Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program on Pause01-Sep-15
By Lori Brienza
The Government of Alberta announced late last week that the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program ("AINP") is pausing its application intake, effective immediately. The AINP is an economic immigration program whereby the Government of Alberta nominates qualified applicants for Canadian permanent residence. The AINP will not be accepting new applications until January 27, 2016.
Alberta advises that this measure is being taken in order to address a backlog of approximately 9,000 applications awaiting assessment and record-high processing times. Applicants currently in the queue will be unaffected, other than an anticipated improvement in timely processing. All foreign nationals who planned to apply to the AINP in order to permanently remain in Canada will no longer be able to do so until the pause is lifted. The decision will most heavily impact foreign workers employed in low-skilled occupations. Alberta workers in this category typically have no option outside of the AINP to qualify for permanent residence. For those foreign workers nearing the end of their four year cumulative duration, this means that they may have to leave Canada when their temporary permits expire. For others, it means they will have to work with their employer in order to apply to Service Canada and/or Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for authorizations to extend their temporary status until the pause is lifted by AINP.
Foreign workers in high-skilled occupations who qualify for one of the federal economic immigration programs such as the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program, may instead apply for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry, an application management system implemented by CIC in January 2015.
Alberta's announcement can be found at AlbertaCanada.com/AINP. For further information about the AINP pause or Express Entry, please contact Bryan Kwan in Edmonton, Lori Brienza in Calgary, or any member of our Immigration Practice Group.