Canada’s immigrant friendly policies have made it a lucrative country to settle, work and make a life. Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of newcomers ready to contribute to the country’s economy from day one.
One of the popular places for immigration, Alberta is the fourth-largest province in Canada. It is the economic centre of oil, mining, and natural gas industries. Alberta also has robust construction, insurance, finance, and agriculture industries.
Alberta’s population is close to four million people and Edmonton and Calgary are two most popular cities.
There are a number of ways you can immigrate to Canada such as Alberta Express Entry, accelerated tech pathway, provincial nomination and so on. Depending on your work experience and education level, you can become a permanent resident (PR) one way or the other.
One of the most popular ways to settle in Alberta is through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) (formerly known as Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
Here is a comprehensive guide on how the program works and how to apply.
In this article, we will cover:
- Overview of Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)
- How to qualify for an Alberta PR nomination
- Step-by-step application process for AAIP
- What happens after you get nominated
- Who can help me get AAIP nomination and Canada PR
Overview of Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) offers permanent residence to Canada PR aspirants who possess the relevant work experience and education in the in-demand skills or plan to start or buy a business in Alberta.
Just like other PNP programs, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is different from those of other provinces and territories. The main difference with AAIP is that it provides a list of occupations that are NOT ELIGIBLE for the AAIP.
There are five streams you can take to apply for under AAIP:
- Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS): This category is for foreign skilled workers who have a valid job offer from Alberta employer and are planning to or are already living in Alberta.
- Alberta Express Entry Stream: This category is for express entry candidates with an express entry profile.
- In January 2022, the Alberta government introduced the Accelerated Tech Pathway under Alberta Express Entry stream. This route is for express entry candidates who either have a valid job offer or are currently working in Alberta in a tech based occupation.
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS): This category is for international graduates who have completed their post-graduation from Alberta’s educational institutions and who now wish to start or buy a business in Alberta.
- Self-Employed Farmer Stream: This stream is for experienced farmers who wish to start or buy an existing farm in Alberta.
- Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS): This stream is for foreign graduates who wish to run a start-up and live permanently in Alberta.
How to qualify for an Alberta PR nomination
Depending on your qualifications, education, work experience, or entrepreneurial skills, there are multiple streams under AAIP that individuals can apply for.
Requirements for categories under streams for workers
Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS)
This category is for temporary foreign skilled workers already working in Alberta or have a valid job offer from an Alberta employer.
- Must work in an eligible occupation that is NOC skill 0, A, B C and D with some exceptions.
- Must have a temporary foreign worker permit.
- Those with Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) must be working in a field related to their study.
- Job offer must provide full-time employment for a minimum 12 months.
- Job offer must be in applicant’s current occupation.
- Offered salary must be in line with province’s minimum wage.
- Minimum 12 months full-time work experience in Alberta within past 18 months or minimum 24 months work experience anywhere in the world within past 30 months.
- PGWP holders need minimum 6 months full-time work experience within past 18 months
- Minimum language skill level of 5 in French or English for NOC skill level 0, A or B.
- Minimum language skill level of 4 in English or French for NOC skill level C or D.
- Minimum language skill level of 7 in English or French for NOC 3413.
- Completed a minimum of the equivalent of Alberta high school education.
Alberta Express Entry Stream
This category is for express entry candidates whose profiles are there in the express entry pool.
Please Note: Candidates cannot apply directly to the express entry stream. Only the one with Notification of Interest in their IRCC Express Entry profile can apply for permanent residence.
- A valid Express Entry profile.
- A Notification of Interest (NOI) from AAIP.
- Meet the criteria of at least one of the following federal programs:
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Willing to live and work in Alberta on a permanent basis.
- Have relevant education and experience in occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development.
- Have a minimum CRS score of 300.
You can also increase your chances for permanent residence with:
- An Alberta job offer.
- Valid work experience in Alberta.
- A graduate degree from a Canadian post-secondary institution.
- Having a family member who is a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen living in Alberta.
Addition Requirements for the Accelerated Tech Pathway
- Must be working with, or have a valid job offer in one of 23 eligible occupation NOCs.
- Must complete and submit the form.
- The primary occupation listed in your EE profile should match your current Alberta employment or job offer.
- Must have valid immigration status.
Requirements for categories under the streams for entrepreneurs
International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)
This stream is for international graduates from Alberta who are looking to establish or buy a business and apply for permanent residence in Canada.
- Completed two years full-time education from an Alberta publicly funded post-secondary institution.
- PGWP valid for at least two years at time of submission
- Minimum language benchmark level 7.
- Establish or buy an existing business in Alberta and own at least 34 percent of it.
- Minimum six months working full time in the business or equivalent experience with an entrepreneurship program course or a business incubator.
- Work experience can be inside or outside of Canada.
- You can further strengthen your Canada PR application by showing economic benefit in terms of:
- Job creation
- Business location
- Developing intellectual property
- Partnership or support from incubator or angel investor
- Business succession
- Age between 21 to 49 years.
- For spouse, minimum one year of continuous full-time employment, or two years post-secondary education in Alberta, or minimum language level of 5.
- You, or your spouse, have an immediate family in Alberta.
Self-Employed Farmer Stream
This stream is for entrepreneurs with the farm management experience who are looking to establish a new or purchase an existing farm in Alberta.
- Financial documentation of existing farm business.
- Documents to proof farm management skills such as education, training, and work experience.
- Proposed business plan.
- Proof a Canadian financial institution is ready to or will finance your farming business.
- Invest a minimum of $500,000 CAD equity.
- Proof your minimum net worth to be $500,000 CAD or the ability to access equivalent funds from different sources.
- Submit documents with investment plans for proposed farming business.
Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS)
This stream is for qualified foreign educated graduates who have studied outside of Canada and wish to launch a start-up or an innovative business in Alberta.
- Minimum six months full-time work experience of actively managing or owning a business or equivalent work experience with business accelerator or incubator.
- Have a post-secondary degree outside of Canada within the last two years of time of submission.
- Business plan with projected financials.
- Pitch presentation that outlines proposed business venture.
- Language skill level 7 in French or English.
- Minimum 34 per cent ownership in business in urban area or minimum 51 percent ownership in regional area that is the places outside Calgary or Edmonton.
- Minimum investment level of at least $100,000 CAD for urban centre and $50,000 CAD for regional area.
- Letter of recommendation from an AAIP-approved designated agency.
- Demonstrate proof of funds needed to start business and support themselves.
Step-by-step application process for AAIP
Confirm you qualify
Once you have identified the stream best suited to you, it is important to make sure that you meet all the criteria before going ahead with you Alberta PNP draw.
Please note: For the Alberta Express Entry stream, applicants must have an active express entry profile and also meet the requirements for one of the following federal programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class
If you’ve expressed an interest in living permanently in Alberta, your profile will be considered from the federal express entry pool.
If you qualify for Accelerated Tech Pathway, you need to fill a separate form that will collect information on your Alberta-based job offer or employment, as well as your federal Express Entry profile.
If you have a Notification of Interest (NOI) letter from Alberta, please email a copy of the letter and your Express Entry profile number to AAIP at [email protected] within two weeks.
If you are selected under the provincial nomination, AAIP will send you an email with a link to the AAIP portal.
Create a MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI) account
To submit an online AAIP application, please create an MADI account – a free online ID required to access Government of Alberta services online.
Register with the AAIP
- Create a profile with AAIP online portal and complete all sections of the registration.
- Submit your registration online.
- The AAIP portal will provide a list of documents you need to upload based on the information provided.
Tip: Please go through AAIP Portal Helpful Hints before beginning your application.
For International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) or Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) only
If you’re applying through IGEIS or FGSVS, please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) first through the AAIP portal and submit required documents.
Please Note: An EOI is NOT an application. Receiving an EOI does not guarantee an ITA or opportunity to submit a Business Application.
Once your application is reviewed, you may be asked to submit a Business Application package. If you meet the criteria, you will need to present your business plan and showcase how it meets the program requirements.
Upon selection, you will be required to sign a Business Performance Agreement. Following this, you will get a 205(a) Letter of Support so that you can apply for a two-year work permit and a Business Application Approval letter.
You can then apply for a work permit and move to Alberta. You can apply for provincial nomination once you’ve satisfied all the conditions of your Business Performance Agreement.
Pay an application fee
You will have to pay a non-refundable application fee of $500 CAD within 24-hours once your application has been submitted to the AAIP.
Receive decision on your application
You will receive AAIP’s decision on your application by email. If approved, you will receive a nomination package with instructions on how to apply for permanent residence.
Tip: You can submit a Request for Reconsideration if your application is declined.
Apply for permanent residence
If your application is successful, the final step is to apply for permanent residence through IRCC. Please note, it is up to the Government of Canada to grant you permanent residence.
What happens after you get nominated
- Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS): Please apply for PR within six months after being nominated. If needed, you can get your nomination extended.
- Alberta Express Entry Stream: You need to accept your nomination within 30 days. After receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA), please apply for a PR within 60 days.
- Self-employed Farmer Stream: Your nomination is valid for six months and you would have to apply for permanent residency during this time.
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) or Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS): You must apply for PR within six months. You must submit a Business Progress Report six months after receiving the nomination.
Who can help me get AAIP nomination and Canada PR
Keel’s team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything you need to know about AAIP. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of the entire process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada.
Schedule your call today, let’s make your Canada dream a reality.
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