Alberta is home to one of Canada’s strongest provincial economies, attracting people from across Canada and around the globe. Alberta is well-known for its fossil energy, agriculture and forestry, education, hospitality, and manufacturing industry, which provides thousands of jobs in Canada.
A strong economy and the increase in temporary foreign workers in Alberta, combined with tightening federal immigration programs, has made the Alberta Immigrant Program (AINP) one of Canada’s most recognizable immigrant programs. It offers Canadian permanent residency to entrepreneurs and skilled foreign workers. The AINP, also known as Alberta PNP, offers expedited application processing through its online portal. This has reduced processing times to as low as 4 to 6 weeks!
Let’s take a closer look at the Alberta PNP to find out if it’s the right way for you to immigrate to Canada.
What Is the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program?
Alberta Immigration Streams
There are five options available to you if you want to immigrate to Alberta. This page will help determine which stream of immigration is best for you.
- Alberta Opportunity Stream for skilled workers who are currently working in an eligible occupation in Alberta.
- Alberta Express Entry Stream for candidates in the Express Entry (EE) system who have a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 300, and who are currently working in an eligible occupation.
- Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream for those who wish to operate a farming business
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream for international graduates of a designated post-secondary institution in Alberta, who wish to start a business in Alberta.
- Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa for foreign nationals who graduated from an educational institution and who wish to start a business in Alberta.
Summary of AINP Options
|Category||Is a job required?||Is the stream aligned with Express Entry?||Are its applications?||Connection to province|
|Alberta Opportunity Stream||Yes||No||Yes||Having work experience in the province|
|Alberta Express Entry Stream||No||Yes||Yes||Having work experience in the province
OR Having a parent, child, brother, or sister who is a permanent resident or Canadian citizen of Alberta
|Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream||No||No||Yes||N/A|
|International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream||No||No||Yes||Completed education in Alberta|
|Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa||No||No||Yes||N/A|
What’s Express Entry?
Express Entry is a Canadian government application management system used for three major economic class immigration programs. These are the
*Federal Skilled Worker Program,
*Federal Skilled Trades Program and
*Canadian Experience Class.
Express Entry candidates are evaluated based on many factors, including their education, work experience, language ability, and age. These factors are used to calculate a score according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates who have the highest score on CRS can apply for permanent residence in Canada through an Express Entry draw.
Enhanced PNP streams such as the Alberta Express Entry Stream are aligned to Express Entry. Alberta uses the Express Entry pool to search for qualified candidates based on their profile information. Candidates must declare an interest in immigrating to Alberta and have a minimum CRS score of 300.
Express Entry candidates who Alberta nominates in a provincial election receive 600 additional CRS points. This almost guarantees that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence in Express Entry’s next draw.
Alberta can nominate people who have an Express Entry profile in federal Express Entry. The province may invite individuals who have shown ties to Alberta and have the skills necessary to contribute to its economic growth to apply.
Application Fee: 500 CAD
Only invitations are accepted for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Express Entry candidates may be invited to submit a Notification Of Interest (NOI), sent directly from Alberta to the federal government. The province has a short time limit for invited candidates to inform them that they are interested in being considered under this stream.
The AINP will notify candidates if they are selected to submit all documents via the AINP portal.
- It would be best if you were in the Express Entry Pool
- Must have expressed an interest in permanent immigrating to Alberta
- It would help if you were employed in a job that supports Alberta’s economic diversification and development.
- Minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS score) of 300
International graduates and foreign nationals who have completed their studies at approved Alberta post-secondary institutions are eligible for a provincial nomination under The Alberta Opportunity Stream.
Application Fee500 CAD
Processing time: About eight months
Online applications are required for the Alberta Opportunity Stream. Candidates will then be required to upload specific documents based on their circumstances and pay an online application fee.
- You must have a valid work permit.
- It would be best if you were employed in an Alberta eligible occupation that matches your work experience.
- Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), level 4 or 5, depending on the occupation
- Minimum of a high school diploma
- Minimum of 12 months’ work experience in Alberta within the last 18 months or a minimum of 24 months in Canada in the previous 30 months.
For those interested in immigrating from abroad to start or purchase a farm business, the Self-Employed Farmers Stream is available.
Application Fee500 CAD
The Alberta government must receive the business plan from interested candidates. They will then wait for a decision. The AINP makes its decisions after consulting with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. This consultation ensures that the business plan is viable and meets the requirements of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Once you have received a favourable decision, gather all required documents and complete the forms for the Alberta government and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
- Farm management skills;
- Sufficient financial resources (minimum $500,000 investment);
- A business plan proposal should include investment plans.
The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream in Alberta is for international students of Alberta post-secondary institutions interested in starting or operating a business.
Application Fee: CAD 3,500
The AINP online portal requires interested candidates to submit an Expression of interest.
Within 30 days, you will receive your EOI score. The highest-ranking candidates will then be required to submit a Business application.
Within 90 days of receiving an email asking for one, a Business Application must be submitted. All required documents must be submitted.
- Minimum of two years full-time education required in Alberta
- A post-graduate work permit (PGWP), valid for at most two years.
- Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark CLB 7
- You must establish or manage a new business with at least 34% ownership.
- Minimum of six months experience in full-time employment
Alberta’s Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa is available to international graduates with a foreign education who want to start a business in Alberta or become permanent residents of Canada.
Application Fee 3,500 Canadian Dollars
You must contact a designated agency if you are interested in the program.
If you meet all the requirements, this agency will issue a letter to recommend you.
The AINP Portal will require you to submit your recommendation along with the Expression of Interest (EOI).
A written report will be provided by the agency on how they viewed your business plan. This report must be submitted with your application.
What are the designated agencies?
- Empowered Startups
- Platform Calgary
- Minimum of six months experience in managing or owning a business.
- You must have a business plan that includes projected financials.
- You must have completed post-secondary education at a foreign institution and have an Educational Credential Assessment. The degree must be completed in the past two years.
- Slides-only presentation of 10 minutes that explains the business in detail and outlines what investors want to see.
- Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark CLB7
- If the business is in an urban centre, it must have at least 34% ownership. If it’s located outside of Calgary or Edmonton, it must have at least 51% ownership.
- For an urban centre, you must invest at least $100,000 or $50,000 in a regional area. Higher investments earn you more points. These can be your equity or from a recognized Canadian financial institution or venture capital firm.
- You must have a letter from an AINP-approved agency recommending you.
- You must have sufficient money to start a business and provide for your family in Canada.