The Alberta Immigration Nominee Program (Last updated January 16, 2017)

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (“AINP“) currently has three streams.

  1. Employer Driven Stream
  2. Strategic Recruitment Stream
  3. Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Employer Driven Stream

The AINP Employer-Driven Stream is for:

  • Alberta Employers who want to retain a foreign worker on a permanent, full-time basis where there is a challenge finding Albertans/Canadians to fill the position; and
  • Foreign workers with a permanent, full-time job offer from an Alberta Employer who intend to live and work in Alberta permanently.

It includes the following substreams:

Please note that individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream:

  • Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process;
  • Live-in caregivers currently living in Canada;
  • Temporary foreign workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta; and
  • International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program

Skilled Worker Category

In order to be eligible under the Skilled Worker Category, the employer must:

  • Be incorporated or registered as a business in Alberta by or under an act of the legislature of a province or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta;
  • Provide a job offer to the Candidate for permanent, full-time employment in a skilled occupation;
  • Provide a job offer to the Candidate that meets Alberta’s employment and wage standards and does not conflict with existing collective bargaining agreements;
  • If the Candidate is already working in Alberta, then provide proof of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (an “LMIA“), if applicable and compliance with its conditions (i.e. salary
    and working conditions), or alternatively, an LMIA exemption (LMIA exempt employers must show that the wages and benefits meet industry standards);
  • Clearly show the need for the position and that you have made a significant effort to hire a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada for the position only if the Candidate is not currently working in Alberta (is abroad).

There are additional requirements for occupations in the fields of Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Staff.

As well, in order to be eligible under the Skilled Worker Category, the Candidate must:

  • Clearly show in the application that he/she is able to and intend to live permanently in Alberta;
  • Have related education, training, previous work experience, and any Alberta licensing needed for the position and to meet AINP criteria;
  • Provide a copy of a valid work permit if the Candidate is already working in Alberta.
  • Provide proof of your legal status in the Candidate’s country of residence if they are not living in Alberta.

The following are not eligible under the AINP Employer-Driven Stream, Skilled Worker Category:

  • Supervisors, foremen and tradespeople, working in a Compulsory or Optional Trade in Alberta (including Chefs, Cooks, and Line Cooks).  Compulsory and Optional Trades are eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream, Compulsory and Optional Trades Category; and
  • Clergy, Elementary and Secondary School Teachers, Professional Athletes and Dental Laboratory Bench Workers.

International Graduate Category

In order to be eligible under the International Graduate Category, the employer must:

  • Be incorporated or registered as a business in Alberta by or under an act of the legislature of a province or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta;
  • Provide a job offer to the Candidate for permanent, full-time employment in a skilled occupation, or in a NOC C position;
  • Provide a job offer to the Candidate that meets Alberta’s employment and wage standards and does not conflict with existing collective bargaining agreements; and
  • Show that the wages offered meet industry standards as per the Alberta Learning Information Service website.

As well, in order to be eligible under the International Graduates Category, the Candidate must:

  • Clearly show in the application that he/she is able to and intend to live permanently in Alberta;
  • Be working full-time in Alberta at the time of the application for an Alberta employer supporting the nomination;
  • Be performing the same occupation as is stated on the permanent, full-time job offer from the employer.;
  • Have obtained a diploma or degree from an educational program of at least 1 year in duration from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in Canada or an approved private post-secondary institution in Alberta.
  • Have a current and valid Post-Graduate Work Permit;
  • If working in a NOC C occupation, have passed a language test showing a minimum language benchmark.

The following are not eligible under the AINP Employer-Driven Stream, Skilled Worker Category:

  • Supervisors, foremen and tradespeople, working in a Compulsory or Optional Trade in Alberta (including Chefs, Cooks, and Line Cooks).  Compulsory and Optional Trades are eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream, Compulsory and Optional Trades Category.

Semi-Skilled Workers Category

In order to be eligible under the International Graduate Category, the employer must:

  • Be incorporated or registered as a business in Alberta by or under an act of the legislature of a province or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta;
  • Be operating in one of the following five eligible industries under the AINP Semi-Skilled Work Category: food and beverage processing, hotel and lodging, manufacturing, longhaul trucking industry, and food service industry (pilot project) position;
  • Have a LMIA Confirmation for the candidate and meet all the conditions of the LMIA (except for Front Desk Agents/Clerks, for which a LMIA is not required);
  • Provide a settlement and retention plan outlining the employer’s approach to accommodation, settlement, and retention for the candidate; and
  • Meet extensive additional requirements for each industry as described below (I have not reproduced every requirement because they are so numerous, and I strongly recommend that you click the links below prior to determining eligibility):
    • Food and Beverage Processing
      • The five eligible occupations are Food and Beverage Production Workers, Bakery Production Workers, Food and Beverage Processing Equipment Cleaners, Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters, and Poultry Production Workers;
      • The business must be an agricultural-based industrial food processing plant;
      • Have satisfied recruitment strategies, employment policies and practices, retention and settlement in order to qualify for allocations;
      • The Candidate must complete an interview with the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry staff;
      • Have a total of three years of full-time work experience in your home country prior to arriving in Canada in a physically demanding job similar to that found in the food and beverage processing industry; and
      • Be employed in Alberta for a minimum of three months before applying to the AINP.
    • Hotel and Lodging 
      • Three three eligible occupations are Food and Beverage Servers, Room Attendants, and Front Desk Agents / Clerks;
      • For Food and Beverage Servers and Room Attendants, employers are eligible for 2 to 18 allocations per property per year based on the number of rooms at the hotel.
      • For Front Desk Agents/Clerks, employers may be eligible for one (1) allocation per year per property;
      • Employers must a member in good standing with the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association;
      • The candidate must have a total of three (3) years of work experience in a job directly related to the hotel and lodging industry (abroad and/or in Canada).
    • Manufacturing
      • The thirty-three (33) manufacturing occupations eligible under AINP range from Shipper/ Receiver to Metal Working Machine Operators, each with special requirements for
        education, experience, health, safety and applicable industry certifications. The list of occupations includes oil and gas well drilling workers and services operators, meaning that internationally recruited workers in these occupations are eligible to immigrate to Alberta.
      • Candidates must have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in a job similar to the employer’s business with at least one of those years consisting of work experience in Canada, and have been employed in Alberta for a minimum of six months before applying to the AINP.
    • Long-Haul Trucking Industry
      • The number ofallocations will be determined according to the number of job offers by the employer that are subject to LMIA’s, the size of the company, and the total number of long haul truck drivers employed by the business. The number of allocations should not exceed ten to fifteen percent (10-15%) of the total complement in the employer’s business. Companies with less than fifty percent (50%) retention rates may be subject to restrictions on allocations.
      • Employers must show that they did satisfactory recruitment;
      • Candidates must be working for an Alberta employer as a long-haul truck driver, have a valid Class 1 driver’s license, and a minimum 6 months employment in Alberta.
    • Foodservice Industry (pilot project)
      • The three eligible occupations are Food and Beverage Servers, Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers.
      • Employers are limited to one (1) allocation in one (1) of the three (3) occupations (listed above) per restaurant location. Additional requirements for employers to be eligible under this pilot program include a detailed Foreign Worker Settlement Plan identifying opportunities for career training, workplace integration and assistance to the family of the worker;
      • The Candidate must have worked a minimum of 9 months in Alberta and met and exceeded all employer performance standards, and must also have three years of work experience in a job directly related to food and beverage services.

Strategic Recruitment Stream

Under this stream applicants may be able to apply to the AINP without needing an employer to support their application.

It includes the following substreams:

Compulsory and Optional Trades Category

The criteria for the Compulsory and Optional Trades Category include but are not limited to the candidate having to:

  • intend to and be able to live and work permanently in Alberta;
  • a valid Alberta Qualification Certificate in a compulsory or optional trade (PDF), or a valid Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) Recognized Trade Certificate in a compulsory or optional trade (PDF)
  • be residing in Alberta at the time of application and have a valid work permit to work in Alberta in the trade in which the candidate is certified;
  • show, at the time of application, that the candidate is either currently working in their trade for an Alberta employer or have previously worked in their trade with an Alberta Employer for a minimum of six months in the past two years.
  • if working as a Parts Technician meet language requirements for semi-skilled occupations.

 

In addition to individuals who are not working in an optional or compulsory trade in Alberta (PDF), individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream:

  • Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process;
  • Live-in Caregivers currently living in Canada;
  • Temporary Foreign Workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta; and
  • International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program.

Engineering Occupations Category

The criteria for the Engineering Occupations Category include but are not limited to the candidate having to:

  • be currently residing in Alberta;
  • intend to and be able to live permanently in Alberta;
  • provide evidence of related education/training and experience as an engineer, designer or drafter;
  • be currently working or have worked within the last two years in Alberta either directly or on contract for an Alberta Employer in an occupation on the AINP Strategic Recruitment Stream Engineering Occupations List;
  • if the candidate has engineering credentials and is working in an occupation under NOC 0211, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2141, 2143, 2144, or 2145, provide a “Letter of No Objection” from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) or show that they are registered with APEGA as a foreign licensee.

In addition to individuals who are not working in an optional or compulsory trade in Alberta (PDF), individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream:

  • Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process;
  • Live-in Caregivers currently living in Canada;
  • Temporary Foreign Workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta; and
  • International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program.

Post-Graduate Worker

The criteria for the Engineering Occupations Category include but are not limited to the candidate having to:

  • be working in a NOC 0, A, B, or C occupation full-time in Alberta, at the time of application, for an Alberta employer.
  • intend to and be able to live permanently in Alberta;
  • Have obtained a certificate, diploma, degree, or have completed a graduate level program from one of these AINP approved Alberta public and private post-secondary institutions that is at least one year in duration;

In addition to individuals who are not working in an optional or compulsory trade in Alberta (PDF), individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream:

  • Individuals working in occupations on the Post-Graduate Worker Category ineligible occupations list.
    • Note: Supervisors, foremen and tradespeople, working in a Compulsory or Optional Trade in Alberta (including Chefs, Cooks, and Line Cooks) are eligible under the Strategic Recruitment Stream, Compulsory and Optional Trades Category.

    Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process;

  • Live-in Caregivers currently living in Canada;
  • Temporary Foreign Workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta; and
  • International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program.

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

The criteria for the Self-Employed Farmer Stream include but are not limited to the candidate having to:

  • Prove that they have farm management skills:
  • have sufficient financial resources to develop a sustainable farming operation, including
    • they must be able to invest a minimum of CDN $500,000 of equity in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
    • they must provide documents that demonstrates theyhave a minimum net worth of CDN $500,000.
  • they must invest in a primary production farming business in Alberta, document their investment intentions, and provide a business plan.

Applications representing the best opportunity for growth relevant to Alberta’s agri-food targets will be given priority.

 

The following are not eligible under the AINP Self-Employed Farmer Stream:

  • Refugee claimants, or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process.
  • Live-in caregivers currently living in Canada
  • Temporary Foreign Workers working and residing in a province other than Alberta
  • International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program

Western Canada PNP’s Reach Intake Threshold

With four months remaining in the year, both British Columbia’s and Alberta’s provincial nomination programs have announced that they are full.

 

BCPNPfull

AINP processing and inventory   Alberta Canada   Alberta  Canada

The ability of both provinces to meet the demands of their employers to retain foreign national employees on a permanent basis is clearly being cut off at the knees by federal quotas that appear to bare no resemblance to what is needed.


Alberta Extends Time Period for Low-Skilled Workers to Apply to Immigrate

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program has announced that it will be expanding its initiative for low-skilled and entry-level workers to apply for permanent residency.  They have sent out an e-mail stating that:

To Alberta Immigration Representatives

I am with the Government of Alberta, Workforce Strategies Division and I wanted to inform you of changes to the AINP program that are time limited.

We are pleased to let you know that the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has capacity to accept more nominations from employers.  We have very short processing times and will be accepting applications for all categories.     If you have temporary foreign workers currently working for you, the AINP may help them become permanent residents.

The AINP is an immigration program offered by the Government of Alberta in partnership with the Government of Canada’s department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.    More information can be found at: 

www.AlbertaCanada.com/ainp

The AINP has temporarily expanded the opportunities for Alberta employers to nominate their foreign workers in select semi-skilled occupations.

This is a one-time initiative and applications must be postmarked or delivered in person on or before December 6, 2012.   

For more information, please visit the AINP website. Information on this one-time Initiative will be posted within the next week.   

http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrating/ainp-eds-semi-skilled-criteria.aspx

Hotel and Lodging

This is a one-time 2012 additional allocation initiative available for the Hotel and Lodging Industry.  There will temporarily be no limit on the number of allocations permitted, per property and the AINP will accept up to 600 applications under this initiative.  For more information, please visit the AINP website. 

Trucking — Heavy Haul Initiative

 

This is a one-time 2012 Heavy Haul Initiative available for the Semi-skilled Trucking Industry.  The AINP is temporarily expanding its existing trucking industry category to include both select heavy haul drivers and long haul truck drivers.  Eligible candidates must have an Alberta class 1 driver’s license, operate a tractor trailer unit with a minimum of 5 axles and deliver services, goods and or equipment to one of the following industries: oil and gas, petroleum, oil field, agriculture, forestry and food and beverage.  AINP will accept up to 600 applications under this Initiative.


From Foreign Worker to Permanent Resident

According to the Calgary Harold, on July 20, Thomas Lukaszuk, the province’s employment and immigration minister, had this to say about the temporary foreign worker program:

In my opinion, it was a program that had fulfilled its mandate, (by) suddenly providing a large number of workers to an economy that suddenly had a massive shortage of workers.

It’s not working well now. It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

Lukaszuk goes on to note that many of the province’s temporary foreign workers want to stay beyond the duration of their work permit, however, because the temporary program is not supposed to be a gateway to long-term residency, the same employers keep on hiring new foreign workers for the same jobs.

Why not consider some permanency (for) this workforce. I always joke the only group that really benefits from the current temporary foreign worker program is Air Canada, because they’re flying people in and out

There are in fact several ways for a temporary foreign workers in Alberta to achieve permanent residence.  These include:

  • Applying for permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class.  This program is practically designed for temporary foreign workers. Indeed, CIC’s website introduces the program by saying “if you are a temporary foreign worker….”  To be eligible, the temporary foreign worker must have at least two years of full-time (or equivilant) work experience in a managerial, professional, or technical / skilled trades occupation, be proficient in either English or French, and currently be in Canada.
  • Applying under the Alberta PNP Program. According to the FAQ on the Alberta PNP website:

I have an employee who is a temporary foreign worker and I would like to retain him or her for a permanent position. Does the AINP accept applications for candidates who are temporary foreign workers?

Yes. The temporary foreign worker must be working in an occupation listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code in Skill Levels 0, A, B. In addition, some NOC C and D occupations are also eligible under the AINP. Please visit the Semi-Skilled Worker section of the website for information on eligible NOC C and D occupations.

Our firm constantly looks at ways of moving British Columbian  temporary foreign workers out of the “temporary” category and into the “permanent”.  My guess is that most Alberta law firms do as well, and temporary works in Alberta should know that there may be options for them to become permanent residents.