Alberta immigration made up about 10% of all immigration to Canada in 2021. Known for its beautiful scenery, low cost of living and friendly locale, the province of Alberta is a great place to live and raise a family. If you’re looking to make the move to Alberta, here are the four most popular ways to immigrate to the province of Alberta:
FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE FOR ALBERTA IMMIGRATION
1. Express Entry
Canada uses the online Express Entry system to manage applications for three main economic programs. With a 6-month service standard processing, Express Entry is also the fastest and most popular way to immigrate to Alberta.
The Federal Skilled Worker program is one of the programs managed by the Express Entry system that doesn’t require any previous experience in Alberta or Canada.
The Federal Skilled Worker program uses the CRS scoring system to rank candidates against one another. The Canadian government then holds Express Entry draws, inviting the most competitive candidates to immigrate to Canada. The Express Entry system ranks candidates based on their age, education, language proficiency, and employment experience.
Candidates who immigrate through Express Entry can also include their spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children in the same application.
2. The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that enables Alberta to nominate individuals for Canadian permanent residence.
The AAIP operates several different streams, each with its own unique eligibility criteria and application procedure. For example, if you want to start a farm in Alberta you can apply through the AAIP Farm Stream. If you are a recent graduate and want to start a business in Alberta, you can apply through the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.
The Alberta Express Entry stream is ideal for skilled workers applying from outside of Canada. However, the challenge of this stream is that you cannot apply without first receiving an invitation from the province. Alberta invites candidates directly from the Express Entry pool with CRS scores as low as 300. While Alberta does not release the additional criteria targeted in each draw, they typically target candidates with in-demand skills and experience.
If you meet the minimum requirements to submit an Express Entry profile, entering the pool of candidates will give you the chance to receive an invitation under this stream.
3. Studying in Alberta
A good way to improve your options for Alberta immigration is to complete post-secondary studies in Canada. The AAIP indicates that candidates who complete a post-secondary credential in Canada have a higher chance of receiving an invitation to apply for nomination through the Express Entry stream. The AAIP also offers nominee programs for Alberta graduates interested in starting a business in the province.
Completing a Canadian education credential can also give you extra CRS points, increasing your chances in the Express Entry pool. Most international students who graduate from a Canadian post-secondary program can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows international graduates to stay in Canada and work for up to three years for any employer.
Gaining Canadian work experience is extremely advantageous for permanent immigration, making applicants much more competitive in Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or Alberta’s Express Entry nominee stream.
The province of Alberta is home to many prestigious universities, many of which rank among the top ten universities in Canada. If you are interested in continuing your education while also improving your Canadian immigration options, studying in Alberta is a great option.
4. Working in Alberta
Gaining Canadian work experience is a great way to improve your chances for Alberta immigration.
Though obtaining a Canadian work permit can be challenging, there are a few options for those who want to work in Alberta.
Firstly, gaining a job offer from an Albertan employer for a specialized position can enable you to apply for a work permit. To be eligible, the employer must first obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), indicating that they could not find a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to fill the position. Depending on your work experience or your country of citizenship, the process of obtaining an LMIA may be much easier or not even be needed.
Secondly, if you work for an international corporation that has offices in Canada, you can speak to your employer about transferring to a Canadian office. Intra-company transfers are sometimes exempt from requiring an LMIA, which makes it easier to secure a Canadian work permit.