temporary resident status in Canada that authorizes eligibility to work in Canada (i.e. temporary foreign worker);
- Residency status considered ineligible under the AOS includes:
- Refugee claimants or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process;
- Temporary residents residing or working in other Canadian provinces; or
- Foreign nationals residing or working in Canada without a valid temporary resident status.
- Residency status considered ineligible under the AOS includes:
- have a valid work permit (not implied status or restoration status) for an eligible occupation based on either:
- a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
- a LMIA exemption for workers covered under international trade agreements, Intra-Company Transferees, or people taking part in International Experience Canada, as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); or
- a LMIA exemption as a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holder. The applicant must:
- have met the requirements for graduation from an Alberta Advanced Education approved credential issued by an Alberta Advanced Education approved Alberta public and private post-secondary institution,
- have an Alberta credential featured on the AOS list of Alberta Advanced Education Approved Post-Secondary Credentials;
- Note: The AINP announced on July 10, 2018, that it will consider applicants who have been admitted to their post-secondary study program before October 1, 2018, and whose credential program is not on the Alberta Opportunity Stream List of Alberta Advanced Education Approved Post-Secondary Credentials.
- currently be in an occupation related to his or her field of study in Alberta.
- Note: For applicants admitted to an Alberta-approved post-secondary credential program on or after October 1, 2018, their current occupation must also be related to their previous undergraduate or graduate field of study outside Canada.
However, individuals applying under NOC code 3413 (Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates) require a minimum of CLB 7 in English or French.
Note: Starting June 14, 2019, the test score required for English and French language skills will increase to a minimum of 5 in each language skill. Learn more about upcoming AOS language proficiency changes.
At the time of applying for the AOS, individuals must have completed at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent in their country of origin. The highest level of foreign education must be verified through an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an IRCC-recognized organization that confirms the education requirements are met.
ECAs are not required from applicants with a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate from a recognized Canadian post-secondary, technical college or secondary institution. ECAs are also not required from applicants with work experience that qualifies an individual for the AINP in a compulsory or optional trade and who have a valid Alberta Qualification Certificate or trade certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.
A Post-Graduation Work Permit holder applying for the AOS must meet the requirements for graduation for an Alberta Advanced Education approved credential issued by an Alberta Advanced Education-approved post-secondary institution in the province.
Note: As of July 10, 2018, the AINP says if a an applicant who has been admitted to an Alberta Advanced Education approved post-secondary program before October 1, 2018 may be eligible to apply to this stream. However, if the applicant has been admitted to his or her Alberta post-secondary study program on or after October 1, 2018, the Alberta post-secondary study program must be on the Alberta Opportunity Stream List of Alberta Advanced Education Approved Post-Secondary Credentials.
Note: Starting January 1, 2021, applicants (excluding Post-Graduation Work Permit holders) will be required to have completed at minimum a high school level education (equivalent to Alberta standards) to be considered for the AOS. Learn more about upcoming AOS education requirement changes.
Work Experience Requirements
Note: 'Current occupation' refers to the occupation an individual is working in at the time of the application.
Individuals interested in submitting an application to the AOS must meet the following work experience conditions:
- The applicant must currently be employed in the occupation listed as his or her 'current occupation' when submitting to the AINP.
- The applicant must be working in an occupation that matches his or her work experience at the time of applying and at the time the AINP processes the application.
In order to meet the work experience requirements for the AOS, individuals must:
- have a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in the 'current occupation' in Alberta within the last 18 months; or
- have a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in the 'current occupation' in Canada and/or outside Canada within the last 30 months
- This work experience can be a combination of experience gained in the province of Alberta, in Canada (outside Alberta) and/or outside Canada.
If an applicant is a Post-Graduation Work Permit holder, he or she:
- must have a minimum of six months full-time work experience in his or her current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months; and
- must currently be in an occupation related to his or her field of study in Alberta based on an approved Alberta educational credential from an Advanced Education-approved Alberta post-secondary institution. Also, if the applicant has completed an Advanced Education-approved one year post-graduate certificate, the occupation must also be related to his or her previous undergraduate or graduate field of study Canada.
- must have been full-time, for a minimum of 30 hours/week (part-time work will not be considered);
- must have be in same occupation as the 'current occupation' listed in the application;
- must have been authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and with valid temporary resident status if completed in Alberta or Canada;
- cannot be completed while studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of a study program.*
*Post-Graduation Work Permit holders who have work experience from paid co-op placements as part of of study program at an Alberta post-secondary institution may use that experience as part the work experience requirement. For these applicants, the work experience must meet the following conditions:
- The paid co-op work term must have been full-time (minimum 30 hours per week).
- The work experience must be directly related to a Post-Graduation Work Permit holder's 'current occupation'.
- The work experience must have been in Alberta.
Job Offer Requirements
To apply for the AOS, an applicant must have a valid job offer from an Alberta employer to work in his or her current occupation. The applicant must be working full-time for the employer in Alberta. Also, the applicant must possess the required licensing, registration or certification to work in his or her current occupation in Alberta.
The job offer must:
- be for continuous, paid work, full-time work, defined as a minimum of 30 hours/week for 12 months or more for an eligible AINP occupation;
- be signed by the applicant and the Alberta employer;
- offer employment for 12 months or more;
- offer work in the applicant's current occupation; and
- offer work in an eligible AINP occupation for which an applicant has a work permit that meets the AINP work permit requirements.
- part-time employees, regardless of their working hours;
- independent contractors, business owners or temporary agency workers, including individuals listed as Directors, Shareholders or Agents of the Alberta employer on the Corporate Registry System (CORES);
- employees who work in Alberta in a place of employment that is not zoned for commercial or industrial operations, such as a home-based business; or
- employees who do not work on premises in Alberta, such as those who work in a “virtual” location or serve the employer by telecommuting from a location outside Alberta.
At the time of applying, individuals must be working in an eligible occupation in Alberta that matches their previous work experience.
Post-Graduation Work Permit holders with an with an approved Alberta Advanced Education approved post-secondary credential issued by an Advanced Education approved Alberta public and private post-secondary institution need to be employed in an occupation related to their field of study in Alberta. Applicants who have completed an Advanced Education-approved one year post-graduate certificate must be employed in an occupation related to their previous undergraduate or graduate field of study outside Canada.
Most occupations under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, B, C and D are eligible under the AINP.
Ineligible Occupations List
The AINP provides two ineligible occupations lists for applicants to the AOS. The first list applies to all applicants to the stream and the second list applies to all applicants to the AOS who are on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
If an applicant is working in any of the following applications, he or she may be ineligible to apply for the AOS.
|NOC||NOC Skill Level||Occupation Title|
|0422||0||School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education|
|0423||0||Managers in Social, Community and Correctional Services|
|0432||0||Fire Chiefs and Senior Firefighting Officers|
|0651||0||Escort Agency Managers, Massage Parlour Managers|
|4031||A||Secondary School Teachers|
|4032||A||Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers|
|4154||A||Professional Occupations in Religion|
|5121||A||Authors and Writers|
|5133||A||Musicians and Singers|
|5135||A||Actors and Comedians|
|5136||A||Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists|
|1227||B||Court Officers and Justices of the Peace|
|3223||B||Dental Laboratory Bench Workers|
|4214||B||Early Childhood Educators and Assistants (only those without certification as a Child Development Worker (Level 2) or Child Development Supervisor (Level 3) through Alberta Children's Services – Child Care Staff Certification Office)*|
|4217||B||Other Religious Occupations|
|5232||B||Other Performers, n.e.c.|
|5244||B||Artisans and Craftspersons|
|6232||B||Real Estate Agents and Salespersons|
|4411||C||Home Child Care Providers|
|4412||C||Home Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations|
|4413||C||Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants|
|6564||C||Other Personal Service Occupations|
|7513||C||Taxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs|
|8442||C||Trappers and Hunters|
|6623||C||Other Sales Related Occupations|
|6722||C||Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport|
|6742||D||Other Service Support Occupations, n.e.c.|
|8612||D||Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers|
|8613||D||Aquaculture and Marine Harvest Labourers|
There are additional occupations that are considered ineligible for applicants on a Post-Graduation Work Permit. These occupations are not in demand in Alberta and can be filled by Albertans and Canadians. If the applicant's occupation is on the following list, he or she is not eligible to apply.
|National Occupational Classification code||Ineligible occupations|
|0112||Human resources managers|
|1215||Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations|
|1225||Purchasing agents and officers|
|1523||Production logistics coordinators|
|2113||Geoscientists and oceanographers|
|2133||Electrical and electronic engineers|
|2212||Geological and mineral technologists and technicians|
|2231||Civil engineering technologists and technicians|
|2253||Drafting technologists and technicians|
|7202||Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations|
|7231||Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors|
|7237||Welders and related machine operators|
|7241||Electricians (except industrial and power system)|
|7301||Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades|
|7302||Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment|
|7312||Heavy-duty equipment mechanics|
|7322||Motor vehicle body repairers|
|7371||Crane operators (except all terrain crane operators)|
|8222||Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services|
|8232||Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers|
|8412||Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators|
|8615||Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers|
|9232||Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators|
Income level Requirements
Depending on the "family unit", individuals applying to the AOS must meet the following minimum gross annual income level requirements at the time an application is postmarked and at the time the AINP assess an application for nomination. Other than the applicant, members of a "family unit" include:
- the spouse/common-law partner
- dependent children
- spouse/common-law partner's dependent children
- dependent children of dependent children
- dependent children of spouse/common-law partner's dependent children.
Dependent children include all children related by blood or legal ties (including adopted and foster children) who are:
- under the age of 22 and do not have a spouse or common-law partner, or
- 22 years of age or older and are unable to be financially self-sufficient since before the age of 22 due to a physical or mental condition
The yearly income threshold requirement is based on Alberta's Low Income Measure (LIM). The LIM is unique to Alberta and reflects average family incomes in Alberta that have been adjusted for family size. Adjustment for family sizes reflects the fact that a family's needs increase as the number of members increases.
An applicant may be permitted to include a spouse or common-law partner's yearly income before tax to meet the minimum income for family size if, at the time of application, the applicant's spouse or common-law partner:
- has a yearly Alberta income before tax that is greater or equal to 42% of your yearly income before tax, and
- has a valid job offer from an Alberta employer for part-time or full-time work in any occupation and is authorized to work for that Alberta employer.
In order to take into account a spouse or common-law partner's income, an applicant is urged to take note of any taxable benefits his or her spouse or common-law partner receives from an employer before submitting an application.
Note: The current income thresholds are 70 per cent of the Alberta LIMS. Starting January 1, 2020, income thresholds for those interested in applying to the AOS will change. Learn more about upcoming AOS income level changes.
|Family size (including applicant)||Annual income required (CAD)|