Canada: New Opportunity For Permanent Residency In Alberta

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) recently announced highly anticipated changes to its permanent residency program. Effective June 14, 2018, the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) is available as a potential path to permanent residency in the province. The AOS replaces the Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream under the AINP. The AOS is also open to international post-secondary graduates who have graduated from an approved Alberta post-secondary institution and who hold a valid post-grad work permit.

The goal of the AOS is to simplify the AINP process, reduce processing times, help diversify the economy, help Alberta employers expand their workforce and provide fair access to permanent residency across industries in Alberta.

AOS - Eligibility Criteria

Following are the eligibility criteria under the AOS:

  • Residency status and work permit requirements:
    • Applicants must have valid temporary resident status authorizing them to work in Canada.
    • Applicants must have a valid work permit for an eligible occupation.
  • Occupation requirements:
    • Applicants must be currently working in an eligible occupation in Alberta, which matches their previous work experience. A list of ineligible occupations is below.
    • Post-grad work permit holders must also be employed in an occupation related to their field of study.
  • Language requirements:
    • Applicants must meet a language test score in English or French of at least CLB 4 for each language skill. The language requirement increases to CLB 5 as of June 14, 2019.
  • Education requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed a minimum of high school education.
    • Post-grad work permit holders must meet specific education criteria.
  • Work experience requirements:
    • Applicants must have a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in their current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 month, or a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in their current occupation in Canada and/or abroad within the last 30 months.
    • Applicants must meet licensing requirements for the specific occupation.
    • Applicants must have a bona fide job offer from an Alberta employer to work in their current occupation in Alberta.
    • Post-grad work permit holders have specific work experience requirements.
  • Income level requirements based on family unit.

Work Experience & Ineligible occupations under the AOS

To be eligible to apply for a nomination under the AOS, an applicant must be working in an eligible occupation in Alberta. Although most occupations are eligible under the AINP, the following occupations are ineligible under the AOS:

Alberta Opportunity Stream Ineligible Occupations List

NOC

NOC Skill Level

Occupation Title

0011

0

Legislators

0422

0

School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education

0423

0

Managers in Social, Community and Correctional Services

0432

0

Fire Chiefs and Senior Firefighting Officers

0651

0

Escort Agency Managers, Massage Parlour Managers

4031

A

Secondary School Teachers

4032

A

Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers 

4154

A

Professional Occupations in Religion 

5121

A

Authors and Writers

5133

A

Musicians and Singers

5135

A

Actors and Comedians

5136 

A

Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists

1227

B

Court Officers and Justices of the Peace

3223

B

Dental Laboratory Bench Workers

4214

B

Certain Early Childhood Educators and Assistants

4216

B

Other Instructors

4217

B

Other Religious Occupations

5232

B

Other Performers, n.e.c.

5244 

B

Artisans and Craftspersons

5251

B

Athletes

6232

B

Real Estate Agents and Salespersons

4411

C

Home Child Care Providers

4412

C

Home Support Workers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations

4413

C

Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants

6533

C

Casino Occupations

6564

C

Other Personal Service Occupations

7513

C

Taxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs

8442

C

Trappers and Hunters

6623

C

Other Sales Related Occupations

6722

C

Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport

6742

D

Other Service Support Occupations, n.e.c.

8611

D

Harvesting Labourers

8612

D

Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers

8613

D

Aquaculture and Marine Harvest Labourers

8614

D

Mine Labourers

 

In addition to the above AOS Ineligible Occupations List, post-grad work permit holders are subject to a second list - the occupations listed in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program's "Refusal to Process" list for Alberta, current as of June 2018. The Refusal to Process list was initially published by Employment and Social Development Canada in April 2017 and outlines specific occupations that do not qualify for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in Alberta. The occupations listed in the Refusal to Process list are considered to be occupations that are not in demand in Alberta. 

Quotas and processing times

The AINP receives a quota from the federal government for the maximum number of nominations it may issue in each calendar year. The 2018 quota is 5,600 nominations. To date, the AINP has issued approximately 2,277 nominations in 2018, with approximately 2,700 applications awaiting assessment.  Based on the online AINP processing and inventory, there are currently no applications in queue under the AOS.

Applicants may only have one application pending under the AINP. Any current applications under the AINP must be withdrawn prior to submitting an application under the AOS.

What this means for employers

The AOS may provide new opportunities for foreign nationals in Alberta to obtain permanent immigration status. As there are numerous options for permanent residency in Canada and in Alberta, we recommend speaking to experienced immigration counsel to consider all options and the best strategy for your company or personal circumstances.

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

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