On June 14th, 2018, the long awaited changes to the AINP programs came into place. Existing applications submitted under previous streams will be processed under those previous streams will continue to be processed without regard to the new Opportunity program requirements. Further, existing applicants are not permitted to file a new application under the Opportunity Stream without withdrawing their application in process. Applicants who were contemplating filing applications under any of the previous streams are no longer able to as the only remaining programs are the Opportunity Stream, the Self Employed Farmer Stream and a new Express Entry Stream. The Opportunity Stream will be the bulk of new applications.
The Opportunity Stream has some significant differences from the Employer Driven, Post Graduate and International Graduate Streams which comprised the bulk of the previous applications. These differences include the following:
- A language requirement which requires all applicants to submit language test results and currently meet at least Canadian Language Benchmark 4 on all categories. Higher requirements will be phased in over the next couple of years, with the next increase in language benchmark to 5 on June 14th, 2019.
- A high school graduation requirement that will be phased in from the current requirement of high school graduation at the level of the home country to Alberta standards requirement.
- Minimum annual income requirements that set basic minimum gross annual income based on size of family.
- Minimum period of time worked in Alberta (12 months) or alternatively 24 months of proven experience outside of Canada in the occupation for which a bona fide job offer has been provided.
- There are different requirements for post graduate work permit holders, including a 6 month requirement for minimum requirement for work in Alberta, graduation from an Alberta post-secondary learning institution that is listed in the program requirements, and specifically within particular programs that are also listed for one and two year certificates and diplomas.
This list of changes is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of some of the significant additional requirements that have been added to the AINP that did not exist under previous streams. For detailed information, best to consult with an expert, or refer directly to the AINP website.