Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Last updated: 19 May 2021


Canada Provincial Nominee Immigration Program (PNP)

Alberta is a prosperous province rich in natural beauty and resources.

Located in Western Canada, Alberta is home to two of Canada's largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, and is the most populous of the country's three 'Prairie provinces'. It is also renowned as one of the most beautiful parts of North America, with famous national parks, such as Banff and Jasper.

The province operates the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). Through this program, prospective immigrants with the right mix of skills and work experience needed by the province may receive an Alberta Provincial Nomination Certificate.

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Table of Contents

Alberta Immigration Streams

If you wish to immigrate to Alberta, you currently have five options to choose from. This page will help you figure out which immigration stream is suitable for your situation.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that the Canadian federal government uses for the country’s three main economic class immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

In addition, many PNP streams also use the Express Entry system. These are called “enhanced” streams. Streams that do not use the Express Entry system are called “base” streams.

Candidates in the Express Entry system are assessed based on multiple factors such as their age, education, work experience and language ability. They are given a score based on these factors according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with the highest CRS score are invited to apply for permanent residence by Canada in an Express Entry draw.

Enhanced PNP streams, such as the Alberta Express Entry Stream, are aligned with Express Entry. Alberta searches the Express Entry pool to find qualified candidates based on their available profile information. In order to be selected for an NOI by the province, candidates must have stated an interest to immigrate to Alberta and have a CRS score of at least 300, among others.

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination from Alberta are awarded an additional 600 CRS points. This practically guarantees receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.


Summary of AINP Options

CategoryIs a job required?Is the stream aligned with Express Entry?Is it currently receiving applications?Connection to province
Alberta Opportunity StreamYesNoYesHaving work experience in the province
Alberta Express Entry StreamNoYesYesHaving work experience in the province
OR

Having a parent, child, brother or sister who is a permanent resident or Canadian citizen of Alberta

Alberta Self-Employed Farmer StreamNoNoYesN/A
International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration StreamNoNoYesCompleted education in Alberta
Foreign Graduate Start-Up VisaNo

No

Yes

N/A

Alberta Opportunity Stream

Foreign nationals working in Alberta and international graduates who completed their studies at an approved Alberta post-secondary institution are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination under the Alberta Opportunity Stream.

Application Fee: CAD $500

Processing time: Approximately 8 months

How it works:

Candidates interested in the Alberta Opportunity Stream must complete their application online through the AINP online portal. After that, candidates will be asked to submit specific documents depending on their individual situations and pay the online application fee.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must have a valid work permit;
  • Must be working in an eligible occupation in Alberta that matches your work experience;
  • A minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4 or 5 depending on occupation
  • A minimum of a high school degree;
  • A minimum of 12 months of work experience in Alberta in the last 18 months, or a minimum of 24 months of work experience in Canada in the last 30 months.

Learn more about the Alberta Opportunity Stream

Alberta Express Entry Stream

The Express Entry stream allows Alberta to nominate individuals who already have a profile in the federal Express Entry system. Individuals who have demonstrated ties to Alberta and have the necessary skills to contribute to the province’s economic growth may be invited by the province to submit an application.

Application Fee: CAD $500

How it works:

The Alberta Express Entry Stream works by invitation only. Candidates who have Express Entry profiles may receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the Alberta government directly in the federal system. Invited candidates then have a limited about of time to indicate to the province that they are interested in being considered for selection under this stream.

If selected, candidates will receive a request from the AINP to apply for provincial nomination by submitting all required documents through the AINP online portal.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must be in the Express Entry pool;
  • Must have expressed interest in immigrating to Alberta permanently;
  • Must be working in an occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification;
  • A minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 300.

Learn more about the Alberta Express Entry Stream

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is for candidates interested in immigrating to Alberta to purchase or start a farming business.

Application Fee: CAD $500

How it works:

Interested candidates must first submit their business plan to the Alberta government, and wait to receive a decision. The AINP bases its decision through consultation with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to ensure that the business plan is feasible and that the project meets the needs of Alberta's agricultural industry. If a positive decision is received, you must then gather the required documents and fill in the required forms for both the Alberta government and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Minimum Requirements:
  • Farm management skills;
  • Sufficient financial resources (minimum investment of CAD $500,000);
  • Investment plans documented in a proposed business plan.

Learn more about the Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream

International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

Alberta’s International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream is for international graduates of approved Alberta post-secondary institutions who are interested in establishing or operating a business in Alberta.

Application Fee: CAD $3,500

How it works:

Interested candidates must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the AINP online portal. You will receive an EOI score within 30 days and the highest-ranking candidates will be asked to submit a Business Application.

A Business Application must be completed within 90 days of receiving an email asking you to submit one. You must also submit all required documents

Minimum Requirements:

  • At least two years full time education in Alberta;
  • A Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) valid for at least two years;
  • A minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7;
  • Must establish a new business or operate an existing business with at least 34% ownership;
  • A minimum of six months of full-time work experience.

Learn more about the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

Foreign Graduate Start-Up Stream

Alberta’s Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa is for foreign-educated international graduates who wish to launch a start-up business in Alberta, and become permanent residents of Canada.

Application Fee: CAD $3,500

How it works:

If you are interested in this program, you must work with a designated agency. This agency will issue you a letter of recommendation if you meet the requirements.

You will then have to submit your letter of recommendation with their Expression of Interest (EOI) through the AINP Portal.

The agency will also provide a written report on their assessment of your proposed business plan. You must submit this report with your application.

What are the designated agencies?

1. Empowered Startups

2. Platform Calgary

Minimum Requirements:

  • A minimum of six months of full-time work experience of managing and/or owning the business;
  • Must have a business plan with projected financials;
  • Must have a post-secondary education from a foreign institution, and have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). The degree must have been completed within the last two years;
  • A 10-minute slides-only presentation that explains the business and details what an investor what want to see;
  • A minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7;
  • Must have at least 34% ownership if the business is located in an urban centre, or at least 51% ownership if located in outside Calgary or Edmonton;
  • Must make a minimum investment of $100,000 for an urban centre, or $50,000 for a regional area. More points are awarded for higher investments. These can be made from your own equity, or from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital or angel investment firm;
  • Must have a letter of recommendation from an AINP-approved agency;
  • Must have enough money to set up their business and support yourself and your family in Canada.

    Learn more about the Alberta Foreign Graduate Start Up Visa Stream

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has five current immigration streams:

    Step 1: Depending on your specific situation, choose the stream that is right for you. Find out if you are eligible for the chosen stream.

    Step 2: Submit your application for your chosen stream.

    Step 3: Obtain a provincial nomination from Alberta.

    Step 4: Submit a permanent residence application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    It is also important to understand the difference between base PNP streams and enhanced PNP streams.

    Enhanced streams are aligned with the federal Express Entry system. In Alberta, only the Alberta Express Entry stream is enhanced. Candidates in the Express Entry system who express their interest in immigrating to Alberta may receive a Notification of Interest from the Alberta government. They will then have two weeks to respond to it. If they are selected, they must apply through the AINP portal.

    All other current streams in Alberta are base streams. This means that they are not aligned with Express Entry. Interested individuals are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the province’s AINP portal, instead of being selected through the Express Entry system.

    Immigrating to Alberta is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What may be easy for one candidate may be difficult for another. It is therefore advisable to choose the stream that is right for you depending on your specific situation.

    For example, if you are currently working in Alberta in an eligible occupation, and wish to become a permanent resident, then you may be eligible through the Alberta Opportunity Stream.

    If you would like help in choosing the best way to immigrate to Alberta, feel free to contact us.

    Occupations in high-demand in Alberta include translators, optometrists, cabinetmakers, dental hygienists, dietitians and nutritionists, chiropractors among others.

    For a full list of what occupations are considered in-demand in Alberta, you are encouraged to visit this webpage.

    You can sort the list of jobs by demand: high, medium or lower.

    Some of the benefits of living in Alberta include lower provincial taxes, and a lower cost of living than other popular provinces.

    Alberta also offers higher wages. The minimum wage in Alberta is at $15 per hour. This is the highest in Canada (except for Nunavut).

    Alberta is known as one of the most beautiful parts of North America. When you have some time off, you may be able to enjoy its famous national parks such as Banff and Jasper.

    According to Canada’s last census in 2016, visible minorities such as South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese minorities made up over 23 per cent of the Alberta population.

    The Indigenous population (including First Nations, Metis, Inuit among others) made up another 6.5 per cent.

    The processing time for the AINP may vary. To estimate how long it will take for your application to be processed, follow this link.

    Alberta has some advantages when it comes to cost of living. For example, there are no provincial health care premiums and no provincial sales tax (PST).

    This means that you will only have to pay the Goods and Services (GST) that is paid by everyone in Canada. This is 5%.

    In other provinces, you would pay both GST and PST. For example, in British Columbia, you would be 7% PST and the 5% GST, which means you would be paying 12% in sales tax.

    In addition, Alberta offers tax rebates and credits that help with your finances.

    It is also worth noting that Alberta has a higher family income than the rest of Canada. According to the 2018 Canadian Income Survey, families in Alberta earned an average of $98,400 after tax. The Canadian average is $84,900.

    Alberta has a higher family income than the rest of Canada.

    According to the 2018 Canadian Income Survey, families in Alberta earned an average of $98,400 after tax. The Canadian average is $84,900.

    Yes. Alberta has many options for a school education depending on language or religion. For example, there are many Francophone schooling options in Alberta.

    Alberta has 26 universities and colleges to choose from.

    The University of Alberta is in the top 6 universities in Canada and the top 150 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings for 2021.

    The University of Calgary is in the top 10 universities in Canada and the top 200 in the world.

    The Alberta government subsidizes tuition fees for universities and colleges. These fees vary across the province so it is advisable to check tuition costs on their websites.

    For a list of all the universities and colleges that are in Alberta, click here.

    Alberta is Canada's sunniest province. According to the Alberta website, the province enjoys 1,900 hours of sunshine in the north, and 2,300 hours in the south.

    Winters are dry, sunny and cold. Summers are warm and wetter.

    Edmonton has extreme temperature changes. In January, the temperatures are -14 and -51°C. In July, they are 16 and 35°C, according to Britannica.

    Alberta residents can get full coverage for medically necessary physician services, as well as some dental and oral surgical health services through the province's Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).

    Many medical services are fully covered such as medically required services, medically required diagnostic services (laboratory, radiological, and other procedures) and psychiatric visits, as well as others.

    Many hospital services are also fully covered, such as accommodation, meals, medications administered in a hospital, use of the operating room, care room, radiotherapy, physiotherapy and anesthetic facilities, and more.

    Medical services and hospital stays and visits are either fully covered, partially covered or not covered. For a detailed list, you are encouraged to visit the Alberta website.

    The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for the Alberta Express Entry Stream is 300.

    Yes. You do not need a job offer for four of Alberta's five immigration streams.

    However, having a job offer may increase your chances under the Alberta Express Entry Stream.

    Alberta welcomes over 40,000 new immigrants in an average year, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    Contact us for Assistance

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    CanadaVisa.com was founded as the online presence of Campbell Cohen. Since its launch in 1994, CanadaVisa has grown into one of the globe's most trusted resources on Canadian immigration. If you want to immigrate to Canada through the PNP or another skilled worker pathway, the first step is to complete a free CanadaVisa assessment form. If you are eligible for Canadian immigration, a member of the Campbell Cohen team will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.

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