The Canadian province of Alberta unveiled two new immigration streams Thursday, including its anticipated Express Entry-linked stream.
Both streams were originally expected in January, but the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) delayed their introduction until now.
The creation of a dedicated Express Entry Stream will now allow Alberta to invite candidates in the federal Express Entry pool to apply for a provincial nomination.
“Candidates who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta and who can help support the government’s economic development and diversification priorities will be invited to apply,” the AINP said in its announcement of its Express Entry Stream.
The federal Express Entry system manages candidates in Canada’s three main economic immigration classes – the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.
A candidate in the Express Entry pool who receives a nomination from a Canadian province obtains 600 extra points under the Comprehensive Ranking System and is prioritized for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.
Qualified candidates with profiles in the Express Entry pool will be selected directly by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
Express Entry candidates can only apply for a provincial nomination after receiving an invitation from the AINP.
The first step towards pursuing this stream is to enter the Express Entry pool.
Alberta Opportunity Stream
In addition to the new Express Entry stream, Alberta said that as of June 14 it will accept applications under the Self-Employed Farmer Stream and its new Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS).
The AOS operates outside of Express Entry and provides a pathway to permanent residence for candidates who are working in Alberta.
Under the new AOS, candidates can apply without needing employer support.
The AOS replaces Alberta’s Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream, both of which are now closed effective June 14. The AINP said applications to both streams that are post-marked before June 14 will still be accepted for processing.
In order to be eligible for the AOS, candidates must be currently working full-time in Alberta in an eligible occupation and satisfy minimum selection criteria for residency and employment status, occupation, language, education, work experience, and income level.
More details about the eligibility requirements of the AOS are available on the AINP’s dedicated page.
The AINP said one of main benefits of the new stream is its expansion of the occupations and skill levels that are accepted.
“These new changes will better serve workers in Alberta who want to become permanent residents. We have simplified processes, which will reduce wait times and provide fair access for all workers who wish to build lives in Alberta,” the AINP said
The AINP says the purpose of these changes are to:
- simplify the application process by creating the AOS
- open up the program to virtually all skills and professions in Alberta with more flexibility for trade skills
- ensure that workers with professional, personal, and community ties to Alberta are first in line to become permanent residents with a pathway to citizenship.
The AINP has been allotted a maximum of 5,600 nominations for 2018 by Canada’s federal government, which shares responsibility for immigration with Canada’s provinces and territories.
The AINP says it has issued 2,277 nomination certificates so far in 2018.