New Alberta Opportunity Stream – Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program

Everything you wanted to know - Mark Holthe's take!

Are you an Alberta based foreign worker frustrated with how high the CRS has climbed for Express Entry? Are you beginning to think you will never get an ITA? If this is you, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program’s new Alberta Opportunity Stream may just be the solution for you. 

In this Episode I am flying solo to waste no time in demystifying the recent changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. I love to share information about immigration that affects my dear Province of Alberta. Finally, I have something to share that is actually a pretty big deal.

The Alberta Opportunity Stream was previously announced back in 2017 with a proposed launch date of January 2018. However, there was a fairly huge push back when stakeholders realized that anyone on an open work permit was going to be left in the dust when it came to getting nominations from the Province of Alberta. Credit to Brad Trefan and the other powers that be in Edmonton – they suspended the launch of the Alberta Opportunity Stream to listen to stakeholders and make sure they got it right. The local chapter of the Canadian Bar Association was one of many stakeholders who offered their thoughts on the proposed changes.

I think Brad and the gang actually did a pretty good job at getting the balance just about right!

On June 14, 2018 the Alberta Opportunity Stream was officially launched. In this Episode of the Canadian Immigration Podcast, I share my thoughts on the changes and highlight what this new Selection Criteria is all about.


[Tweet “Alberta Opportunity Stream comes to life.“]

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

Topics for our Next Podcast

If you have a suggestion for topics we could cover in the Podcast, please drop me a line. If you know of anyone that would be interested in coming on the Podcast as a guest, please send them my way. share on facebook, share on twitter, share on LinkedIn

Read the Transcript

You can read additional notes for this episode, [spoiler]

CIP – Season 3 Episode 4 – AINP – Alberta Opportunities Stream Launched

• Second attempt – Dec 2017 originally announced changes with little stakeholder involvement
o Anyone on open work permit – excluded – including PGWP
o Huge backlash resulted in suspension of rollout
• June 14th – relaunched the new Alberta Opportunities Stream

• Lots that we do not know about the new harmonized stream; including the criteria upon which the new Express Entry stream will be based upon.

o significant connection to Alberta likely required
o Maybe somewhat similar to OINP’s Human Capital Stream – don’t know at this stage.
• So what do we know?
• Program was dominated by some sectors and some occupations:

• 6311 – Food Service Supervisors
• 6211 – Retail Sales Supervisors
• 7511 – Transport Truck Drivers
• 1241 – Administrative assistants
• 7284 – Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers and Lathers
• 3421 – Retail Salespersons
• 0631 – Restaurant and Food Services Managers
• 0621 – Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers
• 6315 – Cleaning Supervisors

• Application intake and nomination guidelines may be put in place that would set the maximum number of applications accepted and nominations issued each year, as well as maximums for applications and nominations by sector and occupation. Announcements about application intake and nomination guidelines will be available on the AINP news page.

Nomination certificate limits for 2018
As of June 14, 2018, the AINP:
• is authorized to issue a maximum of 5,600 nominations for the 2018 calendar year. This limit is set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
• has issued 2,277 nomination certificates in 2018  3323 spots left
• has approximately 4,700 applications awaiting assessment for eligibility
• Even with no new applications after June 14th – there are still 1,377 more applications than nomination spots
o There will be more application submitted this year
o We have a number going in right away
o Some will get refused or otherwise found ineligible
o Safe to say a slight backlog will continue to exist.

• So what has the AINP done to “reduce” the influx? A new Selection Criteria

• Let’s take a look at the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS)’s new selection criteria

Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS)

• Selection Criteria has been both expanded and constricted
• New requirements such as language, education and income will be phased in over the next three years
o These will increase as time goes on – you can check the future requirements out at the Planned AOS Criteria Changes webpage.

Okay, let’s dig into this new selection criteria.

1. Residency status and work permit requirements

At the time your application is postmarked and at the time the AINP assesses your application:
• Valid work permit (not implied status or restoring status) based on one of these categories:
o IMP WP (includes IEC, NAFTA ICTs etc.) Spousal Open WPs EXCLUDED?
 Graduated from Alberta Advanced Education approved post secondary institution AND;
 If 1 to 2 year diploma, the credential must be on the approved Alberta Advanced Education Undergraduate credentials list
• NOTE: Bachelors, masters, doctorals just need to be from one of the approved Alberta educational institutions AND
 Current occupation must be related to your field of study in Alberta
• If graduated with eligible 1 year certificate, your current occupation must also be related to your previous undergraduate or graduate field of study outside Canada.

2. Occupation requirements

• Only eligible occupations can qualify – must be on the list AND
• Work in occupation that matches your previous work experience – we’ll discuss what this means a little later
• If PGWP holder, your occupation must be related to your field of study in Alberta
o Issues:
 What does “related to your field of study mean”? How closely related? Only time will tell.
• Will a business admin diplomas still work for filling a food service supervisor position at Dairy Queen? – Maybe?
• If PGWP holder with only one year certificate your occupation must also relate to your previous undergrad or graduate field of study outside Canada? —-

o WOW! That is super restrictive for PGWP holders with one year programs. (Basically saying….go to Express Entry and don’t burn up our AINP nomination quota)
• POSITIVE – Most 0,A,B C AND D occupations will work – but there are ineligible occupations

• Two ineligible occupations lists exist (if your occupation is on the list – can’t apply to AINP:
o AOS list – applies to everyone – if your occupation is on the list
o ESDC High wage/ Low wage Alberta LMIA refusal to process list – applies to PGWP holders only

3. English or French language requirements
• CLB 4 – for each skill until June 14, 2019 – increases to CLB5
o 3413 Nurse aides and orderlies = CLB 7
• CELPIP/IELTS/TEF – valid for 2 years

4. Education requirements

• Minimum high school  in your country until Jan 1, 2012 = AB HS equivalency required
• PGWP – AB school, on the education list

5. Work experience requirements

• You must be working in an occupation that matches your work experience at the time your application is postmarked and at the time the AINP assesses your application.

• Qualifying Work Experience:
o Min 12 months – F/T in current occupation within last 18 months OR
o Min 24 months – F/T in current occupation in Canada (overseas) within last 30 months
 Can be a combination of experience in AB, Canada and/or abroad OR
o IF PGWP holder – min 6 months – F/T in current occupation in last 18 months AND current occupation related to your field of study in Alberta
• Work experience in Qualifying Period must be:
o F/T (30 hrs/w) NOTE: P/T will not be considered
o For same occupation as your current occupation
o Obtained in legal status
o Not gained while studying or doing co-op or internship
 EXCEPTION – co-op work placement or internship as part of study program
• Paid, F/T (30 hrs)
• Directly related to current occupation
• Work experience gained in Alberta

• Additional requirements:
o Licensing, registration, certification to work in occupation
 POINT TO CONSIDER: Optional Trades may now be eligible without trade certificate – provided not on the ineligible list
o Full time job offer from Alberta employer and working for that employer
 Employer must:
• Be incorporated or registered and operating in Alberta
o Established production capability, plant or place of business AND
• Job Offer signed by both parties and must:
o Continuous paid work
o F/T – 30 hours/week min
o Employment for 12 months+
o Work in your current occupation AND
o Eligible occupation that meets work permit requirements
 LMIA, IMP or PGWP related to field of study and education
o Ineligible situations:
 P/T employees – regardless of hours
 Independent Contractors
 Business owners
 Temp agency workers
 Directors, shareholders or agents of Alberta employer on Corporate Registry System (CORES)
 working in a home=based business
 virtual employees working for AB employer “outside” Alberta.

6. Income level requirements

• must meet a minimum gross annual income level based on your “family unit” size.
• Spouse, dependent child (under 22) (whether accompanying you or not)
• Must use the “Income Calculation Worksheet”
• Can include “taxable benefits” in income calculation:
o ■ automobiles or other motor vehicles
o ■ board and lodging
o ■ gifts and awards
o ■ group term life insurance policies
o ■ interest-free or low-interest loans
o ■ meals
o ■ security options
o ■ tool reimbursement or allowance
o ■ transit passes
o ■ tuition fees
• Can count spouse’s income towards family unit income if:
o has a yearly Alberta income before tax that is greater or equal to 42% of your yearly income before tax, and
o has a bona fide job offer from an Alberta employer for part-time or full-time work in any occupation and is working with authorization for that Alberta employer.

• Use Alberta’s Low Income Measure (LIM) chart (currently at 70% of the AB LIM)
o Increase to 75% Jan 1, 2020
o Increase to 80% Jan 1, 2021


Binge on all of our Canadian Immigration Podcast Episodes!

If you want to listen to more episodes, you will find all the episodes here.

Subscribe to the Canadian Immigration Podcast

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe.

If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out and raising the visibility of the show. Share the Love

Do you want to work with Mark Holthe?

Click on the image below to book a paid consultation with Mark.