Two provincial nomination draws have created an opportunity for Express Entry candidates seeking to immigrate to the province of Alberta—Canada’s west-most Prairie Province, home to Calgary, Edmonton, and Banff National Park.
On July 17, Alberta issued a total of 251 Notifications of Interest (NOI) to Express Entry candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System(CRS) scores starting at 400.
One week later, on July 24, there were 220 NOIs sent out to 220 candidates with CRS scores as low as 303.
The NOI’s were issued as part of the Alberta Express Entry Stream selection through which the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) can search the federal Express Entry system for candidates who meet the stream’s eligibility requirements and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residence.
Since the first Alberta Express Entry-Stream Selection draw, which took place just over a year ago, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has held 26 draws—issuing a total of 5,063 NOIs.
In order to be considered through this stream, as well as many other Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), the first step is to create an Express Entry profile.
No job offer or previous work experience in Alberta is required to be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. However, applicants should be working in an occupation that supports the province’s economic development and diversification priorities. The province does not provide a list of eligible occupations.
Applicants must also have an Express Entry CRS score of at least 300 in Canada’s Express Entry stream.
The AINP says it may give priority to candidates with:
- a job offer and/or work experience in Alberta;
- a degree from a Canadian post-secondary institution and a valid job offer; or
- a parent, child or sibling already living in Alberta.
Some factors decrease a candidate’s likelihood of receiving an invitation from Alberta, such as:
- the Express Entry expiry date is within three months of the draw
- certain occupations such as those listed in the Alberta Opportunity Stream Ineligible Occupations list
Alberta’s Express Entry Stream draws candidates with CRS scores that are much lower than those drawn through Federal Express Entry draws.
The minimum score of 425, on July 10, 2019, was the highest so far in the AINP draws. However, it was well below the most recent cut-off score for a federal Express Entry draw, which was 459.
The lowest cut-off score in the 13 all-program federal Express Entry draw so far in 2019 was 438.
Alberta has selected Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 300 through the Alberta Express Entry Stream on four occasions in 2019. Three draws had a minimum CRS score of 301 and one other had a cut-off CRS score of 302.
Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination incur an additional 600 CRS points and are effectively guaranteed an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence from the Government of Canada.
What is the federal Express Entry system?
Canada’s Express Entry system manages applications for three of Canada’s main economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class.
Candidates who are eligible for these programs are entered into the Express Entry pool and are given a CRS score based on their age, education, work experience, and proficiency in English or French.
Each draw selects a number of the highest-scoring candidates and invites them to apply for permanent residence with the Government of Canada. Generally, the draws take place every two weeks.
To be considered for a provincial nomination through the Alberta Express Entry Stream, the first step is to submit a profile to the Express Entry pool.
“Alberta was late to participate in Express Entry but now has conducted 26 draws this year to help address its growing labour market needs,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
“The recent draws are also good news for talented Express Entry candidates with lower CRS scores as it provides them with a way to improve their scores and pursue permanent residence in the prosperous province of Alberta.”
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