Overview

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and reviewing our processes and policies on an ongoing basis.

Find information on IRCC’s response to COVID-19, including the impact on its temporary and permanent immigration programs, on IRCC’s website.

If you have questions about COVID-19’s impact on the AINP, contact the AINP.

Temporary changes in effect

Since April 2020, the AINP has made ongoing temporary adjustments to its program in response to the changes in the economy and immigration system resulting from the pandemic. Some temporary adjustments remain in effect and some have been removed.  A summary of the temporary requirements in effect as of May 25, 2021 is provided below.

Alberta Express Entry Stream

As of May 25, 2021, we have removed the temporary April 29, 2020 criteria adjustments for the Alberta Express Entry Stream.  The criteria now in effect for this stream is set out on the Eligibility page. This criteria applies to all new candidates, as well as candidates who received a Notification of Interest (NOI) letter or who had an application in process before May 25, 2021.

This change means that in addition to candidates living and working in Alberta, candidates may be selected and nominated if they have an Alberta job offer or have experience in an occupation that will contribute to economic development and diversification in the province.  Individuals entry into Canada is subject to any pandemic public health measures in place at the time.

Alberta Opportunity Stream

The following temporary adjustments continue to apply to the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS).

  • New candidates and current candidates who are working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination. For example, working from home.
    • If the candidate is still working for their employer and continues to perform some of the job duties or types of work listed in their job description, they may be eligible for nomination if they can demonstrate they will be returning to their regular job duties after the pandemic. They must also continue to meet all other criteria.
    • For candidates who changed employers to maintain employment during the pandemic and who are working from home, their application will be placed on hold for up to 6 months (180 days) to allow them to meet criteria.
  • All candidates under the AOS, including Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders, are eligible to apply even if they are working in an occupation for which the Government of Canada refuses to process an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

All other AOS criteria posted on the Eligibility page remains in effect.

All AINP Worker Streams

Candidates must advise us of any changes to their employment, address, email, phone number, representative or family status while their AINP application is in process and after they are nominated.

Information about a change in employment must be emailed to the AINP program officer who is processing or who processed the application or emailed to the AINP at [email protected].

The following temporary adjustment continues to apply to all worker stream applicants:

  • All candidates who have lost their job or are no longer able to meet employment criteria after submitting an application to the AINP, regardless of the date they applied, have up to 6 months (180 days) from the time their application is assessed to find employment that meets AINP criteria. This includes candidates who have been unable to renew their work permit due COVID-19. Candidates must meet employment requirements at the time an application is submitted. The AINP advises by email when an application is put on hold.
  • Nominees who are no longer able to meet employment criteria also have up to 6 months (180 days) to find qualifying employment.
  • The longest we will hold an application or nomination is 6 months. After 6 months, we will make a decision on the application or nomination based on the information available and the candidate’s circumstances at that time.

Previous temporary changes

  • Temporary changes effective as of November 1, 2020

    On November 1, 2020, the Government of Canada increased the number of occupations that are not eligible to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in Alberta. This is also known as the ‘refusal to process list’. All new and pending LMIAs for positions in Alberta must be on the list of exempt occupations to be eligible for processing. To learn more, please visit the Government of Canada website.

    People whose occupations are not eligible for an LMIA can apply to immigration streams under the AINP. This change is retroactive to November 1, 2020.

    Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders who mailed or submitted an application to the Alberta Opportunity Stream:

    • before November 1, 2020 are not eligible if their occupation was on the  ‘refusal to process list’ (PDF, 99 KB) that was in place at the time they applied
    • on or after November 1, 2020 are eligible to apply even if they are working in an occupation for which the Government of Canada refuses to process an LMIA

    The AINP is also adjusting requirements for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Candidates who received a Notification of Interest on or after November 1, 2020 can be selected and/or nominated under this stream – regardless of whether they are working in an occupation for which the Government of Canada refuses to process an LMIA.

  • Temporary changes as of October 1, 2020

    As of October 1, 2020:

    • Incomplete applications will no longer be accepted. Incomplete applications mailed on or after October 1, 2020 or submitted in the online portal will be declined.
    • Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) and Alberta Express Entry Stream applications must be completed using the new AINP online portal. Only Self-Employed Farmer Stream applicants will continue to mail their applications. Only additional information or application updates can be submitted by email. See AINP Updates for more information.
    • All candidates who have lost their job after submitting an application to the AINP, regardless of the date they applied, as well as all nominees, will have up to 6 months (180 days) from the time their application is assessed to find employment that meets AINP criteria. Candidates must meet employment requirements at the time an application is submitted or mailed. We will advise by email when an application is put on hold. This change provides more opportunity to meet AINP employment criteria and extends the time to find employment by up to 4 months for candidates and nominees. Previously, nominees and select candidates were given up to 60 days to find qualifying employment.

    All other temporary changes put in place on April 29, 2020 remain in effect. Details are provided below.

  • Temporary changes as of April 29, 2020

    Current candidates are defined as candidates who mailed their application on or before April 29, 2020.

    Submitting applications

    We will accept copies for all document types, as well as copies of signatures on forms from both new and current candidates, including:

    • copies of candidate, spouse/common-law partner, dependant and representative signatures on application and request forms
    • copies of educational transcripts for Post-Graduation Work Permit holders

    We may confirm the authenticity of signatures and transcripts by other means, including phone and email.

    We will only accept applications by mail. We will not accept electronic applications.

    New candidates may submit an incomplete application only if they:

    • meet all Selection Criteria for their AINP stream, but are missing some documents to demonstrate they meet criteria due to COVID-19
    • include a written explanation as to why the document(s) cannot be acquired
    • provide evidence they have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization who will issue the document or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to COVID-19, and
    • for the Alberta Opportunity Stream, they include either valid language results or proof of registration for a language testing session on or before October 29, 2020, or
    • for the Alberta Express Entry Stream, they include valid language results and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)(if applicable)

    New applications that do not meet these requirements will be declined.

    If a current candidate cannot provide documents due to COVID-19, they must provide:

    • a written explanation as to why the document(s) cannot be acquired, and
    • evidence they have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization who will issue them or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to COVID-19

    Assessment of applications

    We will temporarily hold new applications for 60 calendar days from date of mailing and current applications for 60 calendar days from date of assessment where the application is either incomplete due to COVID-19 or the AINP program officer cannot verify information or documentation.

    We will advise by email when an application is put on hold.

    After 45 days, we will determine if an additional 60 calendar day hold will be applied. We will advise the candidate by email of the status of their application by each 60 calendar day mark.

    The longest we will hold an application is 6 months. After 6 months, we will make a decision on the application based on the information available and the candidate’s circumstances at that time.

    Candidates must advise us of any changes to their employment, address, email, phone number or family status while their AINP application is in process.

    Information about a change in employment must be emailed to the AINP program officer who is processing the application or mailed to the AINP.

    Do not mail information without an AINP file number. All candidates should review IRCC’s website for current information on maintaining their status to live and work in Alberta.

    Selection criteria and assessment of applications

    Alberta Opportunity Stream

    Under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, new candidates and current candidates who are working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination. For example, working from home.

    If the candidate is still working for their employer and continues to perform some of the job duties or types of work listed in their job description, they may be eligible for nomination if they can demonstrate they will be returning to their regular job duties after the pandemic. They must also continue to meet all other criteria.

    For new and current candidates who changed employers to maintain employment during the pandemic and who are working from home, their application will be placed on hold for 60 days to allow them to meet criteria.

    No other changes have been made to Alberta Opportunity Stream selection criteria.

    We will give some current candidates additional time to allow them to change their circumstances and meet criteria.

    Current Alberta Opportunity Stream candidates experiencing any of the following circumstances will have their applications put on hold for 60 calendar days to allow them time to meet criteria:

    • Candidates who have had a change in their employment circumstances, specifically those who are:
      • unemployed or not working full-time (part-time or job share)
      • working in an ineligible occupation
      • working in or have job offer for a different occupation than the occupation they were working in at time of application
      • working in or have a job offer for a different occupation than their work experience
      • Post-Graduation Work Permit holders who are working in an occupation unrelated to their field of study
      • working in Canada but may no longer have authorization for work being completed due to a change in job duties, employer, location and/or wage, or
    • Candidates who:
      • have shifted from an eligible work permit type to an ineligible work permit type to maintain employment
      • are working in a regulated occupation in Alberta who cannot meet licensure/registration requirements
      • have an ineligible language test (test is older than 2 years or for wrong test type).

    Alberta Express Entry Stream

    We will continue to do selection draws and nominate individuals under the Alberta Express Entry Stream.

    Only individuals living and working in Alberta will be considered for a nomination at this time. The following criteria must be met to receive a nomination:

    • Alberta employer must be incorporated or registered by or under an act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta
    • The individual must be currently working in Alberta
      • Individuals working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use, such as working from home, due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination, so long as they meet all other criteria
      • Individuals working in a “virtual” location or who serve the employer by telecommuting from a location outside Alberta are not eligible
    • The individual must have a work permit authorizing them to work in their current occupation in Alberta
    • The work must be:

    Current Alberta Express Entry Stream candidates who are experiencing any of the following circumstances will have their applications put on hold for 60 calendar days to allow them time to become eligible for a nomination:

    • candidates who were working in Alberta prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but who are currently not working full-time (part-time or unemployed)
    • candidates working in a regulated occupation in Alberta but who cannot meet licensure/registration requirements

    Alberta Express Entry Stream applications where there is no recent history of employment in Alberta will not be processed until further notice. This includes new applications from individuals who received a Notification of Interest letter before or after April 29, 2020, as well as applications where an AINP program officer had already started to assess the application for eligibility.

    In all cases, including those applications put on hold, if the candidate’s federal Express Entry profile expires, we will close the application and the candidate will need to be re-selected by Alberta in order to qualify for consideration under this stream.

    After nomination

    We are working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the impact of COVID-19 on the permanent residence process.

    Nominees must advise us of any changes in their employment circumstances, address, email, phone number or family status after nomination. Once an application for permanent residence is submitted, you must continue to advise the AINP and the IRCC of any changes. Information about a change in employment must be emailed to the AINP program officer who processed the application or mailed to the AINP along with an AINP file number. Use the IRCC web form to advise IRCC of any changes.

    Nominees whose employment circumstance change due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be given 60 calendar days to meet employment criteria in order to maintain their nomination. Nominees who move to another province or territory will have their nomination withdrawn.

    We continue to issue nomination extensions and/or 204(c) Letters of Support to nominees who meet the requirements for these post-nomination supports.

    All nominees should review IRCC’s website for current information on maintaining their status to live and work in Alberta.

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