AINP - Alberta Opportunities Stream

by Peter Wong, Q.C.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Minimum annual income requirements that set basic minimum gross annual income based on size of family.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) - 2018 program changes

by Rekha McNutt

AINP has announced some significant changes to the way it will intake applications from 2018. Here are some insights from their recent release:

Key changes

  • Effective Jan. 2, 2018, the AINP will consolidate the Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment Streams and 11 sub-categories under one new Alberta Opportunity Stream.
  • The Alberta Opportunity Stream will have one single set of eligibility criteria, ensuring a simpler application process and shorter processing times.
  • Beginning in 2018, the AINP will have the ability to place yearly caps on the number of applications accepted and nominations issued for certain sectors and occupations, ensuring equitable distribution of workers and fairness across all sectors and industries in Alberta.
  • Alberta will add an Express Entry Stream allowing the AINP to select candidates from the federal Express Entry pool. This will be operational in January 2018.

Alberta labour anticipates shortages in the following areas:

  • nurse supervisors and registered nurses (shortage of 5,434 workers by 2025)
  • medical technologists and technicians (shortage of 2,322 workers by 2025)
  • computer and information systems professionals (shortage of 1,426 workers by 2025)
  • managers in construction and transportation (shortage of 1,386 workers by 2025)
  • sales and service supervisors (shortage of 1,145 workers by 2025)

Some notable features of the new Alberta Opportunities Stream:

  1. Occupation Requirements - your occupation must be eligible both at the time you apply and when AINP assesses the application. There is a list of ineligible occupations but it does not appear to limit the NOC skill levels
  2. Residency & work permit requirements - applicants must be living and working in Alberta on valid work permits (implied status or awaiting restoration will not work)
  3. Mandatory language testing - seems to apply to all NOC levels and currently requires a min. of CLB 4 (up to CLB 5 beginning in 2019)
  4. Educational requirements - minimum high school diploma and an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) if the diploma is foreign. Exceptions exist if your work experience is in a compulsory or optional trade, and you have a valid Qualification Certificate 
  5. Work Experience - You must remain working in the same occupation throughout the processing of your application. You must demonstrate minimum work experience in Alberta or abroad in the same occupation applying under. A written job offer is also required.
  6. Income levels - minimum income is required and varies depending on the size of your family unit