Alberta is a province in Western Canada which is introducing a new law that will benefit technology workers including immigrants. Thus, if you work in the tech industry, you may want to read to ascertain if you have a chance. However, it is important to note that the process is neither easy nor straightforward. The province of Alberta now has a new “fast-track immigration program for tech workers”. On January 13th, Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s immigration minister announced the Accelerated Tech Pathway. Since December 2021, the province has been accepting applications into the new program. However, you need to meet some criteria to qualify for the program.
Firstly, you have to be a tech professional and need a profile in the federal government’s Express Entry system. Furthermore, you will need to be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. According to Tyler Shandro, as of 2020, the Express Entry process takes an average of nine months. However, the new “fast-track immigration program” takes this down to six months. Shandro said “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,”…“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.”
According to Alberta Enterprise Corporation, there are currently over 3,000 technology companies in Alberta. An Alberta Technology Deal Flow Study reveals that since 2012, the Alberta technology sector has been growing consistently by about 233%. Nevertheless, tech companies still face a significant shortage of personnel. The shortage is more noticed in the technical and sales aspects.
How to apply for the Accelerated Tech Pathway
Before you commence the application process, there are some vital information that you need to know. Firstly, for you to be selected for the fast-track immigration program, you need to be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. This Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has three steps:
1. Register in the Express Entry System
The first step of the entire process is to register to get into the pool of candidates in the Express Entry. Furthermore, you will have to be eligible for at least one of the following immigration programs
After this, then you proceed to fill ou an online form for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This is necessary to get you into the Accelerated Tech Pathway. On the form, you will have to include information on your tech job area as well as your Express Entry profile info.
It is important to note that eligibility for the Accelerated Tech Pathway is subject to a job offer. This means that you mush have a job offer in Alberta to be eligible. If you do not have a job offer, then you should be working for an Alberta-based company in an eligible occupation.
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There are only 37 eligible occupations that the Western Canadian province is considering for now. The eligible occupations and their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code are shown below
- 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
- 2233 Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
- 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- 2253 Drafting technologists and technicians 2281 Computer network technicians
- 2282 User support technicians
- 2283 Information systems testing technicians
- 3211 Medical laboratory technologists
- 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
- 3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
- 4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
- 5131 Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations
- 5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
- 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
- 7242 Industrial electricians
- 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
2. Your eligibility will have to go through AINP
After a rigorous checking process, the AINP will have to determine if you qualify for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. If you get the nod, then you will receive an email. The content of the email will be inviting you to apply for a provincial nomination. It is important to note that you MUST receive this email before you can apply. Furthermore, you cannot use a nomination under a different AINP stream to apply.
3. Proceed to Apply
After receiving the email from Alberta, then you look at the assessment criteria to see if you fit the bill. However, it is important to note that if you fill in wrong information, the AINP can ban you from re-applying for up to five years. Thus, ensure that you double check all your information before submitting the forms.
When your application is complete, it will join the pool of other eligible applications. Subsequently, the ANIP will consider all the applications for a provincial nomination. If you are lucky to get a nomination, then you have a maximum of 30 days to accept the offer. You will have to use your online Express Entry profile to accept the offer. After acceptance, you will get 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points added to your Express Entry score.
However, it is important to note that the nomination does not mean that you will automatically become a permanent resident. Nevertheless, this nomination gives you a significant boost by taking you to the top of the Express Entry pool.
To get permanent residence, you will have to apply for it when the federal government, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), sends you an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in an Express Entry draw.
Obviously, the process above looks cumbersome and takes a bit of time. However, the entire process will be complete in about six months. Like they say, “good things come to those who wait”.