The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is an immigration program through which a broad range of workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs can settle in Alberta permanently. The AINP is one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Successful applicants to the AINP receive a provincial nomination certificate. With this nomination, the applicant, as well as his or her accompanying family members, if applicable, may apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Canadian permanent residence.
Alberta has been a hugely attractive destination for newcomers to Canada over recent years, with the government data from Canada’s most recent census in 2016 showing that Alberta rivals British Columbia for position as the second most popular immigration destination in Canada, after Ontario. Alberta’s share of recent immigrants — defined as people who first obtained permanent resident status in Canada in the five years prior to a census — increased from 6.9 per cent in 2001 to 17.1 per cent in 2016.
Immigrants to Alberta are attracted by the wealth of job opportunities across the province and high living standards. The provincial capital, Edmonton, as well as the slightly larger Calgary and a host of smaller communities across the province, have experienced economic growth over recent years.
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program offers four streams — the Opportunity Stream, the Express Entry Stream, the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, and the Self-Employed Farmer stream.
The Opportunity stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for foreign workers working in Alberta, who will require a job offer from an employer in Alberta in order to be eligible.
The Express Entry stream provides a pathway for Express Entry candidates who Alberta invites to apply to the province. Candidates are invited through their Express Entry accounts with the exact selection criteria not available to the public.
Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination through an Express Entry-aligned stream receive 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.
The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) is for international students who have graduated from post-secondary institutions in Alberta and wish to immigrate to the province permanently by starting a business or purchasing an existing business.
The AINP also offers the Self-Employed Farmer stream for experienced farmers with the demonstrated capacity to operate a farm in Alberta.
New program alert! Alberta is expected to launch a new Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa program in 2021.
Four top tips when applying for AINP
Like any application, it pays to be as prepared as possible when it comes time to submit your AINP application. With that in mind, here are four top tips that you should focus on:
- Read all the relevant AINP terms and conditions. The availability of AINP streams and categories is dependent upon application volumes and labour market needs. The criteria for the AINP are routinely evaluated and may be subject to change at any time and without notice so make sure that you are as prepared as possible.
- Review the AINP selection criteria: Each stream has its own distinct selection criteria. Be sure that you’re familiar with the requirements for your stream: AINP Opportunity, AINP Express Entry, or AINP Farmer.
- Review the language test requirements: It is necessary for you to demonstrate proficiency in either English or French by taking one of the approved language tests for Canadian immigration.
- Follow the instructions laid out on the AINP website: Applicants through the Opportunity and Express Entry streams must apply using the AINP Online Portal. For the latest eligibility requirements and application procedures you can always refer to the AINP government website.