The Alberta provincial government recently announced that residents of Alberta can now sponsor their close relatives for fast-tracked Permanent Residency under a new section of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). The expansion of the program seeks to stimulate population and labour force growth and to create more welcoming communities for newcomers.
Though it has the fastest growing population in Canada, Alberta continues to struggle from labour shortages across many sectors. International migration has become the most important driver behind Alberta’s population increase, and the AINP is helping to assure that it remains so. The new Family Stream will open the door to a new category of applicants who can contribute to the provincial workforce.
Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents who have resided in Alberta for at least two years can sponsor a parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew for provincial nomination. Though applicants do not need a job offer, they must possess certain minimum criteria to ensure that they will integrate into the workforce well. They must have a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate, work experience, and be between 21 and 45 years old. They, or their spouse, must have accessible funds of at least $10,000 CAD and another $2,000 CAD for each accompanying dependent.
“Albertans have family members with skills and knowledge Alberta needs,” stated Alberta Minister of Employment and Immigration, Hector Goudreau. “Adding this family stream to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program will help us meet our workforce needs while creating more diverse and welcoming communities for all our families.”
Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and more recently, Newfoundland and Labrador have established family reunification categories within their Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP). Immigrants that come to Canada under these programs often have an easier time adjusting to the community and the workforce because they have the added support of family.
Alberta expects the new AINP Family Stream will foster similar success, considering the large immigrant population in the province.