AAIP intake pause
On February 15, 2024, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) temporarily paused Alberta Opportunity Stream application intake until further notice.
Read the AAIP updates for details.
Alberta Opportunity Stream criteria may apply at the time your application is submitted, at the time the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) assesses your application, or both. Review the criteria carefully to understand eligibility requirements.
Important: The National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 version applies to all AAIP applications submitted on or after November 16, 2022.
If you submitted your application on or before November 15, 2022, review the NOC 2016 of the requirements that apply to you.
Residency, work permit requirements
At the time your application is submitted, and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must have a valid temporary resident status in Canada that authorizes you to work in Canada, that is, a temporary foreign worker permit.
NOC 2021 update: Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based work permits issued under NOC 2016 version continue to be accepted by the AAIP.
At the time your application is submitted, and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must have a valid work permit – not status maintained during processing (formerly implied status) or restoration status.
Valid work permits are based on one of the following:
- a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
- an LMIA exemption for workers based on one of the following exemptions as determine by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):
- international trade agreements
- workers transferred within a company
- International Experience Canada
- Mobilité Francophone
- R205(d) for religious work
- an open work permit issued by IRCC to:
- vulnerable workers who have demonstrated they are experiencing abuse or are at risk of abuse in the context of their employment in Canada, including under the Vulnerable Workers Open Work Permit (VWOWP) exemption, or
- the family members of a vulnerable worker under the VWOWP exemption
- a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) held by a graduate of an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution
- PGWP holders must also meet specific occupation, education and work experience requirements as set out below.
- an open work permit issued under one of IRCC’s open work permit public policies:
- 2022 temporary policy changes to the PGWP Program or 2023 temporary policy changes to the PGWP Program
- Permit must beheld by a graduate of an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution.
- Holders of these open work permit must also meet the same specific occupation, education and work experience requirements as PGWP holders as set out below
- an open work permit issued under the public policy for Hong Kong recent graduates
- an open work permit issued under IRCC’s Ukraine immigration measures (also known as the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)).
- 2022 temporary policy changes to the PGWP Program or 2023 temporary policy changes to the PGWP Program
If your work permit type is not included in the list above, you are not eligible to apply.
The following individuals cannot apply for or be nominated under the Alberta Opportunity Stream:
- refugee claimants or individuals involved in a federal appeal or removal process – the AAIP does not intervene in the federal refugee claim, appeal or removal process
- temporary residents living or working in a province or territory of Canada other than Alberta, or
- foreign nationals living or working in Canada who do not have valid temporary resident status
At the time your application is submitted, and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must work in an eligible occupation in Alberta. Occupation requirements also apply to your work experience and job offer.
The occupation you are working in at the time your application is submitted is your ‘current occupation'.
Important: The NOC 2021 version applies to all AAIP applications submitted on or after November 16, 2022. Use IRCC’s Find your NOC tool to find the NOC 2021 version of your occupation.
If you submitted your application on or before November 15, 2022, review the NOC 2016 version of the occupation requirements that applied to you.
Most occupations under NOC TEER Categories 0, 1, 2, 3 4 and 5 are eligible under the AAIP.
Individuals working in the following occupations at the time of submission and assessment are not eligible to apply for or be nominated under the Alberta Opportunity Stream.
Table 1. List of ineligible occupations
|NOC code (2021)
|NOC TEER category
|School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education
|Managers in social, community and correctional services
|Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers
|Escort agency managers, massage parlour managers
|Secondary school teachers
|Elementary school and kindergarten teachers
|Authors and writers (except technical)
|Musicians and singers
|Justices of the peace
|Early childhood educators who do not have certification through Alberta Children's Services – Child Care Staff Certification Office or who have been certified as Level 1 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Assistant)
|Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
|Actors, comedians and circus performers
|Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
|Artisans and craftspersons
|Real estate agents and salespersons
|Dental laboratory assistants/bench workers
|Home child care providers
|Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations
|Other sales related occupations
|Operators and attendants in amusement, recreation and sport
|Other support occupations in personal services
|Other service support occupations
|Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs
|Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
|Trappers and hunters
|Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers
If you are unsure whether your occupation is on this list:
- find your occupation on the NOC website, based on your job title and job duties
- contact the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program
Post-Graduation Work Permit holders
If you are a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holder, your occupation must also be related to your field of study in Alberta. Review the education requirements section for details on eligible Alberta credentials and approved Alberta institutions.
- If you started attending your Alberta credential program on or after April 1, 2019 and you have completed an Advanced Education-approved one-year post-diploma certificate or post-baccalaureate certificate, your occupation must also be related to your previous post-secondary field of study outside Canada.
You must confirm the TEER Category for your occupation in the NOC 2021 and use the TEER Category to determine your minimum language score using the table below.
If you submitted your application on or before November 15, 2022 review the NOC 2016 version of the language requirements that applied to you.
You must demonstrate you meet the following language test score in English or French at the time that you submit your application. You must meet the scores based on a single test result.
Table 2. Language requirements
|National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test score required
|Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) test score required
|If you are working in a NOC 0, 1, 2 or 3 occupation
|Minimum of 5 for each English language skill
|Minimum of 5 for each French language skill
|If you are working in a NOC 4 or 5 occupation
|Minimum of 4 for each English language skill
|Minimum of 4 for each French language skill
If you apply to the AAIP under NOC code 33102 (nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates), the AAIP requires a minimum language test score of CLB of 7 for each English language skill, or NCLC of 7 for each French language skill.
You must provide your official test results with your AAIP application for one of the following language tests:
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Test
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training Test
- Test d'évaluation de français Canada (TEF Canada)
- Test de connaissance du français Canada (TCF Canada)
Official test results must be less than 2 years old at the time your application was submitted. The date used to determine the age of your tests results is the date you took the test, not the date your test results were released. The AAIP will not accept confirmation of registration to take a language test in place of a test result.
Check the federal guideline on CLB/NCLC equivalency for each of the tests.
For information about language requirements in place from 2019 to 2021, read the Alberta Opportunity Stream changes below.
All applicants except Post-Graduation Work Permit holders
As of January 1, 2021, at the time your application is submitted, you must have completed a minimum of high school education equivalent to Canadian standards.
You must provide a copy of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) issued by an organization designated by IRCC for your highest level of education. If your ECA report shows that your credential is not equal to completion of Canadian high school or the ECA states your foreign educational institution is not recognized, you do not meet the education requirement.
You do not need to provide an ECA if:
- you have a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate from a Canadian post-secondary, technical college or secondary institution listed as:
- a recognized institution in the Directory of Educational Institutions in Canada, or
- an authorized, registered, or licensed institution in the Directory of Educational Institutions in Canada, and the institution was authorized by Advanced Education to grant your degree, diploma or certificate. Contact your educational institution or Advanced Education to confirm if your institution had the authority to grant your credential.
- you have a valid Alberta Qualification Certificate or a trade certificate recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT).
The AAIP reserves the right to request an ECA from any candidate and/or to seek an internal educational assessment from the International Qualification Assessment Service (IQAS) or Advanced Education to confirm a candidate meets the minimum Canadian high school equivalent requirement.
Post-Graduation Work Permit holders
PGWP holders must meet the following additional education requirements at the time of application submission.
Approved Alberta institutions
Your credential must be issued by an Alberta Advanced Education publicly funded post-secondary institution.
Eligible Alberta credentials
Your credential must be an Alberta Advanced Education approved credential (also known as a minister approved credential).
Publicly funded post-secondary institutions can also issue credentials without the approval of the Minister of Advanced Education. These are known as institution approved credentials. Institution approved credentials are not eligible for the Alberta Opportunity Stream. Some examples may include credentials issued for non-credit and continuing education programs.
Confirm with your post-secondary institution if your credential is a ministry or institution approved credential before you apply for nomination as a Post-Graduation Work Permit holder.
- post-diploma certificate or post-baccalaureate certificate (minimum 1 year in length)
- diploma program (minimum 2 years in length)
- undergraduate bachelor's degree
- graduate level degree
- graduate level certificate
- graduate level diploma
If you started attending your Alberta credential program before April 1, 2019, you can also qualify with an entry-level certificate (minimum one year in length).
Your ‘current occupation’ is the occupation you are working in at the time your application is submitted.
Your current occupation must also match your work experience at the time your application is submitted and at the time the AAIP assesses your application.
Eligible work experience
At the time your application is submitted you must have either:
- a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in your current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or
- a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in your current occupation in Canada or abroad within the last 30 months or both – this work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in Canada (outside Alberta) or abroad.
Post-Graduation Work Permit holders require a minimum of 6 months full-time work experience in your current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months.
For all applicants, including Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders, work experience in the qualifying period:
- must have been full-time, for a minimum of 30 hours a week
- must be for the same occupation as your current occupation
- must have been authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and with valid temporary resident status if completed in Alberta or Canada
- cannot have been gained while studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of a study program, unless you are a PGWP holder who completed during paid co-op work terms as a part of your program of study at an Alberta post-secondary institution. To qualify, the work terms must have been:
- paid and full-time (minimum 30 hours per week)
- for work experience directly related to your current occupation, and
- for work experience all gained in Alberta
All applicants, including PGWP holders, must meet the following licensing, registration and certification requirements at the time your application is submitted and the time the AAIP assesses your application:
- You must have the required licensing, registration or certification to work in your current occupation in Alberta.
- If you are working in a compulsory trade in Alberta, you must have a valid Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Trade (AIT) recognized trade certificate.
- If you are working as childcare worker, you must have valid certification as a Level 2 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Worker) or Level 3 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Supervisor).
For all applicants, including PGWP holders, at the time your application is submitted, and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must have a bona fide full-time job offer or employment contract from an Alberta employer to work in your current occupation in Alberta.
Your Alberta employer must be incorporated or registered by or under an act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta.
Your job offer or employment contract must be signed by you and your Alberta employer and must offer:
- continuous, paid work
- full-time work, defined as a minimum of 30 hours per week
- employment for 12 months or more
- work in your current occupation
- wages and benefits that meet provincial minimum wage and:
- meet or exceed the requirements set out in your LMIA, or
- if you are LMIA exempt, meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for your occupation across all industries in Alberta as set out on the Alis website
- exceptions for NOC 41302 – Religious leaders and NOC 42204 – Religion workers:
- If your job offer is LMIA exempt, your wages and benefits must meet or exceed minimum wage.
- Meal and lodging deductions that meet Employment Standards are permitted. Proof of employee authorization of deductions is required.
- Important: If you submitted your application on or before November 15, 2022 review the NOC 2016 version of the wage requirement for religious workers for religious workers that apply to you.
- work for an eligible AAIP occupation for which you have a work permit that meets AAIP work permit requirements
- Note: The update of the NOC to the NOC 2021 version does not affect the validity of LMIAs and LMIA based work permits issued under the NOC 2016 version.
You must meet the terms agreed to in your job offer or employment contract at the time of your application is submitted and at the time the AAIP assesses your application.
Ineligible applicants based on job offer
The following individuals are not eligible to apply for or be nominated under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, even if they have a job offer to work 30 hours a week or more in a 12-month period:
- part-time, casual or seasonal employees, regardless of their working hours
- independent contractors, business owners or temporary agency workers, including individuals listed as directors, shareholders or agents of the Alberta employer on the Corporate Registry System (CORES)
- employees who work in Alberta in a place of employment that is not zoned for commercial or industrial operations, such as a home-based business
- employees who do not work on premises in Alberta, such as those who work in a ‘virtual’ location or serve the employer by telecommuting from a location outside Alberta