Alberta removes minimum income requirement, updates language minimum for Alberta Opportunity Stream



Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program says changes will ‘make it easier for people to apply’


Two important changes have been introduced to the Alberta Opportunity Stream, including the removal of its minimum income requirement and an update to its minimum language requirements. This change came into effect Nov. 1, 2018.

First change – Removal of Income threshold requirement.

The removal of the minimum income requirement will be applied to all applications submitted on or after June 14, 2018, which is the day the new Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) began accepting applications.

If you submitted an application under the Alberta Opportunity Stream any time after June 14, 2018, the adjusted criteria will be applied to your application. This means you will not be assessed against the income threshold.

The AINP will still check that candidates are being paid the provincial minimum wage for their occupation, set out in their Labour Market Impact Assessment.


“Successful nominees already have jobs when they apply to the program, which helps to show that they can support themselves and their families,” the AINP update reads.

Second change – Adjustment of the Language Requirement.

The other change concerns minimum language requirements, which the AINP has adjusted for both candidates working in a field that is rated skill level C or D under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) and an NOC skill level of 0, A or B.

People working in National Occupational Classification (NOC) C and D jobs can continue to apply with a Canadian Language Benchmark score of 4. There are no longer any planned increases to the language requirement for people working in National Occupational Classification C and D jobs.


When the Alberta Opportunity Stream was unveiled in June, the AINP said the minimum language requirement would increase to CLB 5 beginning June 14, 2019. This is now no longer the case for NOC C or D rated occupations.

People working in National Occupational Classification 0, A and B jobs can continue to apply with a Canadian Language Benchmark score of 4 until January 1, 2020. As of January 1, 2020, these candidates will be required to have a Canadian Language Benchmark score of 5. This change extends the transition time for the increase in language requirements for these candidates.


 “These changes will make it easier for people to apply to the program and will help make sure Alberta can continue to fill job shortages with qualified candidates when there are no Albertans or Canadians available to do the work”.

International Graduates of Alberta Post-secondary Institutions 


International students can benefit from the Alberta Opportunity Stream if they have completed their studies at an approved Alberta post-secondary institution and are employed in Alberta on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

The AINP urges student applicants who demonstrate education and skills that are aligned with Alberta’s labour market needs to make use of the Alberta Opportunity Stream.

To apply, international students must:

  • show that they have at least six months of work experience in Alberta in an occupation related to their field of study (this is less than the requirement for other applicants).
  • meet the same minimum language and income requirements listed on this page.

It is important to note that international students who have studied in other Canadian provinces will not be eligible for the AINP as Post-Graduation Work Permit holders. They can, however, be considered for the program if they have a different type of work permit.


Written by:


Leann Iamartino; Senior Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant; Commissioner of Oaths

Foothills Immigration Inc.