Alberta adds family relatives to eligibility criteria for the Alberta Express Entry program

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: January 20, 2023

On January 18th, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), which functions as Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program, added having relatives in the province to their candidate selection criteria for the Alberta Express Entry stream (managed under the AAIP).

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This means that (effective immediately) candidates in the federal Express Entry pool who are listed as having immediate family relatives (parent, child, brother, or sister who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada) in the province will now meet added selection factor criteria. This can further give candidates a better chance of receiving a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the Alberta Express Entry stream, and further be invited to apply for permanent residence. Note that eligibility is based on information candidates submit to their profile in the federal Express Entry pool.

Alberta believes that these immediate family ties are critical to helping new immigrants establish themselves in the province and settle successfully in Alberta.

Importantly none of the selection criteria for any of the streams under the AAIP have changed, this program update only impacts the Alberta Express Entry stream, and only adds this selection criteria without impacting existing selection factors (like having a job offer from a company in Alberta, being a graduate of an Albertan post-secondary institution, etc.).

“This is not a family reunification plan” said Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturism in Alberta, Rajan Sawhney. Per the change the Alberta Express Entry stream is now able to allocate 25% of its NOIs to individuals with both immediate family ties in Alberta, and who have experience in in-demand occupations that the province requires workers for.

The AAIP serves as a means to help employers address labour shortages in Alberta. The province has experienced massive growth in the last month alone, adding almost 41,000 new jobs in December of 2022, most of which were in the private sector. However, Alberta also has a high rate of job vacancies, with nearly 100,000 currently—and a further predicted cumulative shortage of over 33,000 workers across multiple occupation and sectors by 2025. These are key reasons behind the push for more newcomers in the province.

What is the AAIP and the Alberta Express Entry stream?

The AAIP is Alberta’s provincial immigration program to welcome newcomers into the province from abroad. There are eight streams currently managed by the program, broadly divided into streams for workers, and streams for entrepreneurs.

Streams for workers include:

To be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry stream, candidates must:

  • Have an active profile in the federal Express Entry pool (ideally with more than 5 months validity);
  • Have a stated interest in moving to Alberta permanently;
  • Are working or have experience working in an in-demand occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification; and
  • Have a minimum CRS score of 300.

Candidates now stand a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply if they also:

  • Have a valid job offer and/or Albertan work experience;
  • Are a graduate of a post-secondary institution in Alberta; or
  • Have a parent, child, brother or sister currently residing in Alberta who is a citizen or permanent residence.

To enter candidates must first submit a profile to the federal express entry pool. If selected and issued an NOI, candidates must email a copy of the document to the AAIP and state that they are interested in applying.

If the AAIP determines that candidates meet the minimum eligibility criteria they will receive an email inviting them to apply to the program. From here candidates (now applicants) must submit an application to apply and will receive an additional 600 CRS points, in the federal pool (functioning as an enhanced provincial nomination). Complete applications are then placed in a pool of eligible applications for processing.

“The Alberta Express Entry stream modifications announced today is one of the many steps our government will be taking to ensure that Alberta gets the qualified and skilled talent that it needs...” said Minister Sawhney at the conclusion of the announcement.

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