Alberta in Canada Announces New Immigration Opportunity

Immigration authorities in the Canadian province of Alberta have announced a new immigration stream, known as the Opportunity stream, which will begin accepting applications as of January 2, 2018 under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).

The Opportunity stream will provide a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for foreign workers working in Alberta. Like all other AINP streams, this is a base Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream, whereby applications are processed entirely outside the federal Express Entry selection system. Successful applicants to the AINP obtain a provincial nomination, which may then be used to apply for permanent residence.

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The stream will replace will replace two currently existing AINP streams: the Employer-Driven stream and the Strategic Recruitment stream. Until the Opportunity stream takes effect, applications under the existing streams will continue to be accepted, and processing of those applications may continue after January, 2018, even though new applications will not be accepted.

Applicants to the Opportunity stream require a job offer from an employer in Alberta. The job offer does not necessarily need to be in a skilled occupation, as most occupations under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, B, C and D are eligible.

Applicants must have valid temporary resident status at the time of the application, and must not be living or working in a province or territory other than Alberta. Applicants not working in a job supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must have an exemption for workers covered under international trade agreements, workers transferred within a company, or people taking part in International Experience Canada (IEC), as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Applicants must also prove English or French ability at or above Canadian Language Benchmark 4, as proven by a language test recognized by the government of Alberta. This is a lower requirement than for many other economic immigration programs in Canada, including the popular Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC). As of January 2, 2019, the test score required for English and French language skills will be increased to a minimum of CLB 5 in each language skill.

A higher language ability threshold of CLB 7 or higher has been set for nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413).

Like the FSWC, applicants must have completed high school or a higher level of education. Applicants who did not study in Canada need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a recognized authority. In certain instances, applicants with work experience that qualifies them in a compulsory or optional trade, and who also have a recognized valid Alberta Qualification Certificate or trade certificate, may not have to obtain an ECA, even if they did not study in Canada.

Applicants must have either a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in their current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in their current occupation in Canada and/or abroad within the last 30 months (this work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in another Canadian province or territory and/or abroad).

Finally, applicants must satisfy a minimum income threshold, depending on the size of their family.

Number of members in family unit (including applicant)Gross annual income required (CAD)











Ineligible occupations

Individuals working in any of the following occupations will not be eligible to apply under the AINP Opportunity stream.



School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education0422

Managers in Social, Community and Correctional Services0423

Fire Chiefs and Senior Firefighting Officers0432

Escort Agency Managers, Massage Parlour Managers0651

Secondary School Teachers4031

Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers4032

Professional Occupations in Religion4154

Authors and Writers5121

Musicians and Singers5133

Actors and Comedians5135

Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists5136

Court Officers and Justices of the Peace1227

Dental Laboratory Bench Workers3223

Early Childhood Educators and Assistants*4214

Other Instructors4216

Other Religious Occupations4217

Other Performers, n.e.c.5232

Artisans and Craftspersons5244


Real Estate Agents and Salespersons6232

Home Child Care Providers4411

Home Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations4412

Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants4413

Casino Occupations6533

Other Personal Service Occupations6564

Taxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs7513

Trappers and Hunters8442

Other Sales Related Occupations6623

Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport6722

Other Service Support Occupations, n.e.c.6742

Harvesting Labourers8611

Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers8612

Aquaculture and Marine Harvest Labourers8613

Mine Labourers8614


October 20, 2017 By Hugo O'Doherty

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