Alberta Extends Time Period for Low-Skilled Workers to Apply to Immigrate

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program has announced that it will be expanding its initiative for low-skilled and entry-level workers to apply for permanent residency.  They have sent out an e-mail stating that:

To Alberta Immigration Representatives

I am with the Government of Alberta, Workforce Strategies Division and I wanted to inform you of changes to the AINP program that are time limited.

We are pleased to let you know that the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has capacity to accept more nominations from employers.  We have very short processing times and will be accepting applications for all categories.     If you have temporary foreign workers currently working for you, the AINP may help them become permanent residents.

The AINP is an immigration program offered by the Government of Alberta in partnership with the Government of Canada’s department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.    More information can be found at: 

www.AlbertaCanada.com/ainp

The AINP has temporarily expanded the opportunities for Alberta employers to nominate their foreign workers in select semi-skilled occupations.

This is a one-time initiative and applications must be postmarked or delivered in person on or before December 6, 2012.   

For more information, please visit the AINP website. Information on this one-time Initiative will be posted within the next week.   

http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrating/ainp-eds-semi-skilled-criteria.aspx

Hotel and Lodging

This is a one-time 2012 additional allocation initiative available for the Hotel and Lodging Industry.  There will temporarily be no limit on the number of allocations permitted, per property and the AINP will accept up to 600 applications under this initiative.  For more information, please visit the AINP website. 

Trucking — Heavy Haul Initiative

 

This is a one-time 2012 Heavy Haul Initiative available for the Semi-skilled Trucking Industry.  The AINP is temporarily expanding its existing trucking industry category to include both select heavy haul drivers and long haul truck drivers.  Eligible candidates must have an Alberta class 1 driver’s license, operate a tractor trailer unit with a minimum of 5 axles and deliver services, goods and or equipment to one of the following industries: oil and gas, petroleum, oil field, agriculture, forestry and food and beverage.  AINP will accept up to 600 applications under this Initiative.


From Foreign Worker to Permanent Resident

According to the Calgary Harold, on July 20, Thomas Lukaszuk, the province’s employment and immigration minister, had this to say about the temporary foreign worker program:

In my opinion, it was a program that had fulfilled its mandate, (by) suddenly providing a large number of workers to an economy that suddenly had a massive shortage of workers.

It’s not working well now. It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

Lukaszuk goes on to note that many of the province’s temporary foreign workers want to stay beyond the duration of their work permit, however, because the temporary program is not supposed to be a gateway to long-term residency, the same employers keep on hiring new foreign workers for the same jobs.

Why not consider some permanency (for) this workforce. I always joke the only group that really benefits from the current temporary foreign worker program is Air Canada, because they’re flying people in and out

There are in fact several ways for a temporary foreign workers in Alberta to achieve permanent residence.  These include:

  • Applying for permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class.  This program is practically designed for temporary foreign workers. Indeed, CIC’s website introduces the program by saying “if you are a temporary foreign worker….”  To be eligible, the temporary foreign worker must have at least two years of full-time (or equivilant) work experience in a managerial, professional, or technical / skilled trades occupation, be proficient in either English or French, and currently be in Canada.
  • Applying under the Alberta PNP Program. According to the FAQ on the Alberta PNP website:

I have an employee who is a temporary foreign worker and I would like to retain him or her for a permanent position. Does the AINP accept applications for candidates who are temporary foreign workers?

Yes. The temporary foreign worker must be working in an occupation listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code in Skill Levels 0, A, B. In addition, some NOC C and D occupations are also eligible under the AINP. Please visit the Semi-Skilled Worker section of the website for information on eligible NOC C and D occupations.

Our firm constantly looks at ways of moving British Columbian  temporary foreign workers out of the “temporary” category and into the “permanent”.  My guess is that most Alberta law firms do as well, and temporary works in Alberta should know that there may be options for them to become permanent residents.


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.
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