PR in Alberta for International Students

16 min read

Beautiful Alberta

As an international student, you may file your application for PR in Alberta under five streams. The provincial government of Alberta has the Alberta Immigration Program (AINP) that nominates people for permanent residency in Alberta. Using AINP, which has many streams, you can apply for PR regardless of you being an international student or not. Before we delve deeper into the PR in Alberta opportunities, Let’s know more about Alberta in General. 

Alberta at a glance:

Located in western Canada, Alberta is bordered by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the US to the south. It is the sixth-largest province in Canada in total land area and the 4th most populous province in Canada. 

Alberta at a glance

This province was established in 1905 and was named after a daughter of Queen Victoria - Louise Caroline Alberta. Edmondton, the capital of Alberta, is known as “Canada’s Festival City” due to its year-round slate of festivals. 

This province is famous for sunshine, mountains, open spaces, forests, and fresh air. It includes parts of the Canadian Rockies and is known for its oil, natural gas, and cattle farming. 

Cost of living in Alberta 

You can live comfortably in Alberta with a minimum of $800 if you share your room (Off-campus) and cook for yourself. Even though the cost of living varies from individual to individual, you can expect to live comfortably within $800 - $1200. You can find more information on cost of living in Alberta

Top Growing Industries that can help you get a PR in Alberta:

These industries will create more jobs in Alberta in the coming years. So, graduating with a relevant degree in any of the domains will provide you an upper hand in securing a well-paying job and later apply for PR in Alberta.

  • Financial Services 

  • Technology and Data 

  • Energy and Clean Tech

  • Aviation and Logistics

  • Petrochemicals 

  • Health Care and Social Assistance 

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 

  • Construction 

  • Transport and Warehousing 

Alberta occupations in demand.

Environment of Alberta

Environment of Alberta
Alberta Spring Summer Fall Winter
Daylight 13-17 hs 17-13 hs 13-8 hs 8-13 hs
Months Mar - Jun Jun - Sep Sep - Dec Dec - Mar
Temperature 5C to 30C 30C to -10C -10C to 25C -25C to 5C
Precipitation 50mm - 100mm 90mm -20mm 15mm - 40mm 10mm - 50mm

Interesting facts about Alberta-west edmond hall

Interesting facts about Alberta: 

  1. It is home to five of Canada’s thirteen UNESCO world heritage sites.

  2. It has the lowest tax rate, which is around 5%, in Canada. It means everything is comparatively cheaper and affordable. 

  3. At the peak of summer (Jun-Sep), the sun doesn’t set till 10 pm. 

  4. Has two NFL and two CFL teams.

  5. THE CALGARY STAMPEDE- The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

  6. Low humidity in the summer compared to other provinces. 

  7. It is the Hub of all popular winter sports such as skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, etc. 

  8. It is considered the sunniest province in Canada. 

  9. A trove of natural wonders (especially Jasper- an iconic Canadian Mountain Town, Banff and the Albertan Mountains)

  10. Privatized liquor retailing 

  11. West Edmonton Hall- the home to the former largest Shopping mall in North America.

  12. Rich wildlife and biodiversity 

  13. Home of Winter Wonderland - Edmond Ice Castle 

Top Universities or Colleges in Alberta:

Top universities or colleges in Alberta
Name Town
University of Alberta Edmonton
University of Calgary Calgary
University of Lethbridge Lethbridge
MacEwan University Edmonton
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Edmonton
Mount Royal University Calgary
SAIT Polytechnic Calgary
Concordia University of Edmonton Edmonton
The King’s University Edmonton
Ambrose University Calgary
Burman University Lacombe
St Mary's University Calgary

Cheap Alberta Colleges

Cheapest Universities or Colleges in Alberta:

  1. Bow Valley College

  2. Athabasca University

  3. MacEwan University

  4. Mount Royal University 

  5. University of Lethbridge

  6. Alberta University of the Arts

  7. Ambrose University 

  8. University of Calgary 

  9. The King’s University 

  10. University of Alberta

Is it easy to get a PR in Alberta?

There is no short answer to this question. In our opinion, PR in Alberta is easy due to the many streams available that you can take advantage of. If you are an international student planning to apply to any eligible post-secondary institution in Alberta, you might be thinking about the possible ways to get settled. 

The Alberta provincial government has an Alberta Immigration Nominee Program (AINP) that nominates people for permanent residence (PR) in Alberta. Using AINP, which has many streams, you can apply for PR regardless of you being an international student or not. This article will only cover PR in Alberta for international students topics.  

There are five different options to apply for AINP:

  1. Alberta Opportunity Stream

  2. Alberta Express Entry Stream 

  3. Self Employed Farmer Stream

  4. International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream 

  5. Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream 

PR in Alberta

1. Alberta Opportunity Stream: 

The Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) is for temporary foreign workers who have a full-time job offer from an Alberta employer and have already worked full-time in Alberta. To be eligible: 

  • Candidates must have a positive labor market impact assessment (LMIA)or have a valid LMIA exemption work permit.

  • Post-graduation work permit 

Here, we will only talk about the post-graduation work permit opportunity. To apply, you need to prove:

  1. Work Experience: If you are a post-graduate work permit holder, you need to prove at least six months of full-time work experience in your related field of study within the last 18 months. Work experience for all applicants must be:

    • Full-time that should be at least 30 hours a week

    • Same occupation as your current occupation

    • It must have been authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and with valid temporary resident status if completed in Alberta or Canada

    • Should not be part of co-op work placements or internships that has been gained while studying in Canada. However, you may gain co-op experience once you get your PGWP while studying at an Alberta post-secondary institution. Your work terms must be:

      • Full-time and paid at least 30 hours per week.

      • Work experience directly related to your current occupation, and

      • All your work experience has been gained in Alberta 

  1. A degree:

    1. post-diploma certificate or certificate or post-baccalaureate certificate (minimum one year in length)

    2. diploma program (minimum two years in length)

    3. undergraduate bachelor’s degree

    4. graduate-level degree

    5. graduate-level certificate

    6. graduate-level diploma

  2. Language Skills: A minimum of 5 or 4 (depending on the work) for either English or French language skills.

Suppose you are a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holder. In that case, your employer must be incorporated or registered by or under the act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the parliament of Canada and has been operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant, or place of business in Alberta. 

You must have an employment contract signed both by you and your 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

  • work for an eligible AINP occupation for which you have a work permit that meets AINP work permit requirements


If you have any question regarding Alberta Opportunity Stream, contact external labour 

2. Alberta Express Entry Stream:  

AINP officials will send you notification of interest if you are eligible to apply for Alberta Express Entry Stream. You don’t need a job offer first. This offer is given to those who meet current Alberta job demands.  If you successfully graduate from any eligible post-graduation institution in Canada, you can apply for PR under this stream. You may receive a Notification of Interest letter if you:

  • have an active Express Entry profile in the federal Express Entry pool

  • have stated an interest in immigrating permanently to Alberta

  • are working in an occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification

  • have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 300

Your chance to get a notification of interest increases significantly if:

  • you have an Alberta job offer and/or work experience

  • you are a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary institution

  • you have a parent, child, brother and/or sister who is a permanent resident living in Alberta, or a Canadian citizen residing in Alberta

To know more about Alberta Express Entry Stream, click here.

Average hourly wage by Industry in Alberta

3. Self Employed Farmer Stream:

This immigration stream is not within the scope of this article. But, in short, we will try to lay a basic overview of it. To qualify, you need to have:

  1. The net worth of $500k 

  2. Have experience in Farming

  3. Present a business plan that indicates how you will financially establish yourself with your farming business. 

4. Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS):

This stream is specifically for international graduates who graduated from Alberta post-secondary institutions. It is for those international students who want to start their venture or operate a business in Alberta to apply for permanent residence. To be eligible, you need:

  1. A degree or diploma that took at least two years to complete from any post-secondary institutions. You need to have a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) after graduation.

  2. Your PGWP must be valid for at least two years at the time of application submission. 

  3. You need to have at least 7 for each English Language Skill or French Language Skills in Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

  4. You may set up your own business or buy an existing business. You need to have a minimum of 34% ownership of your business.

  5. You need a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience in managing or owning your business. It can be either gained from working or managing your own business or experience in an incubator, business accelerator or completion of any entrepreneurship programs. The completion of programs that make you eligible for six months of full-time work experience are:

    • Aboriginal Entrepreneurship 

    • Artisan Entrepreneurship 

    • Culinary Entrepreneurship 

    • Entrepreneurship 

    • Bachelor of Commerce - Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    • Bachelor of Commerce - Small Business and Entrepreneurship 

    • Master of Business Administration - Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Please note that not all entrepreneurship courses or programs from post-secondary institutions in Alberta are eligible for work experience equivalency. Programs or courses that are extracurricular and not formal academic programs may not be suitable for work experience equivalencies. 

 Factors that increase your chances:

  1. Your age is between 21 to 49.

  2. Your spouse or common-law partner has at least the followings:

    • at least one year of continuous full-time employment in Alberta

    • completed at least two years of full-time study at a post-secondary institution in Alberta

    • a minimum level CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French in all four language abilities (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)

  3. Your business provides an economic benefit to Alberta in ways such as:

    • job creation

    • economic sector

    • business location (for example, rural)

    • business succession

    • investment

    • developed intellectual property

    • partnership or support from business incubator/accelerator, venture capital, or angel investor

If you are more interested to know more, please click here. You can email Entrepreneur Support Service (ESS) at if you have any questions.

PR in Alberta for International Students

5. Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream: 

This stream is not within the scope of this article. However, we will cover it briefly. It is for the talented foreign graduates who have the skills and financial capacity to launch an innovative startup enterprise in Alberta. To apply, you need to have:

  1. Innovative business to launch in Alberta

  2. Work with AINP’s designated agencies who will access and verify your business plan for:

    • Market need or demand

    • Capital

    • Sustainability 

    • Business Development and Growth

    • Net worth worksheet 

    • EOI

  3. You need a minimum of 6 months of experience in actively managing or owning your business or equivalent work experience working with a business incubator or accelerator.

  4. Your degree must be equivalent to a Canadian degree

  5. Have a business plan with financial projections

  6. 10 minute presentation of your pitch

  7. Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 for each English Language skill or French Language skill. 

  8. Minimum 34% of business ownership if your business is located in an urban center or at least 51% if located in a regional area. 

  9. Minimum $100k for urban area business setup or 50k if established in a regional area.

  10. Letter of recommendation from AINP approved designated agencies.

  11. Prove sufficient funds to set up their business and support yourself while establishing your business. 

If you are more interested to know more, please click here. You can email Entrepreneur Support Service (ESS) at if you have any questions.

Helpful Websites to know more about Alberta and its Immigration Process:

  1. Provincial Alberta Government Website

  2. Occupations that have high demand

  3. Alberta Immigration

  4. Graphs

Beautiful Alberta

Note: Though these documents are for Canadian Study permit application, you can get a gist of possible documents required for your student visa application. Customize these documents based on your own need.
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Cover Letter
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Forwarding Letter
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Student Financial Planning
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Explanation Letter of Source of Fund
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Explanation on previous Visa Rejection
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Source of Fund (For Businessperson as a sponsor)
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