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Changes to Alberta Programs Create Greater Opportunities for Applicants

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On Friday, September 13th, the Province of Alberta announced a number of changes to its Provincial Nominee Program. These changes will help make immigration to the province more accessible for many prospective applicants.

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

The AINP is a program through which Alberta nominates targeted individuals to the Federal Government for Canadian immigration. These immigrants are expected to then settle in the province, helping to bolster the economy and enrich local communities.

The AINP is currently comprised of four recruitment streams and a range of categories. They are:

  • Employer-Driven Stream
    • Skilled Worker Category
    • International Graduate Category
    • Semi-Skilled Worker Category
  • Strategic Recruitment Stream
    • Alberta Work Experience Category
    • Compulsory and Optional Trades Category
    • Engineering Occupations Category
    • Post-Graduate Worker Category
  • Family Stream
  • Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Changes to the AINP Program

As of September 13th, three significant changes have been made to certain parts of the AINP.

Food Services Industry Pilot Project – Additional Allocations

This pilot project is part of the Employer-Driven Stream of the AINP. Until November 28, 2013, Alberta employers with eligible workers may nominate up to 20% of their total workforce per restaurant location, for Canadian Permanent Residency.

Through this program, temporary food service workers already in Alberta on a work permit may be nominated to the program by their employers. Workers must be Food and Beverage Servers (NOC 6453), Food Counter Attendants (NOC 6641), or Kitchen Helpers (NOC 6641).

Strategic Recruitment Stream – Addition of Post-Graduate Category

International graduates of a Canadian educational institution who are currently working in Alberta may now, through this new program, apply for nomination without an employer-supported application. Eligible applicants must be currently working in the province on a valid post-graduation work permit, and their occupation must be considered either skilled or semi-skilled.

Applicants must have obtained a certificate, diploma, degree or graduate-level degree from a publically funded community college, trade/technical school, or university in Alberta or another province of Canada, or from a private institution in Alberta authorized by the province to confer degrees.

Alberta Work Experience Category – New Eligible Occupations Added

Applicants to this category must already be working in Alberta. Individuals who are working in most skilled and semi-skilled occupations are now eligible for immigration through this category. The Province of Alberta has provided a list of occupations considered ineligible for this category. If not on this list, an occupation is eligible.

In addition, select low-skill occupations are now temporarily eligible. These include:

  • Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers (NOC 7611)
  • Other Trades Helpers and Labourers (NOC 7612)
  • Light Duty Cleaners (NOC 6662)
  • Specialized Cleaners (NOC 6661)
  • Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents (NOC 6663)

For the above low-skilled jobs, a limited number of applications will be accepted until November 28th, 2013.

Employer-Driven Stream – Streamlined Requirements for Some Occupations

This program, is normally open only to skilled workers with a job offer in Albeta. It is now open to the following semi-skilled workers, provided they receive a qualifying job offer:

  • Plasterers;
  • Drywallers;
  • Upholsterers;
  • Managers/Supervisors in the Service, Retail and Foodservice industries.

Another Option: Immigrating to Alberta through the Federal Skilled Worker Program

AINP categories generally require applicants to already be living and working in the province. However, individuals who are not working in Alberta, but wish to immigrate to the province, may be eligible to do so under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Successful FSWP applicants can land in any Canadian Province of their choosing, with the exception of Quebec.

In order to qualify for the 2013 FSWP applicants without a Canadian job offer or PHD must have one year of work experience in one of 24 eligible occupations in the last 10 years, demonstrate acceptable language proficiency by way of a standardized language test (Canadian Language Benchmark of 7), obtain 67 points on the FSWP selection grid and submit their completed application before the FSW program, or their occupation, reaches its cap/limit.

Whether through the FSWP or the AINP, prospective immigrants who wish to relocate to Alberta have a number of ways to achieve their goals. Once in Alberta, they will be part a booming economy, welcoming job market, and diverse population of Canadians from around the world.

To find out if you are eligible for the AINP, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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