While Alberta continues to accept as well as process applications, certain temporary adjustments have been made in the application and assessment processes due to COVID-19.
Temporary changes that have been put in place by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program [AINP] from April 29, 2020 will be applicable to current as well as new candidates. By a “current candidate” is meant a candidate that had “mailed their application on or before April 29, 2020”.
Let us review the temporary changes that have been made by the AINP due to COVID-19.
Copies for all document types and copies of signatures on forms will be accepted from both current as well as new candidates.
The authenticity of transcripts and signatures might be confirmed by email and phone.
Applications will be accepted only by mail. Electronic applications will not be accepted.
Incomplete applications can be submitted by new candidates only if they –
- Meet all selection criteria for the applicable AINP stream, but are unable – due to COVID-19 – to supply certain documents demonstrating that they meet criteria;
- Include a written explanation stating why the missing documents could not be acquired;
- Provide due evidence that they had requested the document from the organization or individual responsible for issuing the document. In case the issuing body is not providing documents in view of COVID-19, evidence will have to be supplied for the same; and
- For the Alberta Express Entry Stream, inclusion of valid language results along with an Educational Credential Assessment [ECA], if needed, or
- For the Alberta Opportunity Stream, inclusion of either valid language test results or proof of having registered for a language test to be held on or before October 29, 2020.
New applications failing to meet the above-mentioned requirements will be declined.
If a current candidate is unable to provide documents due to COVID-19, they must include –
- A written explanation stating the reason why the document could not be acquired, and
- Proof that they had requested the document from the issuing individual or organization. If the issuing body is not providing documents due to COVID-19, evidence will have to be supplied for the same.
Changes that have been put in place by the AINP also include the assessment of applications. The AINP will temporarily be holding “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.”
In case an application is put on hold by the AINP, the applicant will be advised of the same in an email.
Though the application will initially be kept on hold for 60 days, after 45 days the AINP will determine if an additional holding for 60 calendar days will be needed.
The candidate will be updated – via email – as to the status of their application by each 60 calendar day mark.
The longest that an application can be put on hold by the AINP due to COVID-19 is 6 months.
Once 6 months have passed, a decision will be taken on the application. This decision will be based on the information available with the AINP as well as the circumstances of the candidate at the time that the decision is taken.
If, while the application is being processed by the AINP, there is any change in email, address, employment, family status or phone number, the AINP will have to be informed by the candidate.
Information related to a change in employment will either have to be emailed to the AINP program officer handling the application or mailed to the AINP.
Do keep in mind that no information must be mailed without an AINP file number.
Alberta Opportunity Stream
Under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, new as well as current candidates that are working in a location not zoned for industrial or commercial use due to social distancing directives by the government might be eligible for nomination. Working from home is an example of such a situation.
A candidate will be eligible for nomination if still working for their employer and continuing with the performance of some of the job duties or types of work in their job description, provided they are able to prove that they will indeed return to their regular work duties after the COVID-19 pandemic. They must continue to meet all other criteria as well.
Candidates that had changed employers for maintaining their employment status during COVID-19 and are working from home will have their application put on hold for 60 days for allowing them to meet criteria.
No other changes have been made to the selection criteria for the Alberta Opportunity Stream.
Certain current candidates – that is, candidates that had mailed their applications on or before April 29, 2020 – will be given additional time allowing them to change their circumstances and meet the selection criteria.
In order to allow candidates to meet criteria, applications will be put on hold for 60 calendar days of current candidates of the Alberta Opportunity Stream that are facing any of the following circumstances –
- Candidates that have had a change in their employment circumstances, particularly that are:
- Working in an ineligible occupation
- Unemployed or not working full-time
- Working in or with a job offer in a different occupation from that they were working in at the time of the application
- Working in or with a job offer in a different occupation than their work experience
- Working in Canada but no longer with authorization for work being done due to a change in employer, job duties, wage, and/or location
- Post-Graduation Work Permit [PGWP] holders working in an occupation that is not related to their specific field of study
- Candidates that:
- Have an ineligible language test [having been given more than 2 years ago or for the wrong test type]
- Are working in a regulated occupation in Alberta who are unable to meet registration/licensure requirements
- Have shifted from an eligible work permit type to an ineligible one in order to maintain employment
With applications being put on hold in view of the service limitations and disruptions caused by COVID-19 special measures, Alberta Opportunity Stream candidates will get more time for meeting the criteria of the stream.
Alberta Express Entry Stream
Selection draws as well as nomination of individuals will continue under the Alberta Express Entry System.
However, the AINP has stated that “Only individuals living and working in Alberta will be considered for a nomination at this time.”
Criteria to be met for receiving a nomination under the Alberta Express Entry System are –
- Alberta employer to be registered or incorporated by or under an act of the legislature of a territory/province, or the Parliament of Canada and operating in the capacity of a business with an established production capability, place or plant of business in Alberta
- The individual should currently be working in Alberta
- Those working in a location not zoned for industrial or commercial use – such as work from home – in keeping with the social distancing directives of the government might be eligible for nomination, provided they meet all other criteria
- Those working in a ‘virtual’ location or serving the employer telecommuting from a location outside Alberta will not be considered to be eligible
- The individual must possess a work permit authorizing them to work in their current occupation in the province of Alberta
- The work should be:
- Full-time [that is, a minimum of 30 hours in a week]
- For wages and benefits meeting the provincial minimum wages and also meeting or exceeding the requirements set out in a Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA]. If LMIA exempt, meeting or exceeding the lowest starting wage for that specific occupation across all industries in Alberta as set out in Alberta’s Alis website.
- In an eligible occupation. At this time, ineligible occupations include those on the Refusal to Process a Labour Market Impact Assessment List or the Alberta Opportunity Stream Ineligible Occupations List.
- Ineligible candidates include those with job offer for casual, part-time or seasonal employment; independent contractors, temporary agency workers and business owners.
Current Alberta Express Entry Stream candidates that are experiencing either of the following circumstances will have their applications placed on hold for 60 calendar days, allowing them time to become eligible for a nomination –
- Those working in Canada before COVID-19 but at the moment not working full-time [working either part-time or unemployed]
- Those working in a regulated occupation in Alberta but are unable to meet registration/licensure requirements.
By “current candidates” are meant those that had mailed their application either on or before April 29, 2020.
Applications for Alberta Express Entry Stream that do not have a recent history of employment in Alberta will not be processed by the AINP till further notice.
This will include new applications from candidates that received a Notification of Interest [NOI] before or after April 29, 2020 along with applications wherein an AINP officer had already commenced with the assessment of the application for establishing eligibility.
In all cases, including where applications have been put on hold, the application will be closed if the candidate’s federal Express Entry profile expires. The candidate will have to be re-selected by Alberta to qualify for being considered under this stream.
Nominees will have to inform the AINP about any change in the family status, phone number, address, or email after receiving the nomination.
Changes have to be intimated to the AINP and IRCC even after the application for Canada permanent residence has been submitted.
Nominees that had their employment circumstance change due to COVID-19 will be given 60 calendar days for meeting employment criteria to be able to maintain their nomination.
Moving to another province or territory will lead to the nomination being withdrawn.
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