Rural Renewal Immigration Stream

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Employer fees are illegal.  It is illegal for an employer to charge a fee of any kind in return for a job offer letter.  Read more about employer fraud below.  
County of Barrhead is proud to have partnered with the Town of Barrhead to become a designated community under the Rural Renewal stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). This program aims to support our local businesses that struggle with attracting & retaining employees. Click here to see available positions under the program!
AAIP is a provincial economic immigration program that nominates individuals for permanent residency in Alberta.  The Rural Renewal program will support economic development by attracting qualified newcomers to fill full-time, permanent positions in the County & Town of Barrhead. Participants in the program can receive nomination for permanent residency, which will allow them to stay working, living, and contributing to our community.  
Program Process
Employer Eligibility
Employers must meet all employer eligibility criteria prior to issuing an offer of employment. Note: requirements in bold come into effect March 18, 2024, and only apply to new applications received after that time.
  • Must be incorporated / registered & operate within the County or Town of Barrhead
  • Job must have been available to Canadians first, at the same pay and working conditions
    • Demonstrated efforts to recruit locally, provincially, and nationally
  • Must be in continuous operation in Alberta for a minimum of 2 complete fiscal years.
  • Must have a minimum total gross annual revenue of $400,000 AND employ a minimum of 3 full-time (or full-time equivalent) workers.
    • If the employer cannot demonstrate the above, they can still qualify for the program but will be restricted in the number of nominee applicants they can support, based on the number of years the employer has been operating in Alberta.  Read AAIP's Job Offer & Employment Requirements for more details.
  • Select occupations are not eligible for this program, please see eligibility criteria linked above.
  • Vacant position must be:
    • Full-time (minimum 30 hours per week)
    • Continuing (12 months or more)
    • Non-seasonal (year-round)
    • Conducted primarily within the County or Town of Barrhead
    • Wages & benefits meet or exceed lowest starting wage for occupation across all industries in Alberta, as set out in the ALIS website
How to Become an Enrolled Employer
To sign up, employers must submit the following documentation to 
Please note that candidate must apply directly to employers, not the County of Barrhead.  
Candidate Eligibility
Applicants to the program must meet all Provincial candidate eligibility criteria before applying for job posting. Eligible employers with vacant positions are posted here.
To be eligible for an endorsement letter in Barrhead, the following applies:
  •  Candidate must review & meet Provincial eligibility requirements:
    • Have at least 12 months full-time work experience in the last 18 months (in Canada or abroad).
    • English proficiency and passed fluency test.
    • Completed minimum high school education (equivalent to Canadian standard).
    • Demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their family.
    • Full list of eligibility requirements found here.
  • Candidate must "intend to be able to reside & work in the Barrhead Community".
    • Candidate does not necessarily need to reside in Barrhead when they request municipal endorsement, but when AAIP reviews the nomination application they may ask for proof that the candidate either lives in Barrhead or has actively been trying to move.
    • Whether or not the candidate is in Barrhead, they must be living in Canada before requesting endorsement.
  • Candidate must have a valid temporary work permit, which allows them to start work in Barrhead immediately.
    • If the candidate does not have a valid temporary work permit or is unable to start work in Barrhead (for example, a closed work permit issued in a community outside Barrhead), the candidate is not eligible to receive a municipal endorsement letter from the Barrhead Community.
    • By focusing on candidates already able to start work in Barrhead, employers will be able to fill positions as soon as a job is offered, as candidates can start work while waiting for provincial/federal applications to be reviewed. 
  • Candidate's work permit should be eligible for at least 8 months.
Job Offers & Endorsement
Once a candidate receives a job offer, the employer can request a municipal endorsement letter from the Barrhead Community.  To do this, the employer must forward the following documents to the County of Barrhead:
  1. Job offer letter
  2. Request for Endorsement Form (provided to employers after they submit their employer application form)
AAIP requires that job offers are signed by the employer & employee, and must state that the position offers:
  • Continuous, paid work in the County or Town of Barrhead
  • Full-time work for 12 months or more
  • Wages & benefits that meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for your occupation
AAIP Nomination
Once a candidate receives a job offer and is endorsed by the municipality, they can submit an application & all required documentation through the AAIP Online Portal.  There is a non-refundable application fee for this stream.  Click here to see what to do after you are nominated.
Employer Fraud
It is illegal for employers to charge candidates a fee of any kind in return of job offers or employment letters.  If an employer is charging you a fee for job offers, endorsement letters, or other documents, we encourage you to report this as employer fraud:
  • If you are currently a Temporary Foreign Worker in Canada, contact the Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office:
  • If you are a foreign national living outside Canada, contact Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship Canada (IRCC):
Rural Renewal FAQ
Yes. The County & Town of Barrhead have partnered to run the Rural Renewal Stream in our community, with the County acting as administrative lead.  This means that the County of Barrhead reviews employer enrollment & drafts municipal endorsement letters for businesses & candidates in both the County & Town of Barrhead.  

The County & Town of Barrhead cannot issue endorsement letters directly to candidates without an eligible job offer in the community.  A candidate's first step is to apply for a job directly to an eligible employer.  
Prospective candidates should follow application details listed in each job posting.  Once a job is offered, the employer will send a copy of the offer letter to the County of Barrhead.  At that point, the County will review eligibility and write the endorsement letter.

No. The Rural Renewal Stream gives employers the opportunity to waive LMIA requirements for job vacancies by requiring an endorsement letter from the municipality.  An LMIA is not required for employers who recruit vacant positions through this program.  

Provincially, the Rural Renewal Stream is open to candidates in Canada or abroad. 
However, at this time the Barrhead Community will only issue endorsement letters to candidates that are already in Canada with valid temporary status.  Candidates outside Canada will not be reviewed for a municipal endorsement letter (see "Candidate Endorsement" above for more information).  

Both employer and employee still have rights under the Employment Standards Code.  Should employer or employee choose to end the employment agreement, the employer must follow employment standards and regulations to terminate their employment.  If employment is terminated, it is the responsibility of the employer to notify the County of Barrhead, who will then notify AAIP of the employee's change in employment status.