Alberta Immigrant Nomination Program Overview

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Bordered by British Columbia in the west, Saskatchewan in the east, NorthWest Territory to the north, and the American state of Montana to the south, Alberta is home to over 4 million people. It is the sixth-largest (661,848 Sq Kms) province of Canada.

An economic powerhouse (2020 GDP of over 300 billion CAD), Alberta enjoys a relatively high standard of living. This, coupled with good job opportunities, makes Alberta among the top picks for aspiring immigrants. Under the Provincial Nominee Program, Alberta operates the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

Under Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), the government of Alberta can nominate immigration applicants to work and live in Alberta. If you wish to apply for AINP, you need to make sure that you either suit the requirements of Alberta Immigration streams or start a business in Alberta.

Opportunity streams and their dependencies

A provincial nominee selected for AINP is expected to fill the local job shortage, pay his family’s expenses, and live in Alberta. If the Alberta province nominates you, you can apply for permanent residence along with your legal partner, wife, or dependent children.

Five streams are currently available under AINP

  1. Opportunity Stream
  2. Express Entry Stream
  3. International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
  4. Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream
  5. Self Employed Farmer Stream

Let’s look at each of them closely

Opportunity Stream

Under Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), the government of Alberta can nominate immigration applicants to work and live in Alberta. If you wish to apply for AINP, you need to make sure that you either suit the requirements of Alberta Immigration streams or start a business in Alberta.

Any temporary worker in Alberta with a job falling under NOC level 0, A, B, C, D may be eligible for applying under this program.

Opportunity Stream requirements

  1. Employment requirements: As a potential applicant under AINP, you should be earning the provincial minimum wage for your occupation
  2. Residency and work permit requirements: You must be currently residing in Alberta with a valid work permit. Individuals without a temporary status residing in Alberta are not eligible.
  3. Language requirements: As an applicant, your speaking, reading, and writing skills in English or French are critical. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), will assess your English language proficiency. In the case of French, Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) will determine your French proficiency. Please note that these test results must not be older than two years at the time of application. Apart from these language requirements, here are some specific requirements as per the NOC job levels:
    1. NOC Skill level O, A, & B: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 is required
    2. NOC Skill level C & D: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 required
    3. NOC Classification 3413: Health care professionals Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 is required
  4. Educational requirements: High school diploma is a must for you to apply under this program. Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) deem that all non-Canadian education certificates be assessed by a recognized Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) agency.
  5. Work experience requirements: For your application to be considered an opportunity stream, you have to be in Alberta, employed with a full-time job in your occupation for at least a year. Take note; this employment has to be within 18 months of applying. Alternatively, if you are in any other province or outside Canada, you must have a full-time job in your current occupation for at least two years. The two-year experience cannot be older than 30 months at the time of application.
Quick Checklist
Express entry profile required? No
Job in Alberta Required? Yes
Canadian work experience required? Yes
Canadian education required? No
Canadian residence required? Yes
Business ownership required? No

Express Entry Stream

This stream allows the province of Alberta to nominate applicants from the express entry pool. If you have an Express Entry profile and meet the requirements for specialist job opportunities in Alberta, you may receive a nomination. Provincial nominations will add 600 CRS points to your profile. Provincial nominations are almost always followed by an Invitation to apply.

Quick Checklist
Express entry profile required? Yes
Job in Alberta Required? No
Canadian work experience required? No
Canadian education required? No
Canadian residence required? Yes
Business ownership required? No

International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)

If you are a graduate student from any of Alberta-approved educational institutions and plan to start a business or buy a pre-existing business, then this stream is for you.

As an IGEIS applicant, you must meet the minimum requirements for applying under this program. An application to this program is termed expression of interest.

IGEIS requirements

  1. Educational requirements: As an applicant under this program, IGEIS requires you to have a minimum of 2 years, a full-time post-secondary certificate from an Alberta education institute. In addition to this, you are required to have a Post-Graduate Work Permit valid for two years at the time of application. The following educational programs qualify for application under IGEIS:
    1. MBA – Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    2. BCom – Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    3. BCom – Small Business and Entrepreneurship
    4. Aboriginal Entrepreneurship
    5. Culinary Entrepreneurship
  2. Language requirement: You will need to score a minimum of 7 points in all 4 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) tests. CLB will test your ability to speak, listen, read and write English.
  3. Business requirement: Since the primary keyword in IGEIS is the word “Entrepreneur”, this program will require you to own a minimum 34% stake in an Alberta business. IGEIS prohibits the following business activities for this stream:
    1. Used goods trading
    2. Passive investment instruments such as Real estate, etc
    3. Laundry and car wash
    4. Seasonal businesses
    5. Any business with a change in ownership within the last three years
    6. A company that is owned by relatives of the applicant or any other current or former IGEIS applicant.
  4. Work Experience: As an applicant for IGEIS, you must have a minimum of 6 months of full-time experience in business management.
Quick Checklist
Express entry profile required? Yes
Job in Alberta Required? No
Canadian work experience required? No
Canadian education required? No
Canadian residence required? Yes
Business ownership required? No

The Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream (FGSVS)

This stream is most suitable for aspiring startup founders looking to start a business in Alberta, Canada. If this stream is for you, like any other immigration stream, some requirements will have to be met by you.

A relatively new immigration stream (started 2021), FGSVS is collaborating with certified agencies, Empowered Startups in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Platform Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, to screen for eligible applicants with viable and sustainable startup concepts.

FGSVS requirements

  1. Agency recommendation: You must have a letter of recommendation from either of the two designated screening agencies to be considered for this stream.
  2. Pitch deck: A short and straightforward ppt presentation for a high-level overview of the business venture.
  3. Business plan: A detailed document covering all the essential elements of the business venture with profit & loss projections.
  4. Business requirement: You must have a minimum of 34% ownership of the business. In the case of the business location being outside Calgary and Edmonton, a minimum of 51% ownership will be required.
  5. Investment fund requirement: You will need to have a minimum of 100,000 CAD as capital (50,000 CAD if the business location is outside urban centers) for this stream. The investment fund can be your equity or venture capital fund or from a Canadian Bank.
  6. Settlement fund requirement: As an aspirant under this stream, you will be required/expected to have sufficient funds to support you and your family in the community. The settlement fund will vary based on your family size and the community that you’ll settle in.
  7. Educational requirement: You must have an ECA assessed post-secondary education degree from a country other than Canada. Take note that this degree must at least be two years old at the time of your application.
  8. Language requirement: As an aspiring entrepreneur in Alberta, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English. You need to score not less than 7 points in all 4 Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) tests.
  9. Work experience: You must have a minimum of 6 months of direct experience in managing a business. A track record of successful business ownership in the past will be an added advantage.
Quick Checklist
Express entry profile required? No
Job in Alberta Required? No
Canadian work experience required? No
Canadian education required? No
Canadian residence required? No
Business ownership required? Yes

Self Employed Farmer Stream (SEFS)

Are you an agri professional with extensive experience with agricultural production? If your answer is yes, then this stream should be of particular interest to you. Under the SEFS program Alberta can grant provincial nominations to individuals who meet the requirements.

SEFS requirements

  1. Farm operation documentation: You must present a document detailing your current farming business operations, including operational and financial information.
  2. Educational requirements: You must provide ECA assesses educational and training certifications.
  3. Business plan: You will be required to provide a detailed business plan for the agricultural business venture in Alberta
  4. Investment requirements: Agriculture is a cash-intensive business. SEFS requires a minimum of 500,000 CAD of investment in the agri venture. As an aspirant, you will have to prove that you have access to this minimum amount. This investment fund can be your personal equity, venture fund, or from a Canadian financial institution. Note that 500,000 is the minimum amount; depending on your business plan, SEFS may require a more significant investment fund.
Quick Checklist
Express entry profile required? No
Job in Alberta Required? No
Canadian work experience required? No
Canadian education required? No
Canadian residence required? No
Business ownership required? Yes

Towards brighter futures and broader horizons with MJ Global

By now, you should have a fair idea about the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program and the available streams for your consideration. We realize that processes can change, knowledge can become obsolete, and information can lose context.

How can one plan and execute in a dynamic environment such as this?

This is where an experienced partner can hand the advantage back to you.

Choosing to work with us means that you benefit from our 15+ years of experience in helping families, professionals, students, and businesses in their quest. Our processes have been developed to maintain transparency and privacy.

Located in Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Sri Lanka, please feel free to walk into any of our offices for a free consultation or click here to get the conversation going now.

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