Alberta Improves Economic Immigration Process

Alberta Improves Economic Immigration Process

Changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program will better support Alberta’s economic growth by nominating work-ready immigrants to fill labour-market needs.

Ese Ejebe of Catholic Social Services shows Minister Gray photos of clients who have benefited from Catholic Social Services Immigration and Settlement Services programs.

On Jan. 2, 2018, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) streams and categories will be consolidated under a single stream with one set of standardized eligibility criteria. The AINP will become simpler for applicants, more efficient for government and more responsive to Alberta’s emerging labour-market demands.

“Immigrants are a valued part of our workforce and communities. Helping them settle successfully is crucial to the ongoing prosperity of our province. These changes will simplify processes, reduce wait times and make it more fair for applicants across all sectors to apply for permanent residency in Alberta.”

~Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

The AINP differs from the federal Temporary Foreign Worker program in that it does not bring foreign workers to Alberta. AINP allows foreign workers already here to apply for permanent residency if they are working in occupations where the employer can demonstrate that no Albertan or Canadian is available.

“Immigrants are crucial to our success as a province. A streamlined AINP application will help temporary foreign workers and graduating post-secondary students retain work sooner. This will support Alberta’s businesses and enable applicants to contribute to our economy to keep it strong. Less time applying and more time working benefits everyone.”

~Michelle Christie, interim CEOCatholic Social Services

“These upcoming changes will give Alberta more flexibility to meet our province’s labour-market needs and create new opportunities for foreign nationals to gain permanent resident status. These changes will simplify the application process so the program can be more accessible with faster processing times.”

~Bryan Kwan, immigration lawyer

The AINP is an economic immigration program that supports a key government goal of building a long-term, permanent workforce by nominating individuals who are filling a labour-market need for permanent residency. The AINP is designed and operated by Alberta in collaboration with the Government of Canada.

Key changes

  • Effective Jan. 2, 2018, the AINP will consolidate the Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment Streams and 11 sub-categories under one new Alberta Opportunity Stream.
  • The Alberta Opportunity Stream will have one single set of eligibility criteria, ensuring a simpler application process and shorter processing times.
  • Beginning in 2018, the AINP will have the ability to place yearly caps on the number of applications accepted and nominations issued for certain sectors and occupations, ensuring equitable distribution of workers and fairness across all sectors and industries in Alberta.
  • Alberta will add an Express Entry Stream allowing the AINP to select candidates from the federal Express Entry pool. This will be operational in January 2018.

The AINP is authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to issue a maximum of 5,500 nomination certificates for the 2017 calendar year. This number is determined by IRCC and remains unchanged from previous years. Prospective nominees must have a confirmed work permit linked to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or have an AINP-eligible LMIA exemption and a valid job offer with an Alberta employer.

As Alberta’s economy recovers, our government’s priority remains focused on ensuring Albertans and Canadians get the first opportunity at available jobs. However, Alberta Labour is projecting labour shortages in several sectors and occupations:

  • nurse supervisors and registered nurses (shortage of 5,434 workers by 2025)
  • medical technologists and technicians (shortage of 2,322 workers by 2025)
  • computer and information systems professionals (shortage of 1,426 workers by 2025)
  • managers in construction and transportation (shortage of 1,386 workers by 2025)
  • sales and service supervisors (shortage of 1,145 workers by 2025)

The application form for the Alberta Opportunity Stream will be available on the AINP website starting Jan. 2, 2018. New applications will not be accepted under the former streams after Jan. 1, 2018. Applications received under Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment Streams will be processed according to criteria in place at the time the applications were received.

Information about the Alberta Opportunity Stream is available online at