Alberta Suspends US Visa Holder and Family Stream Categories

Effective August 23, 2010, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program is no longer accepting applications under either the AINP U.S. Visa Holder Category or the Family Stream.  Any applications that were postmarked before August 23rd will continue to be accepted.

The US Visa Holder category was a unique program which was aimed at attracting temporary skilled workers in the United States that were working on an H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, or E-3 visa.  Applicants were required to have been working in the U.S.A. for at least one year.

The Family Stream allowed family members of Alberta residents to immigrate to Canada.  The program was a broader one than its federal counterpart, and allowed parents to sponsor non-dependent children.

The two categories amounted to nearly 1,400 of the roughly 4,200 people accepted for permanent residency in Alberta under the provincial nominee program.

According to Thomas Lukaszuk, the Alberta Minister of Employment and Immigration, the reason for the suspension was to ensure that available jobs went to Albertans during the recession:

If there is any work to be had, it should go to Albertans first, the rest of Canadians second and then, if we can’t fill those positions, foreigners should be able to come and take those jobs.