The May 13, 2020 Alberta Express Entry (EE) draw results were recently released. A total of 191 candidates received Notifications of Interest (NOI). The minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) was 300, the lowest it’s been since March 4, 2020.

Although 300 is a very attainable CRS score, the AINP has advised that not all candidates in the EE pool with CRS scores above 300 will receive an NOI as applications are assessed according to the current market conditions, not the conditions on the date an application submission. In addition, due to the state of emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic, the AINP has made several program changes affecting your ability to obtain an NOI. As of April 29th, the AINP is limiting nominations to individuals living and working in Alberta. This is because those who are in the Province are not subject to any travel restrictions currently in place, which makes it easier to apply and obtain permanent residency as you are already living in the Province.

It is not surprising that the AINP is not processing applicationsfrom candidates who have never been employed in Alberta, as the Canada Federal Government itself is targeting Federal EE draws to applicants with a Provincial Nomination (PNP), or Canadian experience.

Similarly, the AINP has implemented the following criteria to receive a nomination, due to COVID-19:

  • Alberta employer must be incorporated or registered by or under an act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta
  • The individual must be currently working in Alberta
  • Individuals working in a “virtual” location or who serve the employer by telecommuting from a location outside Alberta are not eligible
  • Individuals working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use, such as working from home, due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination, so long as they meet all other criteria
  • The individual must have a work permit authorizing them to work in their current occupation in Alberta
  • The work must be: paid; full-time, defined as a minimum of 30 hours/week; for wages and benefits that meet provincial minimum wage; and must meet or exceed the requirements set out in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or, if it is an LMIA exempt occupation, it must meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for that occupation across all industries in Alberta, as set out on the Alis website.

The AINP has also indicated provided a list of ineligible workers, which include:

  • Part time, casual or seasonal employees, regardless of their current working hours
  • Business owners, independent contractors, or temporary agency workers, including individuals listed as Directors, Shareholders or Agents of the Alberta employer on the Corporate Registry System (CORES)

The AINP has also indicated that they will not be denying applicationstoworkers who would otherwise be eligible for a nomination, but instead will hold the application for 60 days.

These candidates include:

  • Full time Alberta workers who been laid off or reduced to part-time employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Candidates employed in a regulated occupation in Alberta but are not able to obtain the necessary licensure or registration requirements

Under the AINP, all applicants must create an active EE profile. If the Province finds the applicant’s credentials align with their needs, they will send the applicant an NOI through the IRCC EE portal. Once the NOI is received, the applicant may then apply for Nomination. If successful, applicants must accept the Nomination within 30 days. If the Nomination is accepted, IRCC will send out the ITA and the applicant will have 60 days to apply for Permanent Residency through the IRCC portal. The AINP is also providing applicants for Nomination who are unable to provide all the documentation due to the impact of COVID-19 an additional 60 days from the date of mailing and current applications, or 60 days from the date of assessment if the application is incomplete due to COVID-19. No denials are being issued based on incomplete applications.

There is no fee to submit an application. If a candidate is chosen under the AINP, this will add 600 points to their overall CRS. This will essentially guarantee an invitation, especially now since Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is targeting EE PNP’s.

For additional information about the AINP program, or if you intend to apply, or already have a Nomination, you may contact us for further information.