Alberta has world class cities, mountains, rivers, lakes, forest, giant blue skies, prairie landscapes, dry, hot summers and cold, snowy winters. In the southern parts of the Province, frequent chinook winds bring periods of warm air during otherwise chilly winters. The cost of living is on the higher end of the spectrum. The province is rich in oil and gas, with much of its economic activity tied to the petroleum industry, mountain tourism and to agriculture – mainly grain crops and livestock.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
Alberta operates five programs through which one may qualify to immigrate as an Alberta Nominee. The application process is online and all categories have a $500 application fee.
To qualify for nomination in Alberta:
- You are already working in Alberta
- You are planning to purchase a farm in Alberta
- You have a valid Express Entry profile and some connection to Alberta
- You are an Alberta graduate with a business plan, or
- You are a foreign graduate able to launch a start-up business in Alberta
1. Alberta Opportunity Stream
The Alberta Opportunity Stream accepts applications from individuals who are already working in Alberta, with a valid work permit. All applicants require a full-time job offer for at least one year to continue working in their current occupation in Alberta.
1. Immigration status
You must be already working in Alberta at the time of your application with one of the following work permits:
- an LMIA based work permit
- a work permit based on an international trade agreement (NAFTA, GATS, CETA, CPTPP)
- an intra-company transferee work permit
- an International Experience Canada work permit (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, or International Co-op)
- a post grad work permit (you must have graduated from an Alberta institution)
- an open work permit issued to a vulnerable worker
Note that there are a significant number of other types of work permits available, and individuals holding those types of permits are no longer eligible to apply to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). Common examples of those no longer eligible include open work permit holders as the spouse of a student or the spouse of a skilled worker.
2. Occupation requirements
You must be working in a position in Alberta that matches your previous work experience, and/or your post-secondary education in the case of an international student. There is also a short list of occupations that are not eligible to apply to the AINP.
3. Language skills in either French or English:
- CLB 4 for each skill for NOC C and D occupations
- CLB 5 for each skill for NOC 0, A and B occupations
- CLB 7 for each skill if you are working under NOC 3413 (nurse aide, orderlies & patient service associates)
All candidates except PGWP holders must have completed the equivalent of an Alberta High School education as shown by an Educational Credential Assessment. PGWP holders require a credential issued by an Alberta publicly-funded post secondary institution.
5. Work Experience
You must be working in an occupation that matches your previous work experience:
- min 12 months full time in Alberta within prior 18 months, or
- min 24 months full time in Canada and/or overseas within prior 30 months
- post grad work permit holders need a min of 6 months full time work within prior 18 months in a position that is related to the program of study in Alberta
2. Self-Employed Farmer
The Alberta immigration self-employed farmer stream accepts applications from individuals who plan to purchase and operate a farm in Alberta.
- you have farm management skills that will enable you to successfully operate a farm in Alberta
- you have a minimum net worth of CAD $500,000
- you plan to purchase a primary production farming operation in Alberta
3. Alberta Express Entry
The Alberta Express Entry stream is for individuals who have a valid Express Entry profile in the federal Express Entry Pool, with a connection to Alberta. Alberta will invite selected candidates from the pool to apply; there is no option to apply directly to the AINP for this program.
- you have a valid Express Entry profile with a CRS score above 300
- you have some connection to Alberta, such as a job offer in Alberta, a close relative in Alberta or previous work experience in Alberta.
You are not likely to be invited by Alberta if the following apply:
4. International Graduate Entrepreneur
This stream accepts applications from Alberta post-secondary graduates who wish to establish or operate a profit-making business in Alberta which will provide jobs for Canadians and permanent residents. It is not necessary to establish the proposed business until your Business Application has been approved.
1. Immigration status
- you must have a post-graduate work permit valid for at least 2 years at the time of your Expression of Interest
2. Business requirements
- you will own at least 34% of the business
- your business partners are Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- the type of business is not on the list of ineligible businesses
- you will reside in Alberta and actively manage the day-to-day-operates of the business
3. Language skills in English or French
- you have a minimum CLB 7 on each language skill on a valid language test
- your test results must be less than 2 years old when your Expression of Interest is submitted
- you have completed at least two years of full-time study resulting in a degree or diploma from a publicly-funded post-secondary institution in Alberta
5. Work experience
- You have a minimum of 6 months of related full-time work experience before submitting your Expression of Interest. It can be obtained through owning or actively managing a business, or equivalencies gained through (1) experience with a business incubator or accelerator or (2) eligible entrepreneurship courses at an Alberta post-secondary institution, or some combination. The necessary work experience may be acquired:
- from outside or inside Canada
- before or after completing your Alberta education
These are not essential, but will increase your chances of being invited to submit a Business Application:
- you are between 21-49 years old
- your business will provide economic benefits to Alberta given its location, economic sector, amount of investment, job creation, support from a business incubator, etc.
- your spouse or common-law partner has 1 year of work or 2 years of study in Alberta, or CLB 5 language scores
- you or your spouse or common-law partner have close relatives living in Alberta: father, step-father, mother, step-mother, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, step-brother
- you rank high on a selection grid that assigns points for various factors over and above the minimum eligibility criteria such as years of business experience, number of jobs created, language scores that exceed the minimum, etc.
5. Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream
This stream accepts applications from recent foreign graduates educated outside Canada who want to launch a start-up enterprise or innovative business in Alberta. They must work with an approved Designated Agency and obtain a letter of recommendation to include with their AINP application.
1. Immigration status
- you must be eligible for a work permit
- you have settlement funds to support yourself and family while launching the business
- you must reside in Alberta during the start-up
2. Work experience
- you require a minimum of 6 months of related full-time work experience before submitting your Expression of Interest. This can be a combination of owning or actively managing a business, or the equivalent gained through work experience with a business incubator or business accelerator.
- you have completed a degree from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada within the last 2 years
- the credential is equivalent to a Canadian degree as verified by an ECA
4. Language skills in English or French
- you have a minimum CLB 7 on all language skills on a valid test
- your test results are less than 2 years old when your Expression of Interest is submitted
5. Business Requirements
- connected to a targeted sector: technology, aerospace, financial services, energy, agriculture, tourism, life sciences, pharmaceuticals
- letter of recommendation from a Designated Agency
- ownership of at least 34% of the business if located in an urban centre, or 51% if outside Calgary and Edmonton
- min investment of $100,000 for a business in an urban centre; $50,000 for a regional area
- business plan with projected financials meeting the required business plan guidelines
- pitch-deck of 10 slides outlining the business venture from an investor perspective
- business must have a physical place of business in Alberta at all times
- you must reside in Alberta and manage the business on a day-to-day basis
The following will increase your chances of being invited to submit a Business Application:
- you exceed the minimum eligibility criteria in language scores and education
- your business will provide greater economic benefits to Alberta given your experience, the business sector, location, amount of investment, job creation, etc.
- additional investment has been secured for after the start-up