Alberta Holds Largest Ever Express Entry Stream Draw

Published on: September 15th, 2021

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has invited 500 Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 300 in their most recent round of invitations. This is the highest volume of invitations issued in a single draw since the program began in 2018.

Alberta has been issuing invitations under their Express Entry stream at a remarkably high rate since August. Of the 4,507 invitations issued to date this year, nearly 40 percent of candidates were invited within the span of one month between August and September.

On September 7th, 2021, Alberta issued 500 Notifications of Interest (NOI) to Express Entry candidates. These candidates may now apply to Alberta for provincial nomination.

What is Alberta Express Entry?

Alberta Express Entry is an immigration stream operated under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. Since it is an Express Entry aligned stream, candidates must have a valid Express Entry profile to be considered.

An Express Entry profile may be submitted under one of the three federal streams: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker program, or the Federal Skilled Trades program.

Once an Express Entry profile is submitted, it is ranked by the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and given a CRS score.

The AINP Express Entry stream holds regular rounds of invitations in which they send Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to select candidates in the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of at least 300. Successful nominees may subsequently receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

Minimum selection criteria for Alberta Express Entry

Alberta Express Entry applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • 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, and
  • Have a CRS score of at least 300

Alberta’s Express Entry stream releases only the score of the lowest ranking candidate invited and the number of invitations issued. Though the province does not release additional details of their draws, they have identified that the following factors may increase a candidate’s chances:

  • A qualifying relative that is a permanent resident or citizen living in Alberta;
  • A job offer or work experience in Alberta; and
  • Graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution

Who received an invitation in the latest Alberta Express Entry draw?

Approximately two to three times a month, Alberta invites candidates directly from the Express Entry pool to apply for provincial nomination. Since the province does not release information on the criteria used for each round of invitations, it can only be found by looking at the kind of profile who received an invite. In this case, here is an example of a candidate that received an invitation in this draw:

Alberta NOI Recipient
Age: 32
Connection to Alberta: None
Education: Canadian Bachelor’s degree
Language: CLB 9 or above in each area of the exam
NOC code: 2282, User Support Technician

The qualifications of this candidate were not necessarily the exact criteria targeted by Alberta. Since this applicant did not have any ties to Alberta, it is likely that the invitation was extended to them based on their Canadian degree or work experience.

Invitations issued

To date this year, the Alberta Express Entry stream has issued 4,507 invitations.

In 2020, AINP’s Express Entry stream invited just 1,785 candidates in total. Alberta had paused Express Entry draws in the last half of 2020 as part of their Economic Recovery Plan.

The stream resumed in January 2021 and have been issuing invitations at a high rate, with numbers closer to what was seen in pre-pandemic draws.

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