Alberta immigration has introduced a series of special measures and changes due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.
Through Alberta Express Entry, only candidates living and working in Alberta will be considered for nomination. The Alberta Opportunity stream already requires candidates to be living and working in the province.
An AINP statement says that as the COVID-19 situation is developing, more changes could be announced.
1) Submitting Applications
Alberta says it will not accept electronic applications. It will only accept applications by mail.
The AINP will now accept copies of all document types including educational transcripts for Post-Graduation Work Permit holders and copies of signatures on forms from candidates, spouses and dependents and representatives.
New candidates can submit an incomplete application if they:
- Meet all selection criteria but are missing documents due to COVID-19.
- Give an explanation in writing as to why the documents are missing.
- Give evidence they have requested the documents, or evidence the issuing organization is not issuing documents due to coronavirus.
- Alberta Opportunity Stream: they include either valid language results or proof of registration for a language testing session on or before October 29, 2020.
- Alberta Express Entry Stream: they include valid language results and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), if applicable.
NOTE: New applications that do not meet these requirements will be declined.
Current candidates who cannot provide documents due to COVID-19 must provide:
- A written explanation as to why the documents cannot be acquired.
- Evidence they have requested the documents, or evidence the issuing organization is not issuing documents due to coronavirus.
2) Application Assessment
Where applications are incomplete due to COVID-19 or information cannot be verified, they will be placed on hold for 60 days from mailing date for new applications, or 60 days from assessment date for current applications.
The 60-day hold is renewable up to six months. After six months, a decision will be made based on the information available at the time.
Candidates must contact the AINP in the event of changes to employment, contact details or family status.
3) Alberta Opportunity Stream
New and current Alberta Opportunity Stream candidates who are working from home due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination.
Candidates still working for and performing some of the duties in their job description may be eligible, provided they can demonstrate they will be returning to their regular job duties after the pandemic.
New and current candidates who change employer or are working from home during the pandemic will have their applications placed on hold for 60 days.
The following candidates will have their applications put on hold for 60 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.
- Working in an ineligible occupation
- Working in or have a job offer for a different occupation than the one included in their application.
- Working in or have a job offer for a different occupation than their work experience.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit holders 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.
- Candidates who:
- Have moved from an eligible work permit to an ineligible work permit to maintain employment.
- Are working in a regulated occupation in Alberta who cannot meet licensure/registration requirements.
- Have an ineligible language test.
4) Alberta Express Entry Stream
Draws and nominations will continue for the Alberta Express Entry Stream.
Only candidates living and working in Alberta will be considered for a nomination.
Until further notice, Alberta will not process applications from candidates with no recent employment history in the province, including those who have received a Notification of Interest letter and those whose applications were already being assessed for eligibility.
The following criteria must be met to receive a nomination:
- Employer must be incorporated or registered and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta.
- Candidates must be currently working in Alberta.
- Those working from home or elsewhere due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination if they meet all other criteria.
- Those working virtually from outside Alberta are not eligible.
- Candidates must have a work permit authorizing them to work in their occupation in Alberta.
- The work must be:
- Full-time (minimum of 30 hours/week).
- Wages must meet minimum wage and meet or exceed requirements set out in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or meet or exceed the lowest prevailing wage for the position.
- In an eligible occupation. See Alberta immigration ineligible occupations.
- The following are ineligible:
- Candidates with a job offer for part-time, casual or seasonal employment regardless of working hours.
- Independent contractors, business owners or temporary agency workers.
The following will have their application put on hold for 60 days:
- Candidates who were working in Alberta prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but are currently not working full-time.
- Candidates working in a regulated occupation in Alberta but cannot meet licensure/registration requirements.