Looking to hire an international worker? Know the changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program

There are a number of programs to help overcome labour shortage problems, and hiring a foreign worker is just one option to consider. If that’s an option your business is thinking about, you should know that the process has recently changed in Alberta.

Of particular interest to you are the changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) which took effect June 14, 2018.

The AINP has reduced the number of streams available to just two: the new Alberta Opportunity Stream  and the Self-Employed Farmer Stream. The Alberta Opportunity Stream replaces the Employer-Driven Stream and Strategic Recruitment Stream. If your application to either of those old streams is postmarked June 14 2018 or earlier, it will still be processed.

Changes create an express lane

The AINP also now has an Alberta Express Entry stream, which allows the province to nominate  a limited number of qualified applicants from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry system. Qualified candidates will be selected directly from the Express Entry pool by Alberta.

Candidates who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta, and who can help support the government’s economic development and diversification priorities, will receive a Notification of Interest from Alberta. International graduates will also be considered under this stream.

The Government of Alberta website has information available on the program and changes. This is the link to a timeline of the next Planned AOS Criteria Changes (2019 to 2021).

Federal requirements also affect AINP

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program must also follow federal direction on economic immigration programs. As the Alberta provincial nominee program includes occupations at all skill levels, the federal government requires minimum criteria for language, education and income to ensure Alberta’s nominees can integrate successfully in the workforce, communities and support their families over the longer term. In particular, the federal government has insisted that Alberta increase language requirements.

Questions about filling vacancies?

CFIB has a web post outlining the various options: Using immigration programs to overcome labour shortage problems. There is also a guidebook available for small to mediums sized businesses: The Employer’s Roadmap to hiring and retaining internationally trained workers.

And our Counsellors are just one call away to answer any questions you have about labour shortages and immigration programs!