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Working in Alberta

What international job seekers need to know about living and working in Alberta
There are different ways you can come to Alberta. Below is an outline of programs available to come as a
temporary foreign worker or become a permanent resident.

Work Temporarily Live Permanently

Citizenship and
Temporary Foreign Alberta Immigrant Immigration Canada
Worker Program Nominee Program (AINP) (CIC) Programs

Get a job offer Apply to AINP Apply to CIC

Employer obtains a
Labour Market Opinion AINP nominates CIC selects
(LMO) if required

Apply for a work permit CIC checks admissibility CIC checks admissibility

Temporary Foreign Worker Permanent resident Permanent resident

Processing time varies Processing time varies Processing time varies

from case to case from case to case from case to case

Action taken Action taken by Action taken Action taken Resulting

by you your employer by AINP by CIC Immigration Status

Please note:
This chart is a general outline of programs available.

Alberta’s opportunities, your future
Alberta, Canada is a vibrant province filled with people who enjoy the freedom to create and
spirit to achieve. We are 661,000 square kilometres of spectacular natural beauty dotted with
centres of commerce and urban chic. More than 3.6 million people call Alberta home, many
of whom have brought their dreams, experiences and determination to succeed from other
countries. These migrants have helped us to build stronger, more diverse communities with an
exceptionally high standard of living.

Welcome to Alberta. This document details the steps you need to go through to work and live
in Alberta temporarily or permanently. We also encourage you to explore the province’s official
immigration website at, where you can find complementary
and current information on finding a job and immigrating to Alberta, Canada.

Work Temporarily 4
Live Permanently 6
Frequently Asked Questions 8
About Recruiters and Immigration Consultants 10

Work Temporarily
Work Temporarily Live Permanently
Generally, foreign nationals work in Step 2
Canada on a temporary basis through Citizenship and Find out if the job requires licensing
Temporary Foreign the Temporary
Alberta ImmigrantForeign Worker (TFW) Canada
or certification
Worker Program Program.
Nominee It allows
Program Canadian employers
(AINP) (CIC) Programs
In Alberta, some occupations are regulated
who experience difficulty in recruiting
and require a professional licence or
Get a job offer Canadian citizens
Apply to AINP and permanentApply residents
to CIC
certification. All individuals who wish
to hire foreign workers. Under the
to work in a regulated occupation
Program, international job seekers must
must obtain the appropriate licence or
Employer obtains a follow the steps below to work in Alberta.
certificate. Regulated occupations include
Labour Market Opinion AINP nominates CIC selects
(LMO) if required Step 1 health care professionals, engineers and
Get a job offer trade occupations.
The best way to begin looking for a To become licensed or certified you
Apply for a work permit job is to search job
CIC checks admissibility websites. Alberta’s
CIC checks admissibility may need to have your international
Immigration website is an excellent qualifications and skills assessed or pass
starting point for an international job an examination. For more information
seeker to learn about how to find a job. on occupations that require licensing
Temporary Foreign Worker Visit
Permanent resident and
Permanent residentor certification, visit Alberta Learning
click on ‘Working in Alberta’ for details Information Services at
Processing time varies onProcessing
this andtime
other job search topics.
varies Processing time
from case to case from case to case from case to case
It is important for you to understand
how your occupation is classified in Level Skilled occupations:
Action taken Action taken Canada.
by Thistaken
Action classification determines
Action taken the
by you your employerskill level of your occupation
by AINP by CIC whichImmigration
is 0 Management occupations
either skilled or semi-skilled. A Occupations that usually
Please note: The National
Occupational Classification require university degrees
This chart is a general outline of programs available.
(NOC) system categorizes occupations B Occupations that usually
in Canada into five skill levels: NOC require college diplomas or
0, A, B, C and D. NOC 0, A and B trade/ apprentice training
level occupations are considered skilled
occupations, and NOC C and D
occupations are considered semi-skilled Level Semi-skilled occupations:
occupations. Visit C Occupations that usually
for details. require secondary/high school
and/or occupation-specific
training, or both
D Occupations that do not require
formal education and employers
provide on-the-job training

Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
Obtain a copy of Labour Market Obtain a work permit Come to Alberta and start working
Opinion confirmation from your In most cases, a foreign national requires When you receive a letter from the CIC
employer a valid work permit to work in Canada. visa office approving your work permit
Generally, an employer needs approval A work permit is a document that gives application, you are ready to pack your
from the Canadian government to you authorization to work in Canada. suitcases and come work in Alberta.
hire a foreign worker. This approval is After you receive a copy of LMO Moving to a new country is an exciting
called a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) confirmation and a written job offer yet hectic time with many things to
confirmation. An LMO is issued to an (and an employment contract, if the plan and organize. For information on
employer who can prove that hiring a position is a semi-skilled occupation) housing, settlement services, banking,
foreign worker will have a positive or from your employer, you should submit English language training, weather,
neutral effect on the Canadian labour an application for a work permit. health care and other things to consider
market. An LMO outlines the conditions Generally, a work permit application when moving to Alberta visit www.
of your employment, such as wages and must be submitted to a Citizenship and
hours of work. Immigration Canada (CIC) visa office checklists.html
Once your employer receives an LMO outside of Canada.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Guide
confirmation, they must send you a copy When applying for a work permit, you for Employees also provides useful
of that document, along with a written must prove that you are qualified for the information about working in Alberta.
job offer with details about the job: job job and meet CIC’s requirements, which Topics include Alberta employment
title, description, education and work include health and security checks. An standards, workplace safety and support
experience requirements. If the position immigration medical examination may for temporary foreign workers. This
is a semi-skilled occupation (NOC C or be required before coming to Canada. publication is available in 11 languages
D) the employer must provide you with For information on immigration medical and is available at www.employment.alberta.
a copy of an employment contract. The requirements visit ca/immigration/145.html
contract must outline the employer’s information/medical/medexams-temp.asp
additional responsibilities such as paying
For information on applying for
for your return transportation costs.
work permits, including applications,
There are some situations where an instructions, and processing times visit
LMO confirmation is not required. For The
more information on LMO exemptions, final decision to issue a work permit is
refer to the Frequently Asked Questions made by CIC.
section on page 9 of this booklet.

Live Permanently
k Temporarily Live Permanently
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Employer-Driven Stream
Citizenship and To apply under this stream, you must
mporary Foreign Alberta Immigrant
Program (AINP)
Immigration Canada have a permanent, full-time job offer
orker Program Nominee Program (AINP) The Alberta
(CIC) Immigrant Nominee Program
Programs with an Alberta employer. You and
(AINP) is an immigration program your Alberta employer apply together
Get a job offer Apply to AINP administered by the Government of
Apply to CIC to the AINP. Often, applicants are
Alberta with Citizenship and Immigration already in Alberta as temporary foreign
Canada (CIC). Individuals who are workers before they apply to the AINP.
ployer obtains a nominated by the Province of Alberta,
together with their spouse/common- • Skilled workers
ur Market Opinion AINP nominates CIC selects
MO) if required law partner and dependent children, are Includes occupations under
eligible to apply for permanent residence the National Occupational
through CIC. There are several different Classification (NOC) skill levels 0,
streams within the AINP. A or B. Candidates must provide
for a work permit CIC checks admissibility CIC checks admissibility
evidence to demonstrate that they
Family Stream meet the required qualifications for
Under this option Alberta families can the job (education and experience).
nominate an educated family member • International graduates
rary Foreign Worker Permanent resident Permanent resident
to immigrate to Alberta. The family Includes occupations under
cessing time varies Processing time varies
member making the nomination takes on
Processing time varies the NOC skill levels 0, A or B.
om case to case from case to case thefrom
case to case of providing supports
Candidates must have graduated
as the newcomer gets settled and finds from a post-secondary institution
a job. Both the Alberta relative and in Canada, possess a post-graduate
Action taken Action taken by Action taken candidate
Action taken should take the self-assessment
work permit and be working in
by you your employer by AINP by CIC Immigration Status
and view the online tutorial on the AINP their field of study.
website to find out whether they qualify
e: to submit an application. The tutorial • Semi-skilled workers
s a general outline of programs available. can be accessed at Includes selected occupations
immigration/immigrate/ainpapplytutorial.html under NOC skill levels C or D.
Both employer and candidate
Self-Employed Farmer Stream must meet the eligibility criteria
AINP can nominate farm owners and for the occupation in order to be
operators who intend to immigrate, considered. This criteria can be
purchase and manage a farming business found on the AINP website at
in Alberta.

Work Temporarily Live Permanently
Strategic Recruitment Stream Citizenship and Immigration
Enables skilled individuals working in Citizenship and
Canada (CIC) Programs
occupations in highForeign
demand in AlbertaAlberta Immigrant Immigration Canada
The Government of Canada, through
to apply directly to the AINP. There are Program (AINP)
Worker Program Nominee (CIC) Programs
CIC offers immigration programs for
three categories under this stream. skilled workers, business immigrants
Get a job offer Apply to AINP Apply to CIC
• Compulsory Trades Category and family members of permanent
Candidate must have completed the residents. If you are interested in CIC’s
Qualification Certificate Program immigration programs, you must apply
Alberta obtains a
Apprenticeship and directly to CIC. For more information
Labour Market Opinion AINP nominates CIC selects
Industry Training (AIT). The visit
(LMO) if required
Qualification Certificate for their
Compulsory Trade and letter of
invitation to apply are both issued
Apply for a work permit CIC checks admissibility CIC checks admissibility
by AIT.
• Engineering Occupations Category
Candidate must have education and
training as an
Temporary engineer,
Foreign designer Permanent resident
Worker Permanent resident
or drafter and have Alberta work
experience in time
Processing an eligible
varies AINP Processing time varies Processing time varies
from case to case from case to case from case to case
engineering occupation.
• U.S. Visa Holder Category
Candidate must
Action takenbe employed,
Action takenhave
by Action taken Action taken Resulting
workedbyatyou least a year your
in the U.S.
employer by AINP by CIC Immigration Status

and hold a temporary work visa in a

Please occupation needed in Alberta.
This chart is a general outline of programs available.

For more information about the

AINP streams, eligibility criteria and
application instructions visit

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a work permit? 5. What is the employer responsible
Generally, foreign nationals require for when hiring semi-skilled (NOC
a permit to work in Canada. All C&D) workers?
work permits have terms and Employers who wish to hire foreign
conditions that a foreign worker workers for semi-skilled occupations
must follow. They include: have additional responsibilities.
• You work for the employer whose The employer must provide an
name is on the work permit. employment contract to the foreign
worker agreeing to the following:
• You work at the location
indicated on the work permit. • To pay for the foreign workers’
transportation costs from and back
• You cannot stay in Canada longer
to the country of residence. These
than the time stated on the work
fees cannot be recovered from the
foreign worker.
• If you breach any of these terms
• To provide medical coverage until
and conditions, you will be
the foreign worker has provincial
breaking the law.
health insurance coverage.
2. Who decides whether or not to
• To help the foreign worker find
issue my work permit?
a place to live that is suitable and
The Citizenship and Immigration
Canada (CIC) officer who assesses
your application makes the final 6. Can I extend my work permit?
decision on your work permit If your employer wishes to retain
application. you as a temporary foreign worker
beyond the term of your work
3. How long does it take to process
permit, you must apply to extend
my work permit application?
your work permit with CIC. Your
Each Canadian visa office has
employer must apply for a new LMO
different processing times for issuing
and provide you with a new job offer.
work permits. For processing times
Once these documents are received,
visit CIC’s website at
you must then submit a work permit
extension application to CIC.
4. How long can I work in Canada?
For more information visit www.cic.
A temporary foreign worker usually
gets a work permit that is valid for
the same length of time as their
Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

7. If I come to Alberta as a 9. As a temporary foreign worker, 10. Are there jobs that do not require
temporary foreign worker, can I can my spouse also work? a Labour Market Opinion (LMO
change employers? Spouses of temporary foreign exempt)?
You can change employers workers may be eligible to work Some categories of workers may
provided you apply to CIC to in Canada if they hold a valid not need an LMO from the
change your work permit. In most work permit. employer in order to apply for their
cases, your new employer will work permit. Common exemptions
A spouse of a skilled worker
have to provide you with an LMO include:
may be eligible to apply for and
before you can apply for a new
work on an open work permit. North American Free Trade
work permit. You cannot start
An open work permit allows a Agreement (NAFTA)
working for your new employer
person to work for any employer NAFTA removes the need for
until you receive your new work
for a certain period of time. When an LMO for certain professional
permit from CIC.
applying for an open work permit, occupations. Citizens of the
For more information visit www.cic. an LMO and job offer is not United States and Mexico in these required. However, the applicant occupations do not require an LMO
extend-worker.asp must prove that they are the spouse when applying for a work permit.
of a skilled worker who holds a For a list of eligible occupations,
8. What can I do if my employer
valid work permit in Canada. visit CIC’s website at
does not follow the employment
contract or job offer or I am being A spouse of a semi-skilled worker
mistreated? will require an LMO and job International Student and Young
As a temporary foreign worker in offer to submit a work permit Worker Employment Program
Alberta, you have the same rights application to CIC. Under the International Student
and responsibilities as every other and Young Worker Employment
If your spouse would like to
employee in the workplace. Program, several countries have
accompany you to Alberta, they
agreements with Canada to allow
If your employer does not follow may need to apply for a temporary
the mobility and exchange of
the employment contract or resident visa.
young workers and students. Those
job offer, you can contact the
eligible for this program do not
Temporary Foreign Worker
require an LMO. In addition, young
Helpline toll-free at 1-877-944-
workers or students from abroad are
9955. Staff will advise you of your
not required to find a job in Canada
rights and help find solutions for
in advance. For more information
situations involving unfair, unsafe
on international youth programs
or unhealthy working conditions.
and who qualifies for them visit
For all categories of workers that
require a work permit, but not an
LMO visit

About Recruiters and Immigration Consultants

Employment agencies and immigration Immigration Consultants/Lawyers

consultants or lawyers offer different The only representatives who may
services. If you plan to use one of these charge a fee to represent or advise
services to help find a job in Alberta or you on immigration matters with the
immigrate to Canada, it is important you Government of Canada are:
know these facts:
• Lawyers who are members in good
Recruitment Agencies standing with a Canadian provincial
You do not have to use the services of an or territorial law society;
employment agency to find employment. • Immigration consultants who are
If you choose to use one, the agency members in good standing with the
must be registered and licensed by the Canadian Society of Immigration
Government of Alberta. You have the Consultants, and
right to request an employment agency’s
license and business registration to verify • Notaries who are members in good
that it is a legitimate business. standing with the Chambre des
notaires du Québec.
An employment agency cannot charge
you a fee for finding you a job in You do not need to hire an immigration
Alberta. It is illegal in Alberta to charge representative to apply for a work
a job placement fee. Recruiters can only permit or to immigrate. Immigration
charge fees to Alberta employers who representatives do not have special
have offered to employ you. connections with Canadian government
officials and cannot guarantee you a
The employer cannot recover these visa. Beware of Internet scams and false
costs from you (for example, through websites.
deductions from your paycheque). If
an employment agency provides you For further information on using
with services such as resumé preparation immigration representatives visit www.
and interview skills coaching, then it is
entitled to charge you reasonable fees. immigrationrepresentatives.html
Paying those fees cannot guarantee you
employment – that is illegal!
For more information on using
employment agencies and confirming
their business licence visit Service
Alberta’s website at www.servicealberta.



St. John’s


Edmonton Canada Charlottetown
Calgary Regina




Immigrate to Alberta Information Service

Email form:

© 2010 Government of Alberta

Printed in Canada for free distribution
Published: March 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7785-8727-9