The New Immigration Streams Announced By Alberta, Canada

The province of Alberta has declared significant changes to its AINP – Alberta Immigration Nominee Program – effective January 2018. According to the new AINP, the number of streams are going to be reduced extensively to facilitate greater responsiveness of the nation’s immigration process. As of now, the AINP operates seven different immigration programs in three streams as mentioned below.

AINP Programs

  1. The Strategic Recruitment Stream
  • Compulsory and Optional Trades
  • Engineering Occupations
  • Post-Graduate Worker

  1. The Employer-Driven Stream
  • Skilled Worker
  • International Graduate
  • Semi-Skilled Worker


  1. Self-Employed Farmer Stream
  • Self-Employed Farmer

Each of the above programs have their own eligibility criteria, application guide and assessment procedure.

The New Alberta Opportunity Stream

The new Alberta Opportunity Stream will take effect from 2018, the 2nd of January 2. The eligibility criteria for this new system is that the candidate needs to be working in Alberta in a credible occupation when applying for permanent residence.

Also, in the four language abilities in English, a score of at least CLB 4 is to be obtained. The least level of education requires is a high school diploma and at least two years of work experience. This stream is not going to be aligned with the Express Entry. This means applicants will not have to worry about competing with all other candidates from the Express Entry pool.

On the plus, a larger range of occupations are accepted through this new stream. Most occupations classified as NOC skill levels 0, A, B, C, and D are eligible under the new AINP, provided these are not entries from the Ineligible Occupations list.

The Alberta Express Entry System

In addition to the Alberta Opportunity Stream, a new Express Entry stream is going to be implemented. This system will allow AINP to nominate applicants from the federal Express Entry pool. Many provinces have streams aligned with the Express Entry. A nomination from one of these streams will increase the score by 600 CRS points! It simply guarantees the candidate will receive an ITA as soon as possible.

Many of the provincial programs automatically generate invites to 0Express Entry candidates based on their profile; still others require applicants to monitor their profiles and actively submit applications. Many streams operate throughout the year; some are specific with regards to intake.

Though Alberta hasn’t informed the public of how effective this system will be, it definitely increases the chances of greater opportunities for permanent residence aspirants.

Opportunities In Alberta

Opportunities in Alberta have always been known to be lucrative since the Albertan economy is one of the most powerful in the world owing to the Alberta oil sands. As of 2015, Canada is the fourth largest oil exporter. It is estimated that Alberta contains about 13 percent of the world’s oil reserves.

This has led the province to largely invest in the petroleum and oil industry. However, oil is not the only major industry. Of the western world, Alberta is the most prairie province meaning agriculture and forestry also contribute to the economy.

As the automobile industry expands, oil prices are expected to rise. The Albertan government is trying to increase opportunities and be more responsive to the industrial market needs. It is currently trying to bring in as many skilled and unskilled workers as possible.

The new Opportunity Stream provides an easy pathway to permanent residence for expatriate workers already working in Alberta, many of whom are employed in agricultural, forestry, mining, oil and gas industries.

However, the updates Alberta Express Entry stream is probably going to focus on recruiting candidates with higher educational qualifications or greater work experience to be employed in the same industries as targeted by the Strategic Recruitment and Employer-Driven streams. Examples of such candidates are engineers, agriculturists, skilled traders, businessmen, etc.

One of the greatest benefits adopting a system aligned with the Express Entry is the faster processing time. Currently, a provincial nominee who applies for permanent residence has to wait for 16 months as opposed to the 6 months processing time quotes by the Express Entry system!

All in all, the regulations that come into effect from the dawn of 2018 are going to see an increase in the number of candidates granted permanent residence.