Alberta-bound immigrants can now apply online for most immigration programs, but the province has also introduced new fees.
As of October 1, applications to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) can be done online, unless they are for the Self-Employed Farmer Stream. Candidates in the Alberta Express Entry Stream must receive authorization from AINP to access the new portal.
The AINP says, in a media release, that the portal was designed to make immigration applications easier. Candidates applying for one of Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) get tips on how to enter data, a customized list of documents, and they can save a draft to complete their application at another time. The system does an initial assessment on eligibility, ensuring that candidates who do not meet basic criteria do not waste time and money submitting an application.
Here are more of the changes implemented by the AINP:
Applications submitted to the province using the online portal are subject to a $500 processing fee. This fee is non-refundable once an application has been submitted. The fee covers the cost of processing the application and is required whether candidates get a provincial nomination or not.
Candidates who applied for the Alberta Opportunity Stream or Alberta Express Entry Stream by mail on or before October 1 do not have to pay the fee.
Self-Employed Farmer Stream applicants who submitted their applications by mail after October 1 must pay the fee.
All requests for post-decision services must now be emailed, the AINP says.
Alberta now requires fees for post-decision services such as requests for reconsideration, nomination extensions, and nominee requests for letters of support. Requests for services that were sent to the government on or after October 1 are now subject to a $100 service fee.
Letters of Support will no longer be issued with a nomination and must be requested by the PNP recipient. Provincial nominees who have a written request from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for a letter of support do not have to pay the fee.
Fees cover the cost of processing requests, and are required even if candidates are not eligible to have their nominations extended, or to receive a letter of support. Refunds will only be given for requests for reconsideration where the original rejection is reversed. All other service fees are non-refundable.
Application updates will have to be sent by email, even if candidates applied by mail. Candidates must now send emails to inform the AINP about:
Alberta has made some of the following changes to their temporary coronavirus measures:
The AINP told CIC News that the new portal is meant to reduce red tape, and create a “streamlined application process for candidates.”
It is only accessible to the person applying, and if applicants want to share their application with family or representatives they can print off a preview.
The AINP says that feedback from candidates about the application process is welcome, and they will make adjustments if necessary.
Alberta also confirmed that this change is not COVID-19 related.
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