Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

11 Jan 2021, 4:42 pm


min read

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Alberta is one of the fastest-growing provinces of Canada, located in Western Canada. It attracts skilled professionals with the promise of a stunning landscape and a prosperous job market. Out of all three Prairie provinces in Canada, Alberta is indeed the most attractive, as is the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). 

Mountain in Banff, AB, Canada
courtesy of Krista Joy Montgomery

Alberta is home to breathtaking and lush prairies, glacial lakes, and snow-covered mountains, while its diverse terrain also includes scenic boreal forests and desert lands. The province boasts a dynamic portfolio of natural resources, including oil, coal, natural gas, minerals, and the famed oil sands that make Alberta Canada’s energy-rich region. 

The province is also home to the metropolises of Calgary and Edmonton that command immense prestige in Canada’s job market. The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is one of the most lucrative Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to seek permanent residence in Canada. 

Applicants who appeal to the criterion of the province receive a nomination certificate through the AINP. This nomination certification aids the applicant and family members to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

You may also check your eligibility onilne:

What is AINP?

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is a program design to overcome the shortages of skilled labor in the province. This program aims to attract skilled and experienced professionals and workers who prove to be a good fit for Alberta’s labor market. 

The Alberta PNP program is run by the Alberta government, which collaborates with federal immigration authorities at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Applicants are required to undertake a two-pronged process:

  • Apply for the Alberta provincial nomination.
  • If nominated, apply for permanent residence from the Canadian government.

Each year, the IRCC allocates a limited set of nominations to the AINP. The Alberta immigration program offers the Alberta Opportunity Stream, and it also accepts applications under the Express Entry stream. Alberta PNP also operates two business-focused streams: The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration, and the Self-Employed Farmer. 

The AINP has announced to add another stream to its program by January 2021, termed as the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream. 

How Does the Alberta PNP Work?

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program offers four streams:

The Opportunity Stream

The Opportunity stream offers foreign workers employed in Alberta a straightforward path to avail Canadian residence. However, applicants require a job offer from an Alberta-based employer to qualify for this stream. 

The Express Entry Stream

The Express Entry system allows its candidates to avail an invitation to apply to the province under the Alberta PNP program. Candidates are issued invitations through Express Entry profiles, and the exact criteria for selection are unknown. 

Gaining an Alberta provincial nomination allows Express Entry candidates to add a whopping 600 points to their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. During the Alberta immigration draw, candidates are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. 

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) targets foreign students who have recently graduated from any of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions and seek to immigrate and permanently settle in the province. This program facilitates applicants who either seek to start a business or invest in an existing business. 

The Self-Employed Farmer streams

The Self-Employed Farmer Stream targets experienced and skilled farmers who can demonstrate their abilities to run a successful farm in the province. 

Alberta PNP Eligibility

Applicants can receive an Alberta provincial nomination and successfully immigration to Canada through the AINP if they qualify and get approval. In order to be eligible for the Alberta PNP program, applicants require the following: 

  • Biometrics
  • Security checks
  • Medical certificate
  • Clearance from the police
  • Clearance from the federal authorities

Candidates who obtain a nomination from Alberta can apply for permanent residence in the province alongside their partner, or spouse and children

Alberta PNP requirements vary depending on the program.

Alberta Express Entry Stream

This Alberta immigration stream allows the province to issue nominations for a limited number of Express Entry candidates. Applicants who hold the potential to contribute to Alberta’s economy or harbor strong ties with the province are issued a notification of interest to submit their application. Foreign graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university can also secure a nomination. 

Requirements for applying to Alberta immigrant nominee program:
  • A minimum CRS score of 300 on their Express Entry profile. 
  • Does not require any connections to Alberta.
  • Does not require a job offer.
  • Language proficiency: CLB7 for FSWP and CEC and CLB4 for FSTP. 
  • High school diploma, tertiary qualification, job-specific training, or on-the-job training. 
  • Same work experience requirements as the Express Entry System
  • Requires income and settlement funds. 

The average processing time for this stream is around 4 to 6 months. 

Alberta Opportunity Stream

The Alberta Opportunity Stream invites foreign workers to immigrate to the province if:

  • They obtain a full-time employment offer in the province.
  • They are already residing and living in Alberta and wish to secure permanent residence through the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program. 
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Requires work experience and ties to the province. 
  • Requires a valid job offer for full-time employment. 
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 or higher
  • A high school diploma or certificate
  • At least 12 months of work experience.
  • Does not require income or settlement funds.
  • Does not require an Express Entry profile.

An application submitted through the AIP online portal takes around 4-6 months for processing, while the average processing time for paper applications is around 15 to 19 months. 

Note: It is vital to ensure that your occupation is not mentioned in the list of ineligible professions. Be sure to research the in-demand jobs in Alberta before compiling your application. The immigration process is not easy, we strongly recommend you consult with an authorized immigration consultant that can guide you through the process STEP BY STEP.

You can also check your eligibility online :

International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) is designed for foreign post-graduate students that hold work permits. This program is eligible for post-graduate work permit holders who have:

  • At least 6 months of work experience,
  • A qualification from a university or college in Alberta. 

Applicants who seek to start a new business or buy an existing business in Alberta can apply under this stream.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:
  • At least 2 years or full-time degree or diploma from an Alberta-based institute.
  • A Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) that is valid for at least two years.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 7 or more.
  • Post-secondary degree or diploma.
  • At least 6 months’ work experience in owning or running a business. 
  • At least 34% ownership in a new or existing business based in Alberta.
  • Does not require a job offer. 
  • Does not require an Express Entry profile. 
  • Does not require income or settlement funds.

Applications submitted through the AIP online portal require 4 to 6 months for processing, while paper applications are processed within 15 to 19 months. 

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

This Alberta immigration stream was created for foreign immigrants with farming skills to operate a farm in the province. This Alberta PNP program is an ideal pathway for experienced agricultural professionals and entrepreneurs who seek to obtain permanent residence in Canada. This program is jointly managed by the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program and the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 

For this program, Alberta PNP requirements are as follows:
  • Work experience requirements are similar to the Express Entry system.
  • Any level of education or agricultural training. 
  • Any level of language proficiency.
  • A business plan. 
  • At least $500,000 investment funds.
  • At least $500,000 net worth. 
  • Written proof of investment from Canadian organizations (if any). 

The average processing time for the AINP Self-employed Farmer Stream is around 15 to 19 months. 

The following applicants cannot apply to this program: 

  • Those being removed from Canadian soil.
  • Refugee claimants.
  • Temporary Foreign Workers who do not reside in Alberta. 
  • International students studying in Canada, doing co-op work placements or internships. 
  • Caregivers working in Canada 


Calgary, AB, Canada
courtesy of Tony Reed

Alberta PNP Application

Why consider the AINP?

Applicants who are attracted to the flourishing job market and scenic landscape of Alberta can enjoy a shorter pathway to securing Canadian permanent residence through the AINP. Getting an Alberta Provincial Nomination will add 600 additional points to your CRS score, and increasing your odds of securing an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the Express Entry System. 

 How to apply for the Alberta PNP?

As explained above, there are four major streams for applying to the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program. Each stream has its own eligibility criteria, but all applicants require a security clearance, biometrics, federal clearance, and medical certificates.  

 AINP processing time

The processing time of each stream under the AINP programs tends to vary. On average, applications submitted through the AIP online portal take around 4 to 6 months, while paper applications take around 15 to 19 months. 

Alberta PNP fees

Alberta PNP applicants are required to pay a $500 processing fee, a non-refundable payment to be made while submitting the application. This amount is not associated with whether the applicant is issued a nomination or not. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum CRS score for Alberta?

Applicants require a minimum CRS score of 300 points to apply for the Alberta immigration program. 

How long does it take to get PR after AINP?

After obtaining a nomination under the Alberta Immigration Nomination Program, applicants apply for a permanent residence, which requires an average processing time of 15 to 18 months. 

Is AINP eligible for express entry?

It most certainly is. The Express Entry system allocates a limited number of nominations under the Alberta provincial nominee program for applicants who are interested in the province. 

Can I apply for Alberta PNP without a job offer?

Yes, you can apply to the following streams of the AINP:

  • Alberta Express Entry Stream
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  • Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Get started on the Road to Permanent Residence
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The child of immigrant parents, I came to Canada when I was just five years old. I used to volunteer at an immigration resource centre and now work for the Canadian Federal Government. Writing is my passion and I hope my words can provide some help to a new immigrant or someone considering a move to Canada.

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