Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP): Everything You Need To Know About

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that offers a pathway to permanent residency for workers, entrepreneurs and graduates who want to settle in Alberta, Canada. The program was introduced in 2018 as part of Alberta’s efforts to attract and retain talented individuals who can help grow the province’s economy.

Alberta’s economy relies heavily on its natural resources, particularly its oil and gas reserves. However, the province was facing economic challenges in past years, including a decline in oil prices and a decrease in investment. As a result, the government has been actively seeking ways to diversify the economy and attract more skilled workers to the province. AAIP is one of the initiatives aimed at achieving these goals. By bringing in more skilled workers, Alberta hopes to spur innovation, create new industries, and boost economic growth.

This article explains who is eligible for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) and what the application process entails. It also provides information about the benefits of joining the program.

Eligibility Criteria for AAIP

To be eligible for AAIP, applicants must meet certain requirements, including:

  •  Language proficiency

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the minimum language proficiency requirements for their occupation in English or French. This can be done by taking an approved language test, such as the International English Language Testing System, IELTS or the CELPIP. The minimum score required varies depending on the occupation and the stream of AAIP.

  • Work experience

Applicants must have at least one year of full-time work experience in their occupation. The work experience must be within the past two years and must be paid and verifiable. The work experience can be gained in Canada or abroad, but it must be in a high-skilled occupation that is in demand in Alberta.

  • Education

Applicants must have completed a minimum level of education. If education is gained outside Canada, applicants will need to submit Educational Credential  Assessment (ECA) from approved institutions.

  •  Settlement funds

Applicants must demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves and their dependents when they arrive in Alberta. The amount of settlement funds required varies depending on the number of family members who will be accompanying the applicant to Canada.

  • Other eligibility factors

In addition to the requirements listed above, applicants must also meet other eligibility criteria, such as:

  • Being admissible to Canada.

  • Meeting the specific requirements of the stream they are applying for.

  • Having a genuine intention to settle in Alberta; and

  • Meeting any other eligibility criteria that the Alberta government may establish.


Categories of AAIP, workers streams:

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) has several categories. Each of these streams has specific criteria and requirements that must be met to be eligible for nomination.

  • Alberta Opportunity Stream

This stream is designed to help foreign workers who have the potential to become economically established in Alberta.

Job Offer: Applicants in this stream must have a valid job offer from an Alberta employer and meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, candidates must possess a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or have one of the accepted LMIA-exempt work permits. Some examples include the Francophone Mobility program, work permits under International Experience Canada, Free trade agreements, PGWP holders (students from Alberta Post-secondary institutions), and similar. If you are a PGWP holder, your occupation must be related to your field of study in Alberta. Most occupations under NOC TEER Categories 0, 1, 2, 3 4 and 5 are eligible under the AAIP. Please contact us today to check your eligibility.

Language requirements: Applicants in occupations NOC TEER Categories 0 to 3 will have to demonstrate Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5. In contrast, applicants in occupations NOC TEER categories NOC 4 and 5 will have to demonstrate CLB 4 for each language skill.  

Education: you must have completed a minimum of high school education equivalent to Canadian standards. If education is gained in Alberta, Your credential must be issued by an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution.

Eligible work experience: At the time your application is submitted, you must have either:

  • a minimum of 12 months of full-time work experience in your current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or

  • a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in your current occupation in Canada or abroad within the last 30 months or both – this work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in Canada (outside Alberta) or abroad.

Post-Graduation Work Permit holders require a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience in their current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months.

  • Alberta Express Entry Stream

The Alberta Express Entry Stream is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, which manages applications for permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. The Alberta Express Entry Stream allows the Alberta government to nominate candidates who meet the eligibility requirements and have a valid job offer or work experience in Alberta. Candidates who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta or who can help support the government’s economic development and diversification priorities may be selected under this stream by the PNP.

Under the Alberta Express Entry Stream, candidates may be selected for expedited processing if they are currently working for, or have a job offer with, an Alberta-based tech industry employer in an eligible tech occupation. 

Note: Candidates cannot apply directly to the Alberta Express Entry Stream

  • Rural Renewal Stream

The Rural Renewal Stream assists employers in attracting and retaining newcomers to rural Alberta. It empowers rural communities to recruit and employ foreign nationals to fill labor shortages. Foreign nationals are then able to live, work and settle permanently in those communities.

Communities must fall outside Calgary and Edmonton region and have less than 100,000 people. The employment offer needs to be full-time, nonseasonal, and permanent employment and submitted in the form of an endorsement letter of support from the community or town council.  

You can read more about this stream in our latest blog: Rural Renewal Stream. 


How to Apply for AAIP

The application process for AAIP involves several steps, which are as follows:

  1. Determine eligibility: Applicants must determine which stream they are eligible for and ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria which is mentioned above in this article.

  2. Obtain a job offer: Applicants must obtain a job offer from an Alberta employer in a high-demand occupation. Employers must provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or endorsement letter and meet other eligibility requirements.

  3. Gather documents: Applicants must gather all the required documents for their AAIP application, which include, but are not limited to, language test results, education credentials, work experience letters, and proof of settlement funds.

  4. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI): For the Strategic Recruitment Stream and the Alberta Express Entry Stream, applicants must submit an EOI to the Alberta government. The EOI allows the Alberta government to assess the applicant’s eligibility and invite them to apply for AAIP.

  5. Apply for AAIP: Once an applicant is invited to apply, they must submit their application for AAIP. The application must include all the required documents, such as the LMIA, language test results, and education credentials.

  6. Wait for a decision: After submitting the application, applicants must wait for a decision from the Alberta government. The processing time for AAIP applications varies depending on the stream and the volume of applications received.


Documents required for AAIP application

The documents required for an AAIP application vary depending on the stream and the applicant’s circumstances. However, some common documents that are required include:

  • Language test results, such as IELTS or CLB scores;

  • Education credentials, such as diplomas, degrees, and transcripts;

  • Work experience letters or certificates;

  • A valid job offer from an Alberta employer, along with the LMIA;

  • Proof of settlement funds, such as bank statements or investment certificates;

  • Passport or travel document;

  • Police certificates and medical exams, if required.


Application fees

All online applications for the AAIP require an application fee of $500. Once an application is submitted to the AAIP, the application fee is non-refundable, and no refund requests will be considered. The application fee covers the cost of processing the application, and it is mandatory regardless of whether a nomination certificate is issued or not. It is important to note that the issuance of a nomination certificate is not guaranteed.

It is required that each AAIP application has a separate application fee, and the fee will not be refunded. To pay the fee, instructions on how to make the payment are available in the portal. If there are any issues with online fee payment, contact the Service Alberta Contact Centre using the provided phone number or email address.

The fee must be paid within 24 hours of submitting the complete application in the portal, and it must be paid using a single credit or debit card. Failure to pay the fee within the allotted time will result in the cancellation of the application, and it cannot be reinstated. It is necessary to create and submit a new application.

To confirm payment of the application fee, check the Web Application status of the application on the MyApplications page. If the status is “Payment Pending,” it means that the application has not been accepted for processing by the AAIP, and the fee has not been paid. On the other hand, if the Web Application status is “Submitted,” it means that the application has been accepted for processing by the AAIP. An email from eServices containing the fee payment receipt will also be sent to confirm payment.

Overview of AAIP processing time

The processing time for AAIP applications varies depending on the stream and the volume of applications received by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). However, AINP aims to process applications as quickly as possible to ensure that eligible applicants can move to Alberta and begin contributing to the economy.

The processing times for AAIP are as follows:

  • Strategic Recruitment Stream: The processing time for the Employer-driven Stream is around 4-6 months, while the processing time for the Self-employed Farmer Stream is around 16-18 months.

  • Alberta Express Entry Stream: The processing time for the Alberta Express Entry Stream is around 3 months.

  • Alberta Opportunity Stream: The processing time for the Alberta Opportunity Stream is around 3 months.

It is important to note that these are approximate processing times, and they may vary depending on the individual circumstances of each applicant.

Checking the status of the AAIP application

Applicants can check the status of their AAIP application online using the AINP application portal. Applicants will receive login information for the application portal after submitting their application. The application portal allows applicants to track the status of their application, view any updates or requests from AINP, and submit any additional documents required.

If applicants have any questions or concerns about the status of their application, they can contact AINP directly for assistance.

Benefits of AAIP

The following are the benefits of AAIP:

Employment opportunities

One of the primary benefits of AAIP is the employment opportunities it provides to skilled workers and entrepreneurs. By participating in AAIP, eligible applicants can move to Alberta and work in industries that are experiencing a labor shortage. This can lead to better job prospects, higher salaries, and increased opportunities for career advancement.

Permanent residency

Another key benefit of AAIP is the opportunity for eligible applicants to obtain permanent residency in Canada. Permanent residents have many of the same rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens, including access to healthcare, education, and social services. They can also work and study in Canada, travel freely within the country, and sponsor family members for immigration.

Enhanced quality of life

AAIP can also provide eligible applicants with an enhanced quality of life. Alberta is known for its high standard of living, with access to affordable housing, quality healthcare, and world-class education. The province is also home to breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and a diverse cultural scene.

By participating in AAIP, eligible applicants can experience all that Alberta has to offer while contributing to the province’s economy and building a better future for themselves and their families.

Final Words

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is an immigration program designed to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs to the province of Alberta. AAIP has three streams – the Strategic Recruitment Stream, the Alberta Express Entry Stream, and the Alberta Opportunity Stream – each with its eligibility criteria and processing time.

AAIP offers numerous benefits to eligible applicants, including access to employment opportunities, permanent residency in Canada, and an enhanced quality of life in Alberta. By participating in AAIP, eligible applicants can contribute to the province’s economy and build a better future for themselves and their families.

If you are interested in immigrating to Alberta through AAIP, please review the eligibility criteria and apply if you meet the requirements. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified immigration consultant or lawyer during the application process as it can be complex.

By taking advantage of the opportunities provided by AAIP, you can join the many skilled workers and entrepreneurs who have already made a positive impact on Alberta’s economy and communities.

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