HOW THE ALBERTA IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (AINP) IS RESPONDING TO COVID-19.

HOW THE ALBERTA IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (AINP) IS RESPONDING TO COVID-19.

Finally, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program or AINP has posted on its website changes to application and assessment process as of April 29, 2020.
AINP assures everyone that their office continues to accept and process applications, however, with temporary adjustments due to COVID-19.

Submitting applications
AINP will accept copies for all document types, as well as copies of signatures on the application forms from both new and current candidates, including:
• copies of candidate, spouse/common-law partner, dependent and representative signatures on application and request forms
• copies of educational transcripts for Post-Graduation Work Permit holders

AINP may confirm the authenticity of signature and transcripts by other means, including phone and email.
AINP will only accept applications by mail. They will NOT accept applications submitted through electronic means.

New candidates may submit an incomplete application only if they:
• meet all Selection Criteria for their AINP stream, but are missing some documents to demonstrate they meet criteria due to COVID-19
• include a written explanation as to why the document (s) cannot be acquired
• provide evidence they have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization who will issue the document or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to COVID-19, and
• for the Alberta Opportunity Stream, the candidate will include either valid language results or proof of registration for a language testing session on or before October 29, 2020, or
• for the Alberta Express Entry Stream, they include valid language results and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) (if applicable)

Please note that new applications that do NOT meet the above requirements will be declined.
If a current candidate cannot provide documents due to COVID-19, they must provide:
• a written explanation as to why the documents (s) cannot be acquired, and
• evidence they have requested the document (s) from the individual or organization who will issue them or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to COVID-19

Assessment of applications
AINP will temporarily hold new applications for 60 calendar days from date of mailing and current applications for 60 calendar days from the date of assessment where the application is either incomplete due to COVID-19 or the AINP or the AINP program officer cannot verify information or documentation.
AINP will advise by email when an application is put on hold.

After 45 days, AINP will determine if an additional 60 calendar day hold will be applied. AINP will advise the candidate by email of the status of their application by each 60 calendar day mark.
The longest their office will hold an application is 6 months. After 6 months, AINP will make a decision on the application based on the information available and the candidate’s circumstances at that time.

Candidates must advise AINP of any changes to their employment, address, email, phone number or family status while their AINP application is in process.
Information about a change in employment must be emailed to the AINP program officer who is processing the application or mailed to the AINP.
AINP advises not to mail information without an AINP file number. All candidates are instructed to review the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for current information on maintaining their status to live and work in Alberta.

Selection criteria and assessment of applications

Alberta Opportunity Stream
Under the Alberta Opportunity Stream, new candidates and current candidates who are working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination. For example, working from home.

If the candidate is still working for their employer and continues to perform some of the job duties or types of work listed in their job description, they may be eligible for nomination if they can demonstrate they will be returning to their regular job duties after the pandemic. They must also continue to meet all other criteria.

For new and current candidates who changed employers to maintain employment during the pandemic and who are working from home, their application will be placed on hold for 60 days to allow them to meet criteria.

No other changes have been made to the Alberta Opportunity Stream selection criteria.
AINP will give some current candidates additional time to allow them to change their circumstances and meet criteria.

Current Alberta Opportunity Stream candidates experiencing any of the following circumstances will have their applications put on hold for 60 calendar days to allow them time to meet criteria:
*Candidates who have had a change in their employment circumstances, specifically those who are:
-unemployed or not working full-time (part-time or job share)
-working in an ineligible occupation
-working in or has a job offer for a different occupation than the occupation they were working in at the time of application
-working in or has a job offer for a different occupation than their work experience
-Post-Graduation Work permit holders who are working in an occupation unrelated to their field of study
-working in Canada but may no longer have authorization for work being completed due to a change in job duties, employer, location and/or wage, or

*Candidates who:
-have shifted from an eligible work permit type to an ineligible work permit type to maintain employment
-are working in a regulated occupation in Alberta who cannot meet licensure/registration requirements
-have an ineligible language test (test is older than 2 years or for wrong test type).

Alberta Express Entry Stream
AINP will continue to do selection draws and nominate individuals under the Alberta Express Entry Stream.

Only individuals living and working in Alberta will be considered for nomination at this time. The following criteria must be met to receive a nomination:
-Alberta employers must be incorporated or registered by or under an act of the legislature of a province, territory, or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant or place of business in Alberta;
-The applicant must be currently working in Alberta
-Individuals working in a location that is not zoned for commercial or industrial use, such as working from home due to government social distancing directives may be eligible for nomination, so long as they meet ALL other criteria.
-The applicant must have a work permit authorizing them to work in their current occupation in Alberta.
-The work must be
-paid
-full-time, defined as a minimum of 30 hours/week
-for wages and benefits that meet provincial minimum wage and must meet or exceed the requirements set out in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or if LMIA exempt, meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for the occupation across all industries in Alberta as set out on the Alis website, and
-in an eligible occupation. Ineligible occupations at this time include occupations on the:
=Government of Canada’s list of high wage and low-wage occupations in the province of Alberta (also known as the Refusal to Process a Labour Market Impact Assessment list), or
=the Alberta Opportunity Stream Ineligible Occupations list

The following individuals are NOT eligible:
-Individuals with a job offer for part-time, casual or seasonal employment, regardless of their current working hours
-independent contractors, business owners or temporary agency workers, including individuals listed as Directors, Shareholders or Agents of the Alberta employer on the Corporate Registry System (CORES).

Current Alberta Express Entry Stream candidates who are experiencing any of the following circumstances will have their applications put on hold for 60 calendar days to allow them time to become eligible for a nomination:
-candidates who were working in Alberta prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but who are currently not working full-time (part-time or unemployed)
-candidates working in a regulated occupation in Alberta but who cannot meet licensure/registration requirements

Alberta Express Entry Stream applications where there is no recent history of employment in Alberta will NOT be processed until further notice. This includes new applications from individuals who received a Notification of Interest letter before or after April 29, 2020, as well as applications where an AINP program officer had already started to assess the application for eligibility.
In all cases, including those applications put on hold, if the candidate’s Federal Express Entry profile expires, AINP will close the application and the candidate will need to be re-selected by Alberta in order to qualify for consideration under this stream.

After nomination
AINP is working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the impact of COVID-19 on the permanent residence process.
Nominees must advise AINP of any changes in their employment circumstances, address, email, phone number or family status after nomination. Once an application for permanent residence is submitted, you must continue to advise the AINP and the IRCC of any changes. Information about a change in employment must be emailed to the AINP program officer who processed the application or mailed to the AINP along with an AINP file number.

Nominees whose employment circumstances change due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be given 60 calendar days to meet employment criteria in order to maintain their nomination. Nominees who move to another province or territory will have their nomination withdrawn.

AINP will continue to issue nomination extension and/or 204 (c) Letters of Support to nominees who meet the requirements for these post-nomination supports.
All nominees are strongly advised to review the IRCC website for the most up to date information on maintaining their status to live and work in Alberta.

If you have questions regarding the above article you may contact Marjorie at info@mcncanadaimmigration.com

Source: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing of the ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of RCICs.

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