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Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP): What is it?

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Alberta rural landscapeThe opportunities and diversity in Canada make it an attractive country for potential immigrants. Immigration policies are geared toward allowing more than 200,000 newcomers to enter each year. But these factors mean Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can experience delays in processing applications. This can be very frustrating to applicants who want to start their new lives in Canada.

To assist in processing the backlog, the federal government, along with most of the provinces and territories, has created a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that allows the provinces to target specific education and work skills needed in the province. The candidates who meet the criteria of the PNP can be nominated by the province or territory for Permanent Residency.

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program.

The Unique Aspects of AINP Alberta

The Alberta Nominee Program is designed to attract skilled and semi-skilled workers who hold valid work permits. There are no fees to apply to AINP, although applicants have to pay IRCC’s fees. Language proficiency in either English or French might be required with test results from the past two years. Applicants must intend to live and work permanently in Alberta. There are currently three active streams in AINP:

Strategic Recruitment Stream

The key advantage of this stream is that it allows Temporary Foreign Workers to apply without the support of an employer. There are three designated categories:

  • Compulsory and Optional Trades. If you hold a valid trade certificate in one of 49 designated trades, you could be eligible to apply under this category. Individuals who are working in Alberta or who have worked in the province for more than six months in the past two years can apply. It’s important to note this category exempts a few individuals. For example, if you are currently working in another province or are a live-in caregiver, you can not apply.
  • Engineering Occupations. Temporary Foreign Workers who have worked in Alberta in a designated engineering occupation can apply through this category. You must have the appropriate education or training in engineering. AINP maintains a list of engineering occupations that it targets for acceptance into the program.
  • Post-Graduate Worker. For individuals who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Alberta, hold a Post-Graduation Work Permit, and are working full time, this category could be an option. There is a list of ineligible occupations so if the job you currently hold is on that list, you can not apply to AINP under this category.

Employer-Driven Stream

Under this stream, individuals apply to the Provincial Nominee Program in Alberta along with their employer. There are certain criteria that the employer must meet, in addition to the applicant’s requirements. For example, the company must be either registered with or incorporated under a provincial or federal legislature. The job offered must be a permanent, full-time position and it must meet Alberta’s wage and employment standards.There are three categories in this stream:

  • Skilled Worker. This category targets individuals who have the requisite training, education, and experience to fill certain skilled jobs. It is up to the candidate to provide proof of any licensing and education needed to fill the position.
  • International Graduate. Applicants in this category need to have graduated from an eligible post-secondary institution in Alberta or from a publicly-funded college or university in another province and have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit. Keep in mind there are occupations that are ineligible under this category.
  • Semi-Skilled Worker. The eligible occupations and industries are restricted to a select few in this category. Currently, AINP focuses on the Food and Beverage Processing, Hotel and Lodging, Manufacturing, and Trucking industries. AINP is operating a pilot project in the Foodservices industry. Candidates must meet minimum language standards and need to have finished secondary school.

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

To support and grow the agricultural sector in Alberta, AINP has the Self-Employed Farmer Stream. Candidates must demonstrate experience with and knowledge of operating a farm by providing documentation such as the financials of an existing farm business and a business plan for a farm in Alberta. Moreover, you need to have financial resources. That includes having the backing of a Canadian financial institution as well as proof that of at least $500,000 in personal net worth.

The AINP offers good opportunities for Temporary Foreign Workers to be nominated for Permanent Residency. It’s important, though, to understand the different restrictions and ineligibilities within the three streams. For this reason, many applicants seek the assistance of an immigration professional. Experienced immigration professionals understand the subtleties of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program and can help ensure your application is complete.

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