Changes to Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), which functions as Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program, was formerly referred to as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). The AAIP is a Provincial Economic Immigration program aimed at providing nominations to foreign nationals who have the skills to fill skilled labour shortage or those willing to start or purchase a business in Alberta.
For the last two years, Alberta has introduced several changes to the program, such as:
- October 1, 2020 – Launch of Online Portal
- October 1, 2020 – Implementation of $500 Processing Fee
- October 26, 2020 – Launch of new pathways to encourage international graduates to open businesses in Alberta
- February 16, 2022 – AINP renamed to AAIP
- February 16, 2022 – Introduction of two new streams: (1) the Rural Renewal Stream and (2) the Rural Entrepreneur Stream
- March 4, 2022 – Assistance is being provided to Ukrainian nationals to apply to the AAIP as a result of the crisis and prioritizing the assessment of applications for permanent residency made by Ukrainian nationals through the AAIP, so long as candidates must meet all program criteria.
Application and post-decision service fees for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program are also being temporarily waived for new applications and requests made by Ukrainian nationals. These measures are reviewed quarterly.
- May 1, 2022 – Lifting restrictions on hiring new temporary foreign workers by removing all occupations placed on the “refusal to process” list that was implemented during the pandemic and opening invitations to candidates who have not worked or studied in Alberta. The restrictive invitations were implemented in 2020, when Alberta limited invitations
- September 18, 2022 – Religious worker and clergy occupations eligible to apply for the AAIP three streams (Alberta Opportunity Stream, Express Entry and Rural Renewal Stream) for workers, so long as they meet existing stream eligibility requirements
- November 16, 2022 – Update to Federal NOC Codes
In addition to the General Alberta Express Entry stream, candidates with Tech industry experience may also qualify under the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway (AATP) and receive an invitation through the Express Entry Stream. Candidates must be currently working for, or have a job offer with, an Alberta-based tech industry employer in an eligible tech occupation. Please refer to the list of eligible Accelerated Tech Pathway occupations for additional information.
Alberta adds family relatives to eligibility criteria for the Alberta Express Entry program
Candidates who have immediate family relatives in Alberta can now receive extra consideration under the Alberta Express Entry program
As of January 18, 2023, the AAIP added having relatives in the province such as a parent, child, brother or sister currently residing in Alberta who is a citizen or permanent residence will now meet added selection factor criteria. The province believes that having immediate family ties is critical to helping new immigrants establish themselves in the province and settle successfully in Alberta.
Why is Alberta Bringing in so many Foreign Workers?
According to these new changes, the Alberta Express Entry stream is now able to allocate 25% of its NOI’s to individuals with both immediate family ties in Alberta, and who have experience in in-demand occupations that the province is unable to fill. This will assist employers address labour shortages in Alberta. With the massive growth being experienced in Alberta, almost 41,000 new private sector jobs were added in December 2022. Accordingly, researchers in the province are monitoring economic conditions and putting together lists of occupations and ranks them according to high, medium and low demand.
However, Alberta also has a high rate of job vacancies, with nearly 100,000 currently—and a further predicted cumulative shortage of over 33,000 workers across multiple occupation and sectors by 2025. These are key reasons behind the push for more newcomers in the province. Alberta is currently a magnet for immigration.
Nomination Certificate Limits
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided 6,500 nomination certificates to Alberta for 2022, all of which were used. The AAIP will continue to assess applications in the queue, however, no further certificates will be issued until January 2023.
Express Entry Draws
Since the AAIP regularly selects candidates from the Federal Express Entry pool based on profile information, they will first send a candidate a Notification of Interest (NOI) letter in their Federal Express Entry profile to determine if the candidate is interested in being considered for the AAIP stream. A minimum Comprehensive Ranking score of 300 is required.
For 2023, there have been a total of 2 draws. The January 19, 2023, draw issued 46 NOI’s with a CRS score of 324 and the January 23rd draw issued 154 NOI’s with a CRS score of 385.
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