A Spotlight on Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program
Earlier this year, Alberta announced changes to its provincial nominee program. Now called the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), the economic immigration program is focused on filling job shortages in Alberta and providing pathways for business owners. Read on to discover what you need to know about the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program:
Alberta Advantage Immigration Program: Major Changes
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program streams look significantly different to those offered under the AINP. But the reality is that most program eligibility is still the same, they just have a different name. For instance:
- Its Graduate Entrepreneur Stream was formerly called the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream.
- The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream was formerly called the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream under the AINP.
- Its Farm Stream was formerly called the Self-Employed Farmer Stream.
Two streams have been added under the AAIP – the Rural Renewal Stream and the Rural Entrepreneur Stream. These two streams will help Alberta to attract foreign workers and business owners to rural and regional Alberta.
Alberta Advantage Immigration Programs for Workers
There are now three streams for foreign workers under Alberta’s updated provincial nominee program. One stream, the Alberta Express Entry Stream, has a pathway for qualified tech workers.
The Alberta Opportunity Stream under the AAIP
This stream is for qualified temporary foreign workers who live and work in Alberta and who have an eligible job offer from an Alberta employer. It is an avenue for those workers who hold temporary work permits either following an LMIA or under an LMIA exempt occupation to transition to permanent residency.
The Alberta Express Entry Stream under the AAIP
This stream is for candidates who have already applied for permanent residency through the federal Express Entry program. Applicants do not apply for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Instead, the province considers the profiles in the Express Entry pool and sends targeted invitations to the applicants they would consider nominating.
Generally, applicants who have strong ties to Alberta or who have skills or characteristics that align with Alberta’s economic priorities are invited to apply for nomination. International graduates may also be invited to apply under this stream.
Accelerated Tech Pathway under the AAIP
The AAIP Accelerated Tech Pathway offers expedited processing for foreign workers who are currently working in or have a job offer from an Alberta-based tech industry employer for an eligible occupation.
Only certain occupations are eligible for expedited processing under this pathway.
Eligible Occupations under the AAIP’s Accelerated Tech Pathway
The list of eligible occupations is subject to change, but includes:
(NOC 0013) Senior managers - financial, communications and other business services
(NOC 0112) Human resources managers
(NOC 0131) Telecommunication carriers manager
(NOC 0211) Engineering managers
(NOC 0212) Architecture and science managers
(NOC 0213) Computer and information systems managers
(NOC 0512) Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
(NOC 0601) Corporate sales managers
(NOC 1123) Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
(NOC 1121) Human resources professionals
(NOC 1223) Human resources and recruitment officers
(NOC 2131) Civil engineers
(NOC 2132) Mechanical engineers
(NOC 2133) Electrical and electronics engineers
(NOC 2147) Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
(NOC 2161) Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
(NOC 2171) Information systems analysts and consultants
(NOC 2172) Database analysts and data administrators
(NOC 2173) Software engineers and designers
(NOC 2174) Computer programmers and interactive media developers
(NOC 2175) Web designers and developers
(NOC 2221) Biological technologists and technicians
(NOC 2232) Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
(NOC 2233) Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
(NOC 2241) Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
(NOC 2253) Drafting technologists and technicians
(NOC 2281) Computer network technicians
(NOC 2282) User support technicians
(NOC 2283) Information systems testing technicians
(NOC 3211) Medical laboratory technologists
(NOC 3212) Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
(NOC 3219) Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
(NOC 4163) Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
(NOC 5131) Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
(NOC 5241) Graphic designers and illustrators
(NOC 7241) Electricians (except industrial and power system)
(NOC 7242) Industrial electricians
(NOC 7246) Telecommunications installation and repair workers
Rural Renewal Stream under Alberta’s PNP
This stream is for qualified foreign workers who have an eligible job offer from an Alberta employer to work in a rural Albertan community. However, it is a community-driven stream.
In the announcement for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, the government highlighted the struggles many Alberta rural communities are facing in finding qualified workers. This program is aimed at helping those communities attract and keep newcomers with the skills these communities need.
As a result, the Rural Renewal Stream cannot be used by Alberta employers to recruit part-time or seasonal workers.
Alberta Advantage Immigration Programs for Entrepreneurs
The AAIP has four programs available for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to start or buy a business in Alberta.
Rural Entrepreneur Stream under the AAIP
This is a new stream for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in rural Alberta. It is for entrepreneurs who are not currently living or working in Canada. That is, it’s for applicants from outside Canada.
Foreign entrepreneurs will need to meet and collaborate with a representative of the rural Albertan area they’re interested in moving to. The process and success criteria vary from region to region.
“One of the biggest challenges facing rural communities is population decline, which has caused a succession crisis when a retiring business owner cannot find an interested buyer. We are helping revitalize rural Alberta by removing barriers and setting the building blocks to welcome job-creating immigration to local communities and supporting economic growth throughout the province.”
Graduate Entrepreneur Stream under the AAIP
This stream allows Alberta to nominate graduates who completed at least two-year full-time studies at designated Alberta educational institutions and who wish to set up a business in Alberta. It also requires the applicant to be living in Alberta at the time they apply.
The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream was formerly called the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream under the AINP. While the name has changed, the eligibility criteria is the same. For instance, international graduates who can show strong ties to Alberta, such as that the business they intend to set up will promote the province’s economic development, are still given priority under this stream.
Farm Stream under the AAIP
The Farm Stream, previously called the Self-Employed Farmer Stream, is for experienced farmers who plan to start a farm or buy an existing agri-business in Alberta.
The eligibility criteria have not changed since the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program was announced.
Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream under the AAIP
This stream is for foreign-educated graduates who plan to start or buy a business in Alberta. These workers must have relevant work experience from either owning or managing an existing business. The goal is to bring skilled managers and business owners to Alberta to create profitable businesses that drive economic growth and offer job opportunities in the province.
The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream was formerly called the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream under the AINP. The eligibility criteria are the same under the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream as it was under the AINP program.
What Happened to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)?
The provincial nominee programs are used by provincial governments (including Alberta) to meet labour demands and to drive economic growth. As a result, all provincial nominee programs in Canada are subject to change over time.
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program has been replaced by the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. Alberta’s government is no longer accepting applications under the AINP, but it will continue to process the applications it received before the program closed.