Alberta is introducing a new fast-track immigration program for tech workers.
Alberta’s immigration minister, Tyler Shandro, announced the Accelerated Tech Pathway on January 13. The province had already began accepting applications to the new program in December.
“Under this new pathway, tech professionals from across Canada and overseas can become permanent residents in as little as six months if they have a job offer in an in-demand tech industry occupation,” Shandro said, although Express Entry processing averaged nine months in 2020.
“Along with priority application processing, tech professionals will also receive a letter of support from the Government of Alberta if they require a work permit.”
There are more than 3,000 technology companies in Alberta, according to the Alberta Enterprise Corporation. Alberta’s tech sector has grown 233% since 2012, as per the 2021 Alberta Technology Deal Flow Study. However, tech companies still face challenges accessing workers, especially sales and technical talent.
Steps to applying for the Accelerated Tech Pathway
You have to first be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry Stream in order to be selected for expedited processing under the Accelerated Tech Pathway. This Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has three steps:
1. Get a profile in the Express Entry system
The first step is to get into the Express Entry pool of candidates. You need to be eligible for one of the following three immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
To apply for the Accelerated Tech Pathway, you fill out and online form for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). Through the form, you send information about your Express Entry profile and your tech job in Alberta.
In order to be eligible for the tech pathway, Express Entry candidates need to have a job offer, or be currently working for an Alberta-based company in an eligible occupation. The 23 eligible occupations are listed below in order of their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code:
- 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
- 0112 Human resources managers
- 0131 Telecommunication carriers manager
- 0211 Engineering managers
- 0212 Architecture and science managers
- 0213 Computer and information systems managers
- 0512 Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
- 0601 Corporate sales managers
- 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
- 1121 Human resources professionals
- 1223 Human resources and recruitment officers
- 2131 Civil engineers
- 2132 Mechanical engineers
- 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
- 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- 2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
- 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
- 2172 Database analysts and data administrators
- 2173 Software engineers and designers
- 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- 2175 Web designers and developers
- 2221 Biological technologists and technicians
- 2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
2. AINP determines your eligibility
The AINP checks that you meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. If so, the AINP will send you an email inviting you to apply for a provincial nomination. You cannot apply without this invitation, and you cannot use a nomination under a different AINP stream to apply.
Once you receive the email invitation from Alberta, you determine if you meet the assessment criteria. If the AINP discovers fraud or misrepresentation in an application, they could ban you from reapplying for up to five years.
Completed applications go into a pool of eligible applications. The AINP considers these applications for a provincial nomination.
If Alberta offers you a nomination you have 30 days to accept using your online Express Entry profile. You will then get 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points added to your Express Entry score.
The nomination does not guarantee that you will become a permanent resident, but it does boost you to the top of the Express Entry pool. You will get to apply for permanent residence once the federal government, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), sends you an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in an Express Entry draw.
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