Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is an economic migration program, operated jointly by the government of Alberta and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  The AINP  supports Alberta's economic growth by attracting and retaining work-ready immigrants to the province.  


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Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
Written by Jennifer Aranda.
Updated August 25, 2016 | Canada

Alberta is one of Canada's three prairie provinces.  As the fourth largest province in the country, Alberta's neighbors are Saskatchewan in the east, British Columbia west, Northwest Territories in the north and the U.S. state of Montana south.  Its capital city is Edmonton but its largest city is Calgary to the south.  Alberta is currently experiencing an upward population trend so on April 1, 2016, Alberta's population reached 4.25 million.

If you are interested in settling in Alberta, you should know that Alberta has oil (second largest reserves in the world), natural gas (third largest producer in the world), and coal.  Alberta in fact, accounts for 70% of Canada's coal reserves and is the main producer of oil and natural gas in Canada.  Alberta however, is not all about oil, natural gas and coal.  About half of the province's land area is covered by forest. Alberta is also the second largest agricultural producer in Canada and the largest cattle producing province in Canada.  

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program 

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is an economic migration program, operated jointly by the government of Alberta and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  The AINP  supports Alberta's economic growth by attracting and retaining work-ready immigrants to the province.  

If you are nominated by the Government of Canada, you and your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children will apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Express Entry system. Despite the nomination, IRCC will be making the final decision on your permanent resident application.

There are options for both skilled and semi-skilled workers that allow you to apply on your own or with your employer. You should know though that the AINP may close an AINP stream without prior notice because these categories depend on application volumes and labor market needs.

The following individuals are not eligible to apply to the AINP:

  • Clergy, Elementary and Secondary School Teachers, Professional Athletes and Dental Laboratory Bench Workers
  • Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process
  • Live-in Caregivers currently living in Canada
  • Temporary Foreign Workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta
  • International student studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program

With the AINP, options exist for applicants in three main streams.  Each AINP stream and category have different requirements and applications may be made with or without an employer.

Strategic Recruitment Stream. 

You can apply without an employer under any of the following categories but still be in status with a valid work permit:

1.   COMPULSORY AND OPTIONAL TRADES CATEGORY

  • You must intend to apply to and be capable of living permanently in Alberta
  • You are a supervisor, foreman or tradesperson working in a compulsory or optional trade in Alberta. You must possess one of the following:
    • A valid Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) Recognized Trade Certificate. Recognized regulatory authorities can be:
      • In another province or territory
      • The Department of National Defence - Canada
      • A credential-issuing authority from outside Canada
    • A valid Alberta Qualification Certificate that you can acquire through:
      • Work Experience
      • A Recognized Credential
  • At the time of your application, you must be residing in Alberta and show that you have a valid work permit from IRCC  This work permit is issued by IRCC and must show that you are working in the nominated trade for which you are certified.
  • Your employment may fit either of the following:
    • You are currently working in your trade with an Alberta-based employer;
    • You have a minimum of six months work experience in your trade in the past two years
  • If your nominated trade is that of a Part Technician, which is at skill level "C" of the National Occupational Classification, you must meet language requirements for semi-skilled occupations.

Check the following important links!

>> Recognized compulsory or optional trade in Alberta

>> Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) definition 1 of "Parts Technician" occupation

>> Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) definition 2 of "Parts Technician" occupation

2.   ENGINEERING OCCUPATIONS CATEGORY

  • You must intend to apply and be capable of living permanently in Alberta
  • At the time of your application, you must be residing in Alberta.
  • You must provide evidence of related education or training and work experience as an engineer, designer or drafter.
  • You must be currently working or have worked within the last two years in Alberta either directly or on contract for an Alberta-based employer.
  • Your occupation in Alberta must be on the AINP Strategic Recruitment Stream Engineering Occupations List. Check this list:
    • Engineering Managers
    • Civil Engineers
    • Mechanical Engineers
    • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    • Chemical Engineers
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers
    • Mining Engineers
    • Geological Engineers
    • Petroleum Engineers
    • Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians
    • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
    • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
    • Drafting Technologists and Technicians
  • If you have engineering credentials and are working in some engineering occupations, you might be asked to provide a "Letter of No Objection" from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and submit this with your AINP application.  Alternatively, you may show that you are registered with APEGA as a foreign licensee.

3.   POST-GRADUATE WORKER CATEGORY

  • You must intend to apply to and be capable of living permanently in Alberta
  • You must be currently working full-time in Alberta for an Alberta-based employer.
    • Your Post-Graduation Work Permit (issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) should be current and valid
    • Your work must be one of the following:
      • NOC 0: Management occupations
      • NOC A: Occupations that usually require university education
      • NOC B: Occupations that usually require college education
      • NOC C: Occupations that usually require specific training and/or secondary education
    • If you are not eligible to apply under the Post-Graduate Worker Category or the International Graduate Category, you may be eligible for other AINP categories under the Strategic Recruitment Stream or Employer-Driven Stream.
    • You must have obtained a certificate, diploma, degree or completed a graduate level program from one of the following AINP approved Alberta public and private post-secondary institutions unless your occupation belongs to one of the ineligible occupations.

>>  CLICK HERE to check the List of Ineligible Occupations

  • The program of study in Alberta must have been at least one year such as minimum of two semesters of full-time study, or equivalent, in duration.  The following is a list of AINP approved institutions:
    • Public Institutions
      • Alberta College of Art and Design
      • Athabasca University
      • Bow Valley College
      • Grande Prairie Regional College
      • Keyano College
      • Lakeland College
      • Lethbridge College
      • Grant MacEwan University (MacEwan University)
      • Medicine Hat College
      • Mount Royal University
      • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
      • NorQuest College
      • Northern Lakes College
      • Olds College
      • Portage College
      • Red Deer College
      • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic)
      • The Banff Centre
      • University of Alberta
      • University of Calgary
      • University of Lethbridge
    • Independent Institutions
      • Ambrose University (formerly Ambrose University College)
      • Burman University (formerly Canadian University College)
      • Concordia University of Edmonton (formerly Concordia University College of Alberta)
      • The King's University (formerly The King's University College)
      • St. Mary's University (formerly St. Mary's University College)
  • If you are working in a NOC C occupation, you must submit official test results showing that you meet the minimum language standards, and your test results cannot be more than two years old at the time of application to the AINP. The only official test results that the AINP will accept are listed below, along with the minimum language standards.
    • A Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test with minimum scores of
      • Listening: 4
      • Reading: 4
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test with minimum scores of
      • Listening: 4.5
      • Reading: 3.5
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • A Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 145
      • Reading: 121
      • Writing: 181
      • Speaking: 181

Employer-Driven Stream

To qualify, you should have been offered a permanent and full-time job in an eligible skilled occupation, by an Alberta-based employer that meets Alberta's employment and wage standards. 

1.   SKILLED WORKER CATEGORY 

  • You must clearly show in the application that you are able to and intend to live permanently in Alberta.
  • Have related education, training, previous work experience, and any Alberta licensing needed for the position and to meet AINP criteria.  
  • Provide a copy of your valid work permit, issued by IRCC if you are already working in Alberta.
    • If you are currently living outside Canada, you must provide proof of your legal status in your country of residence
    • Your employer must provide an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or evidence of the LMIA exemption.
    • Your job offer must be an occupation in the following skill levels of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system:
      • NOC 0: Includes management occupations that usually require a university degree (bachelor's, master's or doctorate) or a professional designation.
      • NOC A: Includes occupations that usually require university education.
      • NOC B: Includes occupations that usually require college education.
  • Meet additional criteria if your occupation is in Early childhood educators and child care staff

2.   INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE CATEGORY 

  • You must clearly show in the application that you are able to and intend to live permanently in Alberta.
  • You must be working full-time in Alberta, for the employer who is supporting your application, at the time of application.
    • Your occupation is the same one that is stated on your permanent, full-time job offer from your employer.
    • Your occupation falls under one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels:
      • NOC 0: Management occupations
      • NOC A: Occupations that usually require university education.
      • NOC B: Occupations that usually require college education.
      • NOC C: Occupations that usually require specific training and/or secondary education. Please note, only candidates working in a NOC C occupation, must complete a designated language test with scores that meet language requirements. More details are listed below.
      • Some occupations are not eligible for consideration under the International Graduate Category. 

>>  CLICK HERE to check the List of Ineligible Occupations

  • You must have obtained a certificate, diploma, degree, or have completed a graduate level program from one of these AINP approved Alberta public and private post-secondary institutions or a publicly funded community college, trade/technical school or university in another Canadian province or territory.
    • The program of study in Canada must have been at least one year (i.e. minimum of two semesters of full-time study, or equivalent) in duration.
    • The following is a list of AINP approved institutions:
      • Public Institutions
        • Alberta College of Art and Design
        • Athabasca University
        • Bow Valley College
        • Grande Prairie Regional College
        • Keyano College
        • Lakeland College
        • Lethbridge College
        • Grant MacEwan University (MacEwan University)
        • Medicine Hat College
        • Mount Royal University
        • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
        • NorQuest College
        • Northern Lakes College
        • Olds College
        • Portage College
        • Red Deer College
        • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic)
        • The Banff Centre
        • University of Alberta
        • University of Calgary
        • University of Lethbridge
      • Independent Institutions
        • Ambrose University (formerly Ambrose University College)
        • Burman University (formerly Canadian University College)
        • Concordia University of Edmonton (formerly Concordia University College of Alberta)
        • The King's University (formerly The King's University College)
        • St. Mary's University (formerly St. Mary's University College)
  • Have a current and valid Post-Graduation Work Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) Canada.
  • If you are working in a NOC C occupation, you must submit official test results showing that you meet the minimum language standards.  The only official test results that the AINP will accept are listed below, along with the minimum language standards. 
    • A Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test taken on or after April 1, 2014, with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 4
      • Reading: 4
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 4.5
      • Reading: 3.5
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • A Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 145
      • Reading: 121
      • Writing: 181
      • Speaking: 181

3.   SEMI-SKILLED CATEGORY

  • You might qualify if you are a temporary foreign worker and have been offered a permanent and full-time job in an eligible semi-skilled occupation listed below:
    • Industry: Food and Beverage Processing
      • Food and Beverage Production Worker 
      • Bakery Production Worker
      • Food and Beverage Processing Equipment Cleaner
      • Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters
      • Poultry Production Workers
    • Industry: Hotel and Lodging
      • Food and Beverage Servers
      • Room Attendants
      • Front Desk Agent/Clerk
    • Industry: Manufacturing
    • Industry: Trucking
      • Long-Haul Truck Driver
    • Industry: Foodservices (pilot project)
      • Food and Beverage Servers
      • Food Counter Attendants
      • Kitchen Helpers
  • Show that you have completed a minimum of high school education
    In the Foodservices Industry (pilot project), your high school education must be equivalent to Alberta standards.
  • Submit one of the following test results, showing that you meet minimum language standards:
    • A Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 4
      • Reading: 4
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 4.5
      • Reading: 3.5
      • Writing: 4
      • Speaking: 4
    • A Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF) with minimum scores of:
      • Listening: 145
      • Reading: 121
      • Writing: 181
      • Speaking: 181

Self-Employed Farmer Stream.

To qualify, you must have the financial resources and farm management experience to purchase and establish a farm in Alberta. Some of the criteria to qualify include the following:

Self-Employed Farmer Stream criteria (include but are not limited to):

  • You must prove that you have farm management skills shown by:
    • Financial documentation of your existing farm business
    • Documentation of your education, training and work experience
    • Proposed business plan for the farming enterprise you are considering in Alberta
    • Proof that a Canadian financial institution is willing to finance your proposed farming business.
  • You must have sufficient financial resources to develop a sustainable farming operation.
    • You must be able to invest a minimum of CDN $500,000 of equity in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
    • You must provide documents that demonstrates you have a minimum net worth of CDN $500,000 or confirmation that you have access to a similar amount of funds from other sources.
    • The CDN $500,000 is the minimum amount. You may be required to show you have the ability to invest more than the minimum.
  • You must invest in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
    • You will have to document your investment intentions in your proposed business plan.
    • Applications representing the best opportunity for growth relevant to Alberta's agri-food targets will be given priority.

Some Living Costs to Help You Decide

If you are interested in settling in the province, we've compiled some living costs for Edmonton and Calgary for you to compare. These figures are from the website Numbeo (listed in Canadian Dollars) for you:

Expense Edmonton Calgary
Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant 66.00 74.62
McMeal at McDonalds or equivalent combo meal 8.09 8.50
Cappuccino, regular 4.08 4.16
Milk, regular 1 liter 2.24 1.94
Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 500g 2.78 2.51
Rice, white 1 kg 4.74 4.57
Eggs, 12 3.43 3.36
Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless 1 kg 13.48 15.55
Beef Round 1 kg or equivalent back leg red meat 13.38 20.33
Apples, 1 kg 3.90 4.04
Banana, 1 kg 1.83 1.87
Oranges, 1 kg 4.65 3.75
Tomato, 1 kg 4.18 4.06
Potato, 1 kg 2.53 2.90
Onion, 1 kg 2.56 2.33
Water, 1.5 liter bottle 2.57 1.78
Monthly Bus Pass, Regular Price 89.00 99.00
Gasoline, 1 liter 0.92 0.97
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90KW Trendline or equivalent new car 22,500.00 23,000.00
1 Pair of Jeans, Levis 501 or similar 66.88 60.75
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, etc.) 49.42 48.26
1 Pair of Nike running shoes, mid-range 94.74 97.15
Apartment, 1 bedroom in the city centre, 1 month rent 1,193.75 1,340.79
Apartment, 1 bedroom outside city centre, 1 month rent 990.12 1,062.39
Apartment, 3 bedrooms in the city centre, 1 month rent 1,806.06 2,306.67
Apartment, 3 bedrooms outside city centre, 1 month rent 1,479.84 1,704.45
Average monthly disposable salary, net after tax 3,036.19 3,707.11

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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