Alberta Opportunity Stream AOS: For people who are working in Alberta with particular types of work permits, the Alberta Opportunity Stream is a provincial immigration program run by the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
It’s intended to help Albertan firms keep competent foreign employees who are already working for them. Once eligibility requirements are satisfied, qualified applicants can apply to Alberta directly without requesting an invitation from Alberta.
The program’s key benefit is that qualified applicants can submit their applications immediately; there is no pre-screening Expression of Interest method in place for this program. The program’s biggest drawback is that only specific kinds of work permits are accepted.
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program was once known as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, it should be noted.
Who qualifies for the Alberta Opportunity Stream?
Foreign nationals may apply for provincial nomination under the Alberta AOS program if they are employed in Alberta with one of the following forms of work permits:
- An LMIA-exempt work permit in the following situations:
- International Trade Agreement
- International Experience (Working Holiday, Young Professional, or International Co-op)
- Canada Internal Transferee
- Program for French Mobility
- Under R205(a), a religious worker
- Open work authorization for risky employees or their family members
- Alberta graduates only for the post-graduation work permit
- Ukrainians or recent graduates from Hong Kong with an open work permit
Other categories of work permit holders, most notably those who have an open work permit as a family member accompanying a work or study permit holder, are therefore ineligible to apply for an AAIP AOS.
What are the Alberta Opportunity Stream Minimum Requirements?
Those with the appropriate kind of work permit must additionally fulfill the requirements for eligibility specified below.
AOS occupation criteria
The Alberta Opportunity Stream AOS excludes a number of occupations from eligibility. All other qualified occupations are deemed to be filled by foreign nationals who are eligible for AOS. Make sure to check the AAIP AOS website to see if your profession qualifies.
AOS language requirements
If employed in a Teer O, 1, 2, or 3 occupation, applicants must earn a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark CLB 5; if employed in a Teer 4 or 5 occupation, they must acquire a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark CLB 4.
Results from language tests must be current at the time of application, which means they must have been taken no more than two years prior to the date on which you submit your AOS application to Alberta.
Education criteria for AOS
All candidates must submit a valid Educational Credential Assessment that demonstrates they have successfully completed an educational level that is equivalent to a Canadian High School Education, with the exception of post-graduate work permit holders.
Post-graduation workers with work permits who attended qualified publicly financed universities and earned one of the following credentials are exempt from providing an Educational Credential Assessment since they graduated from an Albertan institution.
- certificate following a degree or diploma (minimum 1 year)
- min. a two-year degree
- undergraduate degree
- degree, certificate, or certification at the graduate level
Required work experience for AOS
Your present position with an Alberta employer is taken into account when calculating the required amount of work experience. In Alberta, this is referred to as your present occupation. You must demonstrate one of the following when submitting your Alberta Opportunity Stream application:
- Within the last 18 months in Alberta, at least 12 months of full-time job experience in your present occupation OR
- At least 24 months of full-time work experience within the previous 30 months, anywhere in the world.
If you have a post-graduate work visa, you just need to demonstrate 6 months of work experience within the last 18 months, but your present job must be associated with the subject matter of your Alberta studies.
The following requirements must be met via work experience:
- Full-time, for a minimum of 30 hours per week;
- Have valid immigration status if working inside Canada;
- Exclude work experience gained while a full-time student, except in the case of a PGWP and a paid co-op placement as part of your study;
- Hold all necessary licenses to work in your occupation in Alberta, including a valid trade certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship if working in a compulsory trade in Alberta.
Job Offer Acceptable for AOS
An application for the Alberta Opportunity Stream must be accompanied by a job offer from an Alberta employer. The Alberta employer is required to be incorporated or registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and it must have a location where employees can report for work in Alberta.
For AOS applications, the job offer must be for work in a field that is qualified and include:
- Paid work that doesn’t change with the seasons.
- At least 30 hours per week (full-time) of work.
- Employment for at least 12 months with duties that are the same as your present job and
- Pay that was approved in your LMIA or,
- If you are exempt from the LMIA, pay that is more than the lowest starting wage for your job in Alberta. Note that church workers have to be paid at least the minimum wage for their province.
If any of the following are true about your job offer, you are not qualified for the Alberta Opportunity Stream:
- Part-time, casual, or seasonal workers (no matter how many hours they work)
- If you work as a contractor, a self-employed person, or for a temp service,
- employees of home-based companies that aren’t allowed to do commercial or industrial work.
- Albertans who work from home and are not physically at their job site
The Alberta Opportunity Stream Application Process
Making an account on Alberta.ca is the first step in creating an application for the Alberta Opportunity Stream. You will log in to the AAIP application portal with your new account to prepare and submit your AOS application online.
The AAIP Portal is an online system that asks candidates to fill out online forms with their biographical and employment information, then submit supporting papers as proof.
Review the most recent edition of the AAIP Alberta Opportunity Stream Document Checklist before beginning the application and cross-reference with the AAIP website to make sure you have sufficiently addressed all of the requirements in your application package.
The applicant must pay the $500 application fee to the AAIP after submitting the entire application package. To confirm that the payment has been received and the application has been filed, an email receipt will be sent.
What happens once I submit an AAIP application?
After submitting an application for the Alberta Opportunity Stream, nothing will occur for a while. Alberta typically begins processing applications three to four months after receipt. An email sent to either the employer or the applicant, or both, will serve as the first indication.
The applicant’s employer in Alberta is always called to ensure that the applicant is still employed there and to validate specific information, such as any vacation days taken by the employee. Sometimes the applicant is contacted to request more paystubs or, if required, an updated work permit.
Once the AAIP officer receives the response to their questions, decisions are often made swiftly, and a Nomination Certificate is provided via email within 24-48 hours. It can take a week or more to hear back from the officer with the decision in cases of more complex employment.
Once nominated, the candidate has six months to complete and submit to IRCC the Provincial Nominees Category application for permanent residence. Following nomination, you may also apply for a new work permit as a Provincial Nominee with a 204(c) letter from Alberta and an electronic job offer from your company; or as a Bridging Open Work Permit once the file number from your application for permanent residence has been given.
The Alberta Opportunity Stream: Important Factors
When preparing an application for the AAIP Alberta Opportunity stream, there are a number of crucial considerations to make.
When you apply for AOS and when the officer evaluates your application, you must have a current work permit. You cannot request an extension of your current work permit based on your application to Alberta, and if you do not have a current work permit when the officer reviews your file, you will be denied.
If your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) has been accepted and you are awaiting an answer from IRCC regarding your fresh work permit application, only then will implied or maintained status be taken into account. Restoration status is not regarded as being AAIP-eligible.
You must be able to show that, throughout your period of admissible work experience and up until the officer takes a judgment on your application, you continuously worked at least 30 hours per week.
If you take more than 3 weeks off during your eligibility period, Alberta may reject your application on the grounds that you only work part-time.
No of how many hours of overtime you put in over the course of the year, you must put in a full week’s worth of labour for each week that counts toward your eligible period.
Even if you are currently employed in Alberta, foreign students with post-graduate work permits who studied in another Canadian province are ineligible to apply for the Alberta AOS program.
In such case, your sole options are to apply for an LMIA through Express Entry and receive a Notification of Interest from Alberta, or to request that your employer do so so that you can apply for an LMIA-based work permit.
You must prepare to continue working in Alberta until you are granted permanent resident status if you are applying under the AAIP AOS. It’s also ideal if you can continue to work for the same employer that took part in the nomination process.
If you are a Provincial Nominee and change occupations between the time you receive your nomination certificate and when you become eligible for permanent residency, you must notify Alberta of the change and there is a potential the Province will not accept (and revoke your nomination certificate).
What distinguishes the Alberta Express Entry Stream from the Alberta Opportunity Stream?
The primary difference between the AOS and Alberta EE pathways is the ability of qualifying candidates to apply straight to Alberta through the AOS stream once they have the required work experience.
The Alberta Express Entry stream is more out of the applicant’s hands because it requires an invitation from Alberta in order to apply. Whether Alberta decides to invite them or not is out of the candidate’s hands.
The requirement to qualify for Express Entry is one of the additional distinctions. The sole method to participate in the Alberta Express Entry program is to enter the federal express entry pool, but Alberta AOS candidates are not required to have a current Express Entry profile.
- Retaining Skilled Workers.
- No ITA is required.
- Direct Application.
- Occupation, language, education, work experience.
- Requires Alberta job offer.
- Six months to apply for PR.
Check out our Web Story at https://celpip.biz/web-stories/alberta-opportunity-stream-aos-2/