Changes To The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program

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In addition to federal immigration programs, each province of Canada administers a nominee program (or, in the case of Quebec, a selection program).

These programs allow provinces to determine immigration nomination/selection criteria which they consider beneficial to their specific provinces. (In each case, applicants must still meet federal admissibility and related provisions.)

The Province of Alberta has a long-established nominee program. That program has now been revamped and revised, and a new stream has been launched – the “Alberta Opportunity Stream” (AOS). Other than the Alberta Self-Employer Farmer Stream, the AOS will become the only Alberta nominee program, incorporating all previous ‘skilled worker’ and related programs. (Applications submitted prior to June 14, 2018 under the previously-existing Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream will continue to be processed under those streams as per their rules and requirements.)

Under the AOS, a broader spectrum of foreign workers who work in Alberta will be allowed to seek nomination (and permanent residence). The category will be ‘filtered’ by the implementation of an ineligible occupations list. Any occupation not on the ineligible list, will, by definition, be eligible for the AOS. The ineligible occupations list can be found at forms/ainp-aos-ineligible-occupations.aspx.

There are some further caveats, including:

  • Some considerations will generally make a possible application ineligible – such as, situations where applicants are self-employed or seasonally employed.
  • Post-gradate Work Permit holders will not be able to apply if their occupation is on a separate list of occupations found at workers/refusal.html#h2.2-h3.2.
  • International students who have graduated from Alberta designated learning institutions will be able to access the AOS only after 6 months of work in Alberta in an occupation related to their field of study. (In turn, they will need to have previously secured a Post-Graduate Work Permit, in order to achieve their 6 months of work.)
  •  In addition to the occupational issues which are the focus of the program and this article, there are still other elements (some federally dictated) which must be considered including language, education, and others.

Please recognize as well that Alberta (as every province) has a limited number of nominations which they can make each year, so nomination can be delayed or deferred depending on inventories and backlogs.

For people working in Alberta who wish to become permanent residents, the new AOS provides a favourable option. This article provides only a summary of the program, but each case must be looked at individually for proper determination and consideration of all program requirements.

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