Get to know the PNP streams of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program
Alberta’s strong economy has made it a magnet for those who wish to become permanent residents. The province is home to some of Canada’s most iconic landscapes, as well as two large cities, and is the hub of Canada’s oil and gas industry.
About the AAIP
Alberta’s provincial nomination program is called the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). This program features eight pathways that allow those seeking to become Canadian permanent residents to be nominated for permanent resident status by the provincial government. The province puts more emphasis on attracting entrepreneurs than other Canadian provinces.
What is a provincial nomination?
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is designed to help provinces attract immigrants who can support local labour force needs.
If a candidate meets the specific criteria of a provincial immigration stream and is nominated by a province, then they can submit an application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). All Canadian provinces have a PNP with the exceptions of Quebec, which operates its own immigration programs, and the territory of Nunavut.
Why does Alberta need a Provincial Nominee Program?
Like all Canadian provinces, Alberta is facing a labour shortage and to keep the economy strong, Alberta endeavours to encourage skilled newcomers to settle in the province.
The province has recently changed the name of its PNP from the Alberta Provincial Nomination Program to the Alberta Advantage immigration Program. Alberta has also recently released a detailed strategy for attracting global talent that features initiatives to retrain skilled newcomers under the International Qualification Assessment Service (IQAS).
The goal of the strategy is to ensure that immigrants have the best possible opportunity to economically establish themselves while supporting Alberta’s labour force.
AAIP immigration streams
Alberta offers eight immigration pathways for interested candidates. These streams fall under two categories: streams for workers and streams for entrepreneurs
Streams for workers
The Alberta Express Entry stream
This pathway is open to candidates who already have an Express Entry profile and are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Candidates from the federal Express Entry pool may be selected by the province and invited to apply for nomination under this stream. Candidates who have a profile in the pool and who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta are directly considered for nomination. This stream is based on an invitation-only process, which means that candidates cannot apply directly to the Alberta Express Entry stream.
The Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway also falls under Express Entry and is open to eligible candidates with work experience in one of 38 tech industry occupations.
Alberta Opportunity stream
Candidates for this stream must determine their own eligibility and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) directly to the province.
To be eligible, candidates must already be in the province working on a Temporary Foreign Worker Permit (TFWP) and have a full-time job offer from an employer in Alberta.
This stream is also applicable to international graduates who have completed their studies at a designated learning institution in Alberta.
Rural Renewal stream
This pathway is for candidates who have received job offers outside of Alberta’s urban areas. Designated rural communities recruit newcomers and provide a letter of support for the candidate.
Only candidates who have completed at least secondary school are considered under this stream
Alberta offers four separate pathways for newcomers who wish to establish businesses or farms within the province.
Rural Entrepreneur stream
To be eligible for this stream, candidates must have at least three years of business experience and be willing to visit a designated rural community and present a business plan. If the candidate can gain community support, they may submit an EOI to the AAIP.
Graduate Entrepreneur stream
International graduates who complete at least two years of their program at an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution may be eligible for this stream if they also have a valid post-graduate work permit (PGWP) and at least six months of experience in business management or ownership.
The farm stream is designed to promote agriculture in Alberta. Candidates for this stream must be able to establish a new farm or buy an existing farm in the province. They must also be able to demonstrate farm management skills through experience or equivalent education.
Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur stream
This stream is for those who have completed their post-secondary education outside of Canada and wish to establish a business in Alberta. Candidates must have at least six months of experience actively managing or owning a business and must provide a business plan and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
Alberta has been successful in attracting newcomers from abroad and a very strong retention rate In 2021, Alberta nominated over 6,250 newcomers and the province continues to update and invest in its immigration programs to welcome skilled immigrants and enable them to become economically established.
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