Alberta to introduce Opportunity Stream

From the beginning of next year, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) streams and categories will be consolidated under a single stream with one set of standardised eligibility criteria.

The soon-to-be introduced Opportunity Stream will become simpler for applicants, more efficient for government and more responsive to Alberta’s emerging labour-market demands.

“Immigrants are a valued part of our workforce and communities,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour for Alberta. “Helping them settle successfully is crucial to the ongoing prosperity of our province. These changes will simplify processes, reduce wait times and make it fairer for applicants across all sectors to apply for permanent residency in Alberta.”

The AINP differs from the federal Temporary Foreign Worker program in that it does not bring foreign workers to Alberta. AINP allows foreign workers already working in the province to apply for permanent residency if they are working in occupations where the employer can demonstrate that no Albertan or Canadian is available.

“These upcoming changes will give Alberta more flexibility to meet our province’s labour-market needs and create new opportunities for foreign nationals to gain permanent resident status,” said Bryan Kwan, an immigration lawyer. “These changes will simplify the application process so the program can be more accessible with faster processing times.”

Beginning in 2018, the AINP will have the ability to place yearly caps on the number of applications accepted and nominations issued for certain sectors and occupations, ensuring equitable distribution of workers and fairness across all sectors and industries in Alberta. The province will also add an Express Entry Stream allowing the AINP to select candidates from the federal Express Entry pool. This will become operational in January 2018.

The AINP is authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to issue a maximum of 5,500 nomination certificates for the 2017 calendar year.

Article published 23rd October 2017