The Alberta Advantage Immigration program (AAIP), formerly known as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), is a collection of immigration programs that supports Alberta’s economic development by choosing people who are interested in immigrating permanently to Alberta and who have skills that will benefit the province. Applicants first apply to Alberta for provincial nomination (Alberta PNP), and successful candidates can then use their provincial nomination certificate to apply for a Permanent Resident visa from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In addition to being eligible to apply for Permanent Residence, provincial nominees can apply for a work permit without the need for a Labour Market impact assessment (LMIA).
The Alberta Express Entry stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is an application stream that operates by invitation only. Potential candidates must first have a profile in the federal Express Entry pool and must have indicated a willingness to live in Alberta. Representatives of the AAIP will then consider the candidate’s profile, and decide whether or not to extend an invitation to apply (called a Notification of interest). Note that there is not a separate Alberta PNP points calculator. Alberta uses the federal express entry system as it’s pool to source qualified candidates for the Alberta Express Entry stream. AAIP draws are held approximately once per month and successful candidates receive a Notification of Interest (NOI letter) in their Express Entry profile.
The minimum eligibility requirements of the Alberta Express Entry stream are an active Express Entry profile, a minimum CRS score of 300 or higher, and a willingness to live in Alberta. In most instances, candidates who receive an invitation to apply under the AAIP EE stream will also have at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
- A valid Alberta job offer
- A close relative living in Alberta
- A degree or diploma from a post-secondary institution in Alberta
There are instances whereby individuals with only a valid Express Entry profile (300+ CRS), and no other qualifying factors will receive a Notification of Interest from Alberta. This usually means that the individual has identified, in their profile, past work experience in an occupation that Alberta finds desirable. It needs to be emphasized that this is a somewhat rare occurrence, and most candidates who receive a Notification of Interest from Alberta have some existing connection to the Province – one of the three mentioned above. Exercise caution before spending large sums of money from overseas because someone told you that a CRS score of 300 will make you eligible for AAIP EE. While you may technically be eligible, the likelihood of you receiving an invitation to apply from Alberta simply because you have a CRS of 300 is relatively low.
Alberta does not publish a list of eligible occupations, but states that your chances of being invited to the Alberta Express Entry Stream are lower if your primary occupation is one of the ineligible occupations that are listed for the Alberta Opportunity Stream.
It is also important to remember that having an ineligible Express Entry profile can be used to refuse your future application for a work or study permit to Canada. Never submit your details into the federal Express Entry pool just to see what will happen. It’s important for you to understand what your chances of actually being successful with an Express entry profile are before you submit your details into the Federal Express Entry pool.
How to apply for Alberta Express Entry?
The process of applying through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program Express Entry stream starts with creating an Express Entry profile. To do so, you will require valid language test results and possibly an Educational Credential Assessment. Once you have an active Express Entry profile, if you have indicated that you are willing to live in Alberta, and you have a CRS score that is higher than 300 – you become one of the qualified candidates and your profile is eligible to be considered by Alberta.
AAIP Notification of Interest
You will be notified that there is a new message in your IRCC portal if Alberta decides to invite you to apply for the AAIP EE stream. When you log into your active Express Entry profile, there will be a pop-up window that advises you that Alberta is interested in your profile You will need to take a screenshot of that message and email it to the AAIP program within 2 weeks of receiving it, in order to receive access to the Alberta Express Entry stream application portal. Once Alberta responds to your email and provides you with a link to their application portal, you will have 30 days to start creating your AAIP EE Application and a total of 60 days in which to submit it for processing.
What do I need to apply for AAIP EE?
The first requirement to initiate your application is a MyAlberta digital ID. You will log into the Alberta application portal using your MyAlberta ID, and all communications regarding your application will go to the email account associated with your MyAlberta ID.
How do I apply for Alberta (AAIP) Express Entry?
After you have received the link to the Alberta Express Entry application portal and logged in using your MyAlberta ID, you will enter your information into an online form. Standard biographical information plus details regarding your post secondary credentials and work history are required. When the forms have been completed, you will be given a document checklist of documents that you need to upload in order to complete your application. The required documents will vary with each unique applicant situation, but generally include copies of passport, language exam, Educational Assessment, proof of work experience, proof of valid Alberta job offer (if applicable), professional licenses, and proof of status in Canada (like a valid work permit or study permit). Probably the most challenging part of the application is ensuring that you provide appropriate documentation to show how you were eligible to enter the Express Entry pool in the first place, and also ensuring that the employment letters have all of the required information and the duties listed to satisfy the NOC code that you have claimed. Once you have completed the forms and uploaded the required documents, you will be prompted to submit the application and pay the $500 processing fee
What is the processing time for AAIP EE?
The AAIP EE stream is a 4 step process, whereby interested parties submit an Express Entry profile, wait to see if Alberta will express interest in their profile, apply to the program in response to a notification of interest, and finally, submit an application for Permanent Residence if Alberta issues a nomination certificate. There is no set processing time to determine whether or not Alberta might send you a Notification of Interest. It is simply a matter of submitting your profile and then waiting to see what happens. If Alberta does send you a Notification of Interest, and you submit it within the 60 days deadline, you should expect to wait between 6-10 weeks to hear back from Alberta with a decision. If Alberta decides to issue you a nomination certificate on the basis of your application, they will add 600 points to your Express Entry profile.
You will need to indicate inside your profile that you have accepted the nomination (a yellow button will appear) and then you are likely to receive an Express Entry invitation to apply whenever the next round of invitations are issued for Provincial Nominee Programs. At the time of writing this article, IRCC has consistently been holding Express Entry draws for Provincial Nominees every two weeks. Once you have accepted your Express Entry Invitation to Apply, you have 60 days to submit a complete application, and those applications are usually processed within 6 months. Therefore, you should expect to wait on Alberta for about 2 months and you should expect to wait on IRCC for about 6 months before your Permanent Resident status is confirmed. Remember that you need to factor in your own application preparation times into this timeframe.
To check recent processing times for AAIP application streams, you can visit their website at
Can I change jobs if I apply through the AAIP EE program?
If you are working in Alberta at the time of your application through the AAIP EE stream, you are expected to notify Alberta anytime you change your job prior to becoming a Permanent Resident. Alberta reserves the right to cancel your nomination certificate if they don’t feel that your new job is appropriate according to the terms under which you were originally nominated. Our best advice to clients is to remain in their jobs until Permanent Residence is achieved, to avoid cancellation of your PR application if Alberta decides they don’t support your new role.
How long do I have to live in Alberta if I apply through the AAIP?
Anytime you are applying through a Provincial Nominee Program, you are certifying that you intend to live in the province that is nominating you. Because of that, you certainly need to remain living in Alberta during the processing of your Permanent Residence. Once you are landed as a Permanent Resident, things get a little murky. Although technically no one can dictate to you where you must live at that point, at some point in the future you will be providing your address history to IRCC when you either apply for a new PR card or make an application to become a Canadian Citizen. It could raise suspicions regarding your intentions if your address history does not show you residing in the province that nominated you, even for a short period of time after landing as a Permanent Resident.
Can I apply through the AAIP EE stream if I have an open work permit?
The Alberta Opportunity Stream is the program whereby most open work permit holders are ineligible to apply. If you are working in Canada on an open work permit, and Alberta issues you a Notification of Interest through the Express Entry stream, then you are eligible to apply.
The Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway
A sub stream of the Alberta Express Entry stream is the Accelerated Tech Pathway – an application stream that gives priority processing to Express Entry candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria:
- A minimum CRS score of 300 or higher
- An interest in immigrating permanently to Alberta
- A job offer with an eligible Alberta employer, in an eligible occupation that is the same as your primary occupation in your Express Entry profile
- More than 3 months until your Express Entry profile expires
The process to apply for the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway is slightly different than the Alberta Express Entry stream. Eligible candidates with an Express Entry profile need to submit a short form to Alberta and then wait to see if Alberta will invite them to apply for through the stream.