The eligibility requirements for the Alberta Express Entry program have been expanded to include family members and other relatives.
Candidates who have relatives living in Alberta who are part of their immediate family can now receive additional consideration through the Express Entry program in Alberta.
On January 18th, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), which also serves as Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program, expanded the candidate selection criteria for the Alberta Express Entry stream to include having relatives already living in the province (managed under the AAIP).
Candidates in the federal Express Entry pool who are listed as having immediate family members in the province (a parent, child, brother, or sister who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada) will now be required to meet additional selection factor criteria. This change will take effect immediately. Candidates who do this have a better chance of receiving a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the Alberta Express Entry stream, which in turn increases the likelihood that they will be invited to submit an application for permanent residence. It is important to keep in mind that candidates’ eligibility is determined by the information they submit to their profile in the federal Express Entry pool.
The province of Alberta is of the opinion that new immigrants’ ability to establish themselves in the province and successfully settle in Alberta is greatly aided by the presence of immediate family members.
This program update only affects the Alberta Express Entry stream, and it only adds this selection criteria without impacting any of the existing selection factors. It is important to note that none of the selection criteria for any of the streams that fall under the AAIP have been altered (like having a job offer from a company in Alberta, being a graduate of an Albertan post-secondary institution, etc.).
Rajan Sawhney, the Minister of Trade, Immigration, and Multiculturalism in the Canadian province of Alberta, stated that “This is not a family reunification plan.” Because of the modification, the Alberta Express Entry stream is now able to allot 25% of its NOIs to individuals who not only have immediate family ties in Alberta but also have experience working in occupations that are in high demand within the province and require workers for.
The Alberta Apprenticeship and Internship Program (AAIP) provides a means for Alberta employers to address the issue of labor shortages. Simply in the past month, the province has seen massive growth, adding almost 41,000 new jobs in December of 2022, the vast majority of which were in the private sector. On the other hand, Alberta has a high rate of job vacancies, with nearly 100,000 currently, and a further predicted cumulative shortage of over 33,000 workers by 2025 across a variety of occupations and industries. These are some of the primary motivations driving efforts to increase the number of newcomers in the province.
What exactly are the Alberta Express Entry stream as well as the AAIP?
The Alberta Atlantic Immigration Program (AAIP) is the provincial government of Alberta’s initiative to encourage immigration from other countries into the province. The program is currently in charge of eight different streams, all of which can be roughly classified as either streams for workers or streams for business owners.
The Alberta Opportunity stream, the Alberta Express Entry stream, which also includes the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway (AATP), and the Rural Renewal stream are all examples of streams for workers.
Candidates must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry stream:
- Have an active profile in the federal Express Entry pool (ideally with more than 5 months validity)
- Have expressed an interest in relocating to Alberta permanently.
- Be working in or have previous experience working in an in-demand occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification.
- Have a minimum CRS score of 300.
- Candidates now have a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply if they also meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a job offer that is still active and/or work experience in Alberta.
- Are graduates of an Albertan post-secondary institution or
- Have a parent, child, brother or sister who is currently living in Alberta and is a citizen or permanent resident.
Candidates must first submit a profile to the federal express entry pool in order to enter the competition. If a candidate is chosen and given a NOI, they are required to send an electronic copy of the document to the AAIP along with a statement indicating that they are interested in applying for the position.
If it is determined by the AAIP that candidates satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria, those candidates will be sent an email inviting them to submit an application for the program. Candidates, who are now known as applicants, are required to submit an application in order to be considered further, and those who do so will earn an additional 600 CRS points in the federal pool (functioning as an enhanced provincial nomination). The applications that have been finished are then added to a pool of applications that are eligible for processing.
“The Alberta Express Entry stream modifications announced today is one of the many steps our government will be taking to ensure that Alberta gets the qualified and skilled talent that it needs…” said Minister Sawhney at the conclusion of the announcement.