Updated: Feb 25
Are you currently living and working in the province of Alberta? Considering whether you should apply for permanent residence using the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (hereafter AINP)? There are certain benefits to applying using the current provincial nominee program as opposed to using Express Entry to apply as one of the following: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades or Canadian Experience Class. To follow, we will describe several differences and our assessment of the program entitled Alberta Opportunity Stream (hereafter AOS).
Among the benefits of AOS are as follows:
- the Alberta provincial nominee program is accepting applications under all skill levels including 0, A, B, C, and D with the exception of a few occupations on their ineligibility list (check the latest version). Conversely, the immigration streams under Express Entry are limited to skill levels 0, A, and B only.
- lower language benchmarks then Express Entry. Currently, CLB 4 in necessary in order to apply. In the future, a projected change is as follows, CLB/NCLC 5 for candidates working in NOC 0, A or B occupation. No change for NOC C or D occupations. Language test scores must not be over two years old.
- Open work permits are eligible under the Alberta Opportunity Stream with a few exceptions. For instance, spousal open work permits cannot be used to exemplify an eligible job offer. The kind of open work permits that are eligible as as follows: post graduation open work permit, LMIA exempt open work permit (including post-doctoral fellows), open work permits under international trade agreements, intra-company transferees, International Experience Canada (IEC) and Mobilité Francophone. However, one must also requiem the list of occupations on Alberta's ineligibility to process LMIA list as working in an occupation on that list, even on an LMIA-exempt work permit, will effect the disposition of the AINP application.
- Some candidates on Express Entry could also receive an expression of interest from the province of Alberta and upon submitting an application and obtaining a nomination, they will receive 600 additional points of Express Entry.
- lower education standards are another benefit of using the AINP as opposed to federal streams for obtaining permanent residence in Canada. For instance, AINP is requiring a minimum of high school education from the applicant's country of citizenship. Of course the education requirements must also be considered within the context of the NOC code under which the individual's primary job offer is listed. Conversely, on Express Entry the CRS score may be insufficient to obtain an invitation to apply with only a minimum education level or it may take a long time to obtain an invitation.
- You may apply right away if you have at least 2 years of full time work experience in the same occupation as that listed on your job offer in the last 30 months. This work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in Canada (outside Alberta) and/or abroad. OR. a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in your current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months. Please note that the fixed factor is the occupation or NOC code of the job offer, not the employer. Full time experience from multiple companies can be combined to meet the requirement.
The cons of using the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) and/or the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) are as follows:
- two step process which begins with applying to the province and then a second application is made to apply for permanent residence to the federal government.
- typically takes more time then Express Entry for both steps.
- if your occupation is on an ineligibility list or on refusal to process LMIA in Alberta list, you may not have an option to apply at this time.
- has program specifications regarding wages offered which may not be the case with some of the streams on Express Entry.
- additional program requirements and limitations on post-graduate open work permit holders.
- neither implied status nor restoration of status applicants are eligible for Alberta provincial nomination. One must still have a valid work permit when the application is post marked and when it is assessed by the AINP.
- the candidate becomes eligible for a bridging open work permit only after receiving a favourable decision or nomination from AINP. Therefore, only filing an application for nomination with the Alberta provincial nominee program would not result in eligibility for a work permit extension until after the nomination.
The above mentioned pro's and con's list of using the Alberta Immigrant Nominee program and the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) in its current state is meant to provide a framework within which to wager one's options. It is not a comprehensive list that elaborates on every contingency of Express Entry and the Alberta provincial nominee program. #ainp #provincialnominee #expressentry #albertaopportunitystream #permanentresidence #canadaimmigration #visatocanada #immigrationtocanada