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The province of Alberta, with its booming economy and expanding cities, has been working to make it as easy as possible to bring in foreign workers to contribute to the provincial labour force. The Strategic Recruitment Stream, a new pilot project by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) can fast-track the issuance of Canada Permanent Resident visas to people who are in the United States on temporary work visas. No job offer required.

Many Canadian Permanent Resident applicants have previously worked in the United States on temporary work visas (H1B visas*). It is a fairly common path. Canada is much more open than the United States to the transition of temporary workers into Permanent Residents; so when U.S. work visas expire, many workers head north to Canada for Permanent Residency.

By adding the Strategic Recruitment Stream, the government of Alberta is making this easier. It is essentially saying that, if a foreign worker can secure a U.S. temporary work visa and has experience working in the United States, that’s good enough to prove that the worker can easily integrate into the Alberta workforce. Therefore, the requirement for the applicant to have a full-time permanent job offer from an Alberta employer has been removed, which saves the applicant time, and gets him/her to Alberta more quickly.

To be eligible, the applicant must be currently employed in the United States on an H1B visa and have been working there for at least one year. The year of work experience in the U.S. must be in an occupation that is listed as one of Alberta’s Regional Occupations under Pressure. Successful applicants will be nominated by Alberta for Canadian Permanent Residency, thereby fast-tracking the immigration process.

For those who do not qualify under this new program, there are other options under the Alberta PNP. The Strategic Recruitment Stream adds to the existing PNP, which already has an Employer-Driven stream for skilled workers, international graduates, and semi-skilled workers, and a Self-Employed Farmer stream.

Employer-Driven Stream: To qualify under this stream, applicants must have a permanent, full-time job offer from an Alberta employer.

  • Skilled Workers – must have a job offer in a skilled occupation and have the education and training required for the position.
  • International Graduates – must have completed a post-secondary program from an approved Alberta educational institution and have a job offer in a skilled occupation.
  • Semi-Skilled Workers – must have a job offer in the food and beverage, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, or foodservices industries.

Self-Employed Farmer Stream: To qualify as a self-employed farmer, the applicant must have previous experience managing a farm and have the education and training necessary to develop a farming business in Alberta. The applicant must arrange proper financing with a Canadian financial institution and must satisfy minimum net worth and equity requirements.

Alberta has no limit on the number of people it can nominate for Permanent Residency. The Provincial Nominee Program is an attractive option for people who wish to have their immigration applications fast-tracked.

*also includes H1B1, H1C, and E3 visas.

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