How to immigrate to the Canadian province of Alberta

Last updated on December 29, 2021

Energy-rich Alberta is growing and seeking immigrants to Canada for many jobs as the oil and gas, housing construction and retail industries take off.

“The happy days are back! Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews reportedly said in November when presenting his 2021-2022 semi-annual financial update and economic statement.

“The sky above is clear again, let’s sing a song of joy again, the happy days are here again! “

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Alberta’s labor force participation index, which measures the health of the provincial economy, was up 9.4% at the end of September.

High energy prices fuel oil production

“High energy prices are boosting drilling activity and oil production, while corporate output remains strong. Real estate activity continues to be robust, while private sector construction spending increases, ”says the budget update.

“A number of large investment projects have been announced recently, including Amazon Web Services’ $ 4.3 billion cloud computing center in Calgary and the $ 2.5 billion petrochemical facility at Amazon Web Services. Northern Petrochemical Corp. in Grand Prairie. “

In its latest provincial outlook, TD Economics projects the provincial economy will have grown 5.3% by the end of the year and real GDP will grow 4.6% more next year.

“Alberta has seen a solid recovery in real estate activity this year, with home resales set to increase at the fastest rate in the country,” wrote TD Economists Beata Caranci, Derek Burleton, Rishi Sondhi and Omar Abdelrahman from this provincial perspective.

“Housing starts are also increasing, giving the construction industry a boost. “

Economists are also encouraged by the strong recovery in the energy sector.

“Going forward, only a slight downward trend in oil prices (West Texas Intermediate crude) is expected as additional supply (from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) comes online. Oil production has already increased by more than 7.4% since the beginning of the year, year on year, ”note the economists.

Alberta exports expected to increase

“But more growth appears to be in the cards, with exports expected to increase on strong US demand. And it’s not just oil. Natural gas prices have also jumped this year, giving an additional boost to government revenues and coffers. “

While the fourth wave of Covid-19 to hit Alberta has dampened its population growth, that wave now appears to be over – and immigration is starting to pick up again.

“Immigration to the province is recovering from the pandemic lows of last year as travel restrictions are lifted and application processing accelerates,” the province’s financial update says.

In the first nine months of this year alone, Alberta has already welcomed 25,650 new permanent residents to the province, or about 11.7% more than the 22,955 new permanent residents who settled there annually. last.

Before the pandemic, immigration to Alberta hovered between 42,000 and 44,000 for about three years.

Then, Covid-19 struck in Canada early last year. The borders were closed. Travel to and from other countries has become difficult. In some cases, non-essential travel was virtually impossible.

Immigration to Alberta has fallen, falling almost 47.5% in 2020 from the previous year.

But, at the current rate of immigration to the province, Alberta could welcome 34,200 new permanent residents this year. This would still be 21.7% below the 2019 pre-pandemic immigration level in the province.

However, that would be about 50 percent more new permanent residents to the province than Alberta received last year.

Two new graduate entrepreneur programs

Alberta remains optimistic on immigration, launching two new programs to attract international graduate entrepreneurs in the first year of the pandemic.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream opened at the end of October last year and the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream, which targets graduates of US universities, opened in January this year.

“Alberta has over 25,000 international post-secondary students, the highest number of any prairie province. And we want more of them to stay after graduation so they don’t take their new business ideas elsewhere, ”said Jason Copping, then Immigration Minister of the United Kingdom. ‘Alberta.

“With this new stream, international graduates can apply to stay and launch new businesses and start-ups, creating new jobs for Albertans and bringing much-needed investments to our province,” he said.

The two components of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee (AINP) program are designed to help Alberta recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The new International Graduate Entrepreneurs stream operates on an Expression of Interest system and is aimed at international graduates of post-secondary institutions in Alberta who wish to establish or operate a business in the province.

Applicants must initially establish or operate their business for at least 12 months while in Alberta on a work permit before being nominated for permanent residence once the terms of a business performance agreement are met.

The other new stream, the International Graduate Start-Up Visa, aims to attract talented international graduates from top U.S. universities and colleges to start businesses and settle in Alberta communities.

Through the AINP, the province welcomes immigrants with the skills and abilities needed to fill labor shortages in Alberta.

Economic immigration programs typically attract nearly half of new permanent residents to the province each year, and their importance has only grown as a source of new immigrants since the start of the pandemic.

Economic immigration grows in importance

In the first nine months of this year, 55.2% of all new permanent residents to Alberta benefited from economic immigration programs.

In addition to the two new components to encourage entrepreneurship in the province by attracting new international graduates, the AINP has three other components.

Alberta Opportunity Stream is designed to simplify the AINP application process, reduce wait times and make the system fairer for applicants who meet residency, work permit and occupation requirements and for their employers. .

The Express Entry stream allows the province to nominate a limited number of qualified candidates from the federal Express Entry pool through periodic draws.

In its first Express Entry draw in six months, Alberta issued invitations to 50 applicants with Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as 406 in early January of this year. This was the first draw under this section since mid-June last year.

The Independent Farmer Stream is managed by AINP in close collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and targets applicants with farm management skills and sufficient financial resources to invest in a farming business in Alberta.

Earlier this year, The Western Investor reported that farmland in Alberta is more expensive than similar land in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, but still a steal compared to the acreage in British Columbia.

In May, an acre of farmland in Manitoba would sell for an average price of $ 2,280 and an acre in Saskatchewan for $ 1,588.

In Alberta, the same acre was selling for an average of $ 3,012 at the time.

The price of an acre of farmland in British Columbia, however, was more than double with an average price of $ 6,675.

Unlike some other provinces, the AINP does not reward candidates whose professions appear on a certain list. Instead, the province publishes a list of ineligible occupations.

Alberta Immigration issues periodic notifications of interest, inviting applicants to apply for an appointment under the AINP Express Entry stream. Details of each draw are generally published approximately one month after the date of the draw.

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