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Everything You Should Know About Alberta’s New Express Entry and Opportunity Streams

Alberta, one of the highly sought-after Canadian provinces, launched two new programs to make immigration simple, fast, and fair for people planning to build new lives in Alberta. The program was unveiled on Thursday, 14th June, 2018, which includes two streams. One is the much-anticipated Express Entry Linked Stream, and the other one is Alberta Opportunity Stream. Candidates who successfully qualify under these programs will receive a Nomination from the provincial government.

It was in 2017, when Alberta announced that it would launch a new stream, however, due to the absence of clear guidelines and criteria, the launch got delayed until June, 2018. As it has been introduced now, let’s talk about what these programs are all about.

Both the streams are designed to simplify the application process for prospective applicants. It also adds more flexibility to almost every profession operating in Alberta. By creating an exclusive Alberta Express Entry stream, the province has now made it possible for applicants whose profile are active with the Federal Express Entry System to apply for this program. According to the new system, an applicant must have an active profile in one of the three Express Entry Systems, which include Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class.  

To be able to consider, candidates need to demonstrate strong ties in Alberta and also prove that they can make a valuable contribution to its economic development and diversification. In addition, it is mandatory for candidates to indicate Alberta as a province of interest while submitting the Express Entry.

Candidates who receive the nomination will be entitled to an additional 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Selected candidates with profiles under Express Entry System can apply for the Provincial Nomination after receiving an ITA from Alberta.

Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS)

Under this stream, there is no need for an applicant to have an Express Entry Profile, however, the program comes with some stringent eligibility requirements. The primary goal of this program is to expand the occupations and skills level that can be accepted by the province. The stream benefits the workers in Alberta who wish to obtain the permanent residency. The process has made simpler than ever with less waiting periods. The program also ensures that the priority is given to workers and tradespersons who work in Alberta and want to become permanent residents, which is a pathway to the Canadian citizenship.

Below are the eligibility criteria for the Alberta Opportunity Stream:

  • Prospective applicants must have a valid work permit and must be residing and working in Alberta.

  • At the time an application is processed, the candidate must be working in an eligible occupation, which aligns with their previous work experience. The criteria are also the same with the Post-graduates. Candidates must note that only full-time experience (30 hours/week) will be considered part-time experience is excluded from the eligibility requirements.

  • An applicant must also demonstrate fluent English or French speaking skills, equivalent to the Canadian Language benchmark -4.

  • Candidates must also have completed minimum high-school education from their home country.

  • It is also mandatory for applicants to have a valid full-time job offer from an employer in Alberta to be able to continue working in the current occupation.

  • Candidates must also demonstrate sufficient proof of funds and source of income to support them and family members.

So far, the AINP has allotted 5,600 nominations and 2,277 certifications in collaboration with Canada’s federal government.