On Friday, July 26, it was announced that the Alberta Pilot
Project for Occupation-Specific Work Permits has been extended by
one year, thereby extending the application deadline for the pilot
to July 31, 2014. This news was a relief to many employers seeking
to use this program.
Launched on June 1, 2011, the pilot project allows foreign
nationals to come to Canada to work temporarily in designated
trades and as estimators in Alberta's engineering, construction
and procurement industries. The occupation-specific permits granted
under the program allow temporary foreign workers to work in
Alberta without a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada,
if specific requirements are met. The specific occupations eligible
for the program were not changed in the announcement. They are as
Welder and Welder-wire process operator;
Heavy-duty equipment mechanic and Heavy Equipment Technician
– Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road); Transport Trailer
Mechanic; Truck and Transport Mechanic;
Ironworker – structural/ornamental; reinforcing; metal
building systems erector;
Millwright and industrial mechanic;
Foreign nationals seeking to work in Canada under the pilot are
required to have an initial job offer from an Alberta employer or
an employer acting on behalf of a recognized Group of Employers
(GoE) under the Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC)–Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
To maintain industry standards in Alberta and promote workplace
safety, Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT)
evaluates and tests out-of-country tradespersons intending to work
in the province. One clarification of Friday's announcement is
that for optional (rather than compulsory) trades such as
Carpenters or Millwrights, applicants may not always need an
Alberta Qualification Certificate Program (QCP) approval letter
from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) to present
with their work permit application. Otherwise, you should allow
time to obtain AIT approval.
Under the pilot, workers can obtain 1-year, 2-year, or
short-term work permits.
For more details regarding the extension and the ongoing
clarifications of the pilot requirements, the CIC Operational
Bulletin can be found
here (or contact us).
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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