Alberta is the Canadian province that hosts the highest number of international students in the country, according to data from the Government of Canada. In 2017, a total of 26,255 international students were studying in various higher education institutions in the province. Research facilities, job opportunities and commercialisation initiatives are some of the factors that attract students from across the globe to Alberta. Another major attractive factor is the opportunities for students to work while they study in the province and after their studies, besides immigration pathways that give preference to international students.
Recently, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program(AINP) introduced two new immigration streams–Alberta Express Entry Stream and Alberta Opportunity Stream. While these two new immigration streams were introduced, two Canadian immigration categories dedicated for international students in Alberta ceased to exist. They are the International Graduate Category and Post-Graduate Worker Category, part of the now-closed Employer-Driven and Alberta Strategic Recruitment Streams.
These changes are observed to benefit the international students in a big way. Let’s find out how.
Alberta Express Entry Stream
The Alberta Express Entry Stream gives preference to international graduates who have studied in the higher education institutions of Alberta. This is one of the best immigration pathways for international students graduated in Alberta. In order to be considered for permanent residence under the Express Entry Stream, an international graduate must first create an Express Entry profile. Then they have to apply for provincial nomination by Alberta. Those who obtain nomination will get 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System points which improve their chances for being invited for Canadian permanent residence by the federal government.
Alberta Opportunity Stream
Alberta Opportunity Stream was introduced replacing Employer-Driven and Strategic Recruitment streams. In order to apply for Alberta immigration through this Stream, a candidate must fulfill certain eligibility criteria. These include language proficiency, education, work experience etc. International students get weightage for higher education and work experience in Alberta.
The requirements for international graduates to apply for Alberta Opportunity Stream
-Currently working full-time in Alberta in an eligible occupation
-Minimum six months of work experience in Alberta in an occupation, which is related to their field of study. The students with a Post-graduate Work Permit, working in Alberta after graduating from an approved post-secondary institution in the province are eligible to apply. But the students with a Post- Graduate Work Permit, who have completed their studies in other Canadian provinces, are not eligible to apply through Alberta Opportunity Stream.
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