Alberta Immigration Announces New Opportunity Stream

Hugo O'Doherty
Published: October 20, 2017

Immigration authorities in the Canadian province of Alberta have announced a new immigration stream, known as the Opportunity stream, which will begin accepting applications as of January 2, 2018 under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).

The Opportunity stream will provide a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for foreign workers working in Alberta. Like all other AINP streams, this is a base Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream, whereby applications are processed entirely outside the federal Express Entry selection system. Successful applicants to the AINP obtain a provincial nomination, which may then be used to apply for permanent residence.

The stream will replace will replace two currently existing AINP streams: the Employer-Driven stream and the Strategic Recruitment stream. Until the Opportunity stream takes effect, applications under the existing streams will continue to be accepted, and processing of those applications may continue after January, 2018, even though new applications will not be accepted.

Applicants to the Opportunity stream require a job offer from an employer in Alberta. The job offer does not necessarily need to be in a skilled occupation, as most occupations under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, B, C and D are eligible.

Applicants must have valid temporary resident status at the time of the application, and must not be living or working in a province or territory other than Alberta. Applicants not working in a job supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must have an exemption for workers covered under international trade agreements, workers transferred within a company, or people taking part in International Experience Canada (IEC), as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Applicants must also prove English or French ability at or above Canadian Language Benchmark 4, as proven by a language test recognized by the government of Alberta. This is a lower requirement than for many other economic immigration programs in Canada, including the popular Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC). As of January 2, 2019, the test score required for English and French language skills will be increased to a minimum of CLB 5 in each language skill.

A higher language ability threshold of CLB 7 or higher has been set for nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413).

Like the FSWC, applicants must have completed high school or a higher level of education. Applicants who did not study in Canada need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a recognized authority. In certain instances, applicants with work experience that qualifies them in a compulsory or optional trade, and who also have a recognized valid Alberta Qualification Certificate or trade certificate, may not have to obtain an ECA, even if they did not study in Canada.

Applicants must have either a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in their current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in their current occupation in Canada and/or abroad within the last 30 months (this work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in another Canadian province or territory and/or abroad).

Finally, applicants must satisfy a minimum income threshold, depending on the size of their family.

Number of members in family unit (including applicant) Gross annual income required (CAD)
1 $24,952
2 $35,287
3 $43,218
4 $49,904
5 $55,794
6 $61,120
7 $66,017
8 $70,575
9 $74,856
10 $78,905

Ineligible occupations

Individuals working in any of the following occupations will not be eligible to apply under the AINP Opportunity stream.

Occupation NOC
Legislators 0011
School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education 0422
Managers in Social, Community and Correctional Services 0423
Fire Chiefs and Senior Firefighting Officers 0432
Escort Agency Managers, Massage Parlour Managers 0651
Secondary School Teachers 4031
Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers 4032
Professional Occupations in Religion 4154
Authors and Writers 5121
Musicians and Singers 5133
Actors and Comedians 5135
Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists 5136
Court Officers and Justices of the Peace 1227
Dental Laboratory Bench Workers 3223
Early Childhood Educators and Assistants* 4214
Other Instructors 4216
Other Religious Occupations 4217
Other Performers, n.e.c. 5232
Artisans and Craftspersons 5244
Athletes 5251
Real Estate Agents and Salespersons 6232
Home Child Care Providers 4411
Home Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations 4412
Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants 4413
Casino Occupations 6533
Other Personal Service Occupations 6564
Taxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs 7513
Trappers and Hunters 8442
Other Sales Related Occupations 6623
Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport 6722
Other Service Support Occupations, n.e.c. 6742
Harvesting Labourers 8611
Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers 8612
Aquaculture and Marine Harvest Labourers 8613
Mine Labourers 8614

*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.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.

© 2017 CICNews All Rights Reserved

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