Last year, the province of Alberta introduced the Strategic Recruitment Stream of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This program recognizes the valuable contributions that workers from overseas have made in North America by fast-tracking the Canadian Permanent Residency of certain US H1B visa* holders. The application procedure has recently been modified.
The Strategic Recruitment Stream of the AINP was created to help Alberta employers deal with chronic labour shortages in certain industries in the province. The Alberta government reasoned that US H1B holders in these occupations, with their North American experience, would easily find jobs in Alberta. Essentially, if you have been working in the United States for at least one year on an H1B in an occupation that is in high demand in Alberta, the province has rolled out the welcome mat for you. No job offer required.
As of January 2009, the Alberta government has changed the way applications from H1B holders are to be processed.
Under the former process, the applicant would first submit a basic application to the AINP officers. Upon review, the officers would issue an invitation to qualified applicants to submit a full application. Once that was received and processed, the AINP officers would issue a certificate of nomination to qualified applicants. These applicants then submitted their certificate to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the final processing of their Permanent Resident visas.
The new process has eliminated the initial invitation portion of the application. Applicants will now submit their full forms and documents right away.
Improving the process goes to show that Alberta is motivated to welcome newcomers, especially H1B holders. Do you qualify for this fast-track Canadian immigration program?
* also includes H1B1, H1C, and E3.