Alberta Opportunity Stream

Last updated: 14 September 2020

The Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) is 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. 

Individuals interested in the AOS must meet the eligibility requirements for the following factors:

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.
  • have a valid work permit (not implied status or restoration status) for an eligible occupation based on either:

Language Proficiency

Applicants to the AOS must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 4 in either English or French for each language skill: listening, reading, writing and speaking in English or French.

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: On January 1, 2020, candidates in NOC 0, A and B occupations will need a minimum of CLB 5 in each language skill. Learn more about upcoming AOS language proficiency changes. 

Education Requirements

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 an applicant who has been admitted to an Alberta Advanced Education approved post-secondary program before April 1, 2019, may be eligible to apply to this stream. 

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 of 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.
In addition to meeting the time frame requirements above, the work experience:
  • must have been full-time, for a minimum of 30 hours/week (part-time work will not be considered);
  • must have been in the 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 study program at an Alberta post-secondary institution may use that experience as part of the work experience requirement. For these applicants, the work experience must meet the following conditions:

  1. The paid co-op work term must have been full-time (minimum of 30 hours per week).
  2. The work experience must be directly related to a Post-Graduation Work Permit holder's 'current occupation'.
  3. 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. 

Job offers for the following conditions are considered ineligible:

  • 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.

Occupation Requirements

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 Alberta 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.

NOCNOC Skill LevelOccupation Title
04220School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education
04230Managers in Social, Community and Correctional Services
04320Fire Chiefs and Senior Firefighting Officers
06510Escort Agency Managers, Massage Parlour Managers
4031ASecondary School Teachers
4032AElementary School and Kindergarten Teachers 
4154AProfessional Occupations in Religion 
5121AAuthors and Writers
5133AMusicians and Singers
5135AActors and Comedians
5136 APainters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists
1227BCourt Officers and Justices of the Peace
3223BDental Laboratory Bench Workers
4214BEarly 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)*
4216BOther Instructors
4217BOther Religious Occupations
5232BOther Performers, n.e.c.
5244 BArtisans and Craftspersons
6232BReal Estate Agents and Salespersons
4411CHome Child Care Providers
4412CHome Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations
4413CElementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
6533CCasino Occupations
6564COther Personal Service Occupations
7513CTaxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs
8442CTrappers and Hunters
6623COther Sales Related Occupations
6722COperators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport
6742DOther Service Support Occupations, n.e.c.
8611DHarvesting Labourers
8612DLandscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers
8613DAquaculture and Marine Harvest Labourers
8614DMine 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 Government of Canada’s list of high-wage and low-wage occupations in the province of Alberta, he or she is not eligible to apply.  

Income level Requirements

NOTE: The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program removed the minimum income requirement for the Alberta Opportunity Stream, effective November 1, 2018. This change will be applied to all applications issued to the program since June 14, 2018.

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