AINP: Strategic Recruitment Stream: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Strategic Recruitment Stream.

General Questions
Compulsory and Optional Trades Category Questions
Engineering Occupations Category Questions
U.S. Visa Holder Category Questions


 

General Questions

How long will it take for the AINP to assess my application? If I am approved by the AINP, how long does it take CIC to assess my application in the second step?
Visit AINP Processing Times
Visit CIC Processing Times
How do I obtain a status update?
Status updates will not be provided. Visit our processing times page for more information.
My address changed. How can I let AINP know?
Fill out a Contact Information Form and fax it to the AINP.
Is there a fee for submitting my application to the AINP?
There are no fees required to apply to the AINP. However, if you are issued a nomination, you will be required to submit processing fees to Citizenship and Immigration Canada along with your federal application forms. For more information on fees visit CIC’s Application Fees webpage.

Do I need to include photos, police certificates and medical clearances when applying to the AINP?
No, the AINP does not require these documents.
Can my family members accompany me to Canada?
Yes. Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children can be included as accompanying dependents on your application for permanent residence that you send to CIC once you are a provincial nominee. This is subject to approval by CIC.

I have been nominated. What do I do next?
Visit the after you are nominated section of the website to guide you through the next steps of submitting your application to CIC as a Provincial Nominee.

Do I need to use an immigration consultant or lawyer to complete my application?
No. You do not need an immigration consultant or lawyer to complete your application. The AINP application forms were designed for applicants to complete on their own. If you do hire a representative to complete your application, it will not receive special attention or be processed faster than other applications.

The AINP will only release information to someone who is an authorized immigration representative.
Can I still apply to the AINP if I already have an application for permanent residence through one of the other CIC classes in process?
Yes. The decision to apply to both programs is up to you. However, depending on the processing status of your previous application, there may or may not be an advantage to applying to both programs.
Will the Strategic Recruitment Stream ever be expanded, scaled back, or cancelled?
The Strategic Recruitment Stream is for occupations that are in demand in Alberta. This stream is adjusted according to changes in Alberta’s labour market.
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Compulsory and Optional Trades Category Questions

Questions about obtaining an Alberta Qualification Certificate

How do I find out if my trade is designated as a Compulsory or Optional Trade in Alberta?
Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) has a list of Compulsory and Optional Certification Trades available on their website.

How do I obtain my Alberta Qualification Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training?

  • Start by downloading and completing the Qualification Certificate – Work Experience Application Form and the applicable Application Guide from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training’s (AIT’s) website.
  • Submit the completed application to AIT with the required fees.
  • Once you have met all the requirements of the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program, you will be issued a trade certificate from AIT.
  • Once certified, AIT will send you an AINP invitation letter to apply to the Strategic Recruitment Stream.

What is the cost to apply? How much work experience in my trade do I need to apply?
You can find all the information about the application costs and the amount of work experience in your trade that you need to demonstrate in the Qualification Certificate – Work Experience Application Guide from AIT and on the AIT website.

Questions about the AINP

If I submitted my application postmarked prior to or on March 14, 2011 under the AINP Employer-Driven Stream, Skilled Worker Category as a supervisor, foreman, or tradesperson, what will happen to my application?
Your application will be processed based on the criteria posted prior to March 14, 2011 and would still be assessed under the Employer-Driven Stream, Skilled Worker Category. For your reference, the AINP criteria for the Employer-Driven Stream, Skilled Worker Category posted on this website prior to March 14, 2011 are outlined in this document (PDF).

Applications submitted to the AINP Employer-Driven Stream from supervisors, foremen, and tradespeople working in occupations designated as Compulsory or Optional Trades postmarked after March 14, 2011 will be returned to the Candidate.

I do not have an Alberta Qualification Certificate and/or an AINP invitation letter from AIT. Can I apply to the AINP anyway?
No. You must have an Alberta Qualification Certificate in your trade and an AINP invitation letter from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT). If you do not submit these documents with your application, it will be declined.

I obtained trade certification in a different Canadian province. Can I apply to the Compulsory and Optional Trades Category?
No. You must obtain your trade certificate through the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program to apply under this category. Only those who have been assessed and received a trade certificate through the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program process can obtain a letter of invitation to apply to the AINP in this category.

What supporting documents do I need to send with my AINP application?
You can find the list of supporting documents in the Document Checklist that goes with the Application Form.

If I do not have an Alberta Qualification Certificate in my trade, can I just apply under the AINP Employer-Driven Stream?
No. Applications submitted to the AINP Employer-Driven Stream from supervisors, foremen, and tradespeople working in occupations designated as Compulsory or Optional Trades postmarked after March 14, 2011 will be returned.

As of March 14, 2011, supervisors, foremen, and tradespeople working in all occupations designated as Compulsory or Optional Trades  in Alberta, including Chefs, Cooks, and Line Cooks, must obtain their Alberta Qualification Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) and apply under the Strategic Recruitment Stream, Compulsory and Optional Trades Category.

I am a Chef/Cook/Line Cook. Do I need to be certified to qualify for the AINP?
Yes, you need to obtain an Alberta Qualification Certificate to qualify for the AINP. Visit the AIT website for more information on obtaining your Alberta Qualification Certificate as a Cook.

I am a supervisor, foreman, or tradesperson working in an occupation designated as Compulsory or Optional Trade. Why am I no longer eligible to apply under the Employer-Driven Stream?
By obtaining an Alberta Qualification Certificate in your trade, you will be invited to apply directly to the AINP without the support of a nominating employer under the Strategic Recruitment Stream (SRS). This change will allow you, as an Alberta certified tradesperson, to readily respond to employment opportunities and obtain new work permits, should your current employment situation change.

The SRS also allows for faster processing times than the Employer-Driven Stream.

An Alberta Qualification Certificate in your respective trade shows that you have met Alberta industry trade standards and are recognized as a journeyperson in your trade.

See the following news release for more information.

If I have been nominated, can I use my AINP Nomination to go to a port-of entry (the border crossing, the airport, etc.) and get a new work permit?
No. An AINP nomination cannot be used to apply for a work permit at a port of entry (i.e. border crossing, airport, etc.). If you receive an offer of employment in Alberta and you need to change your work permit, contact us for the appropriate procedures to follow.

I can’t get an Alberta Qualification Certificate in my trade because I don’t have the experience/didn’t pass the exam. How can I immigrate to Alberta if I can’t go through the AINP?
There are other options that you can explore. You may qualify under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) Skilled Worker class, either under one of the eligible occupations, or because you have arranged employment. You may also qualify under CIC’s Canadian Experience Class if you have two years of skilled work experience in Canada.
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Engineering Occupations Category Questions

What supporting documents do I need to send with my application?
You can find the list of supporting documents in the Checklist that goes with the Application Form.
Can I use my AINP Nomination to go to a port-of entry (the border crossing, the airport, etc.) and get a new work permit?
No. An AINP nomination cannot be used to apply for a work permit at a port of entry (i.e. border crossing, airport, etc.). If you receive an offer of employment in Alberta and you need to change your work permit, contact us for the appropriate procedures to follow.
I am an Engineer but my NOC isn’t on the list. Can I still apply under this category?
No. Your occupation in Alberta must be on the AINP Strategic Recruitment Stream – Engineering Occupations List to apply under the Strategic Recruitment Stream – Engineering Occupations Category.  If you are working in Alberta in a NOC code not on the list, you may want to see if you meet the criteria for the AINP Employer-Driven Stream – Skilled Worker Category.

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U.S. Visa Holder Category Questions

The AINP is currently not accepting applications under the AINP U.S. Visa Holder Category. Applications postmarked after August 23, 2010 will be returned to you. Applications postmarked on or before August 23, 2010 that meet all program criteria will be accepted for processing and will be processed according to AINP Processing Times and U.S. Visa Holder Category criteria.

How do I know if the application I mailed to the AINP will be accepted?
All applications postmarked on or before August 23, 2010 will be accepted for processing. Please note that it will take time for you to receive your file number.

Applications postmarked after August 23, 2010 will be returned to you.
When will the AINP start accepting U.S. Visa Holder Category applications again?
There is no set date as to when the AINP may accept U.S. Visa Holder Category applications again. Any changes to the stream will be posted on this website.
Why did the AINP stop accepting applications for the U.S. Visa Holder Category?
The AINP has received a significant volume of applications, and overwhelming public interest, in the U.S. Visa Holder Category since it was introduced. Processing times for the U.S. Visa Holder Category are lengthy. This change will help the AINP process the applications already in the queue.
If my application was returned or declined anytime before August 23, 2010, can I reapply, since I had originally applied before the suspension?
No. Applications are not currently being accepted and you cannot reapply.
My application was postmarked on or before August 23, 2010 so it will be accepted for processing. However, if my application is then returned or declined, can I reapply, since I had originally applied on or before August 23, 2010?
No. Applications are not currently being accepted and you cannot reapply.
Do you have more information about the reasons for the change?
Please read the News Release for more information.
What is the work experience requirement?
The requirement is that you have one year’s experience working on an H-1B U.S. Visa (or other approved categories – H-1B1, H-1C or E-3).
I don’t see my job title on the AINP Occupations Under Pressure List. Am I eligible?
To determine whether your occupation is under pressure in Alberta, you should first go to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) website to determine the four-digit NOC code that best matches your current job description in the U.S. You should then consult the AINP Occupations Under Pressure List for the Strategic Recruitment Stream – U.S. Visa Holder Category to find out if your four-digit NOC code is on the list. Your current occupation in the U.S. must be on the AINP Occupations Under Pressure List to be eligible.
Do I need a job offer in Alberta to qualify?
No, you do not require a job offer from an Alberta employer to qualify for the Strategic Recruitment Stream – U.S. Visa Holder Category. However, if you do receive a valid job offer, your application will receive priority processing. Priority processing means that your application will be processed before U.S. Visa Holder Category applications with no job offers.

Proof of a valid job offer is your employment contract or a letter of employment from an Alberta employer offering you a full time job within the Province of Alberta. The job offer must be in a skilled occupation (NOC level 0, A, or B) in a field related to your post secondary education and current occupation in the U.S. Along with your job offer you must include a detailed job description. The employment contract or letter of employment and your job description must be on the official letterhead of the Alberta employer you will be working for and signed by an authorized representative of the company.

The Alberta Employer must be incorporated or registered by or under an act of the legislature of a province or the Parliament of Canada and operating as a business that has an established production capability, plant, or place of business in Alberta. 

If you applied on or before August 23, 2010, you can send all relevant documents identified above to the AINP by fax at 780-427-6560, making sure you quote your AINP file number.

If you submit an eligible job offer, the AINP may issue a letter of support that would help you apply for a work permit, prior to your application for permanent residence with CIC being finalized.
What happens if I am laid off? Change jobs? My H-1B visa expires? I move? Or I leave the U.S. before I obtain permanent resident status?
Your H-1B visa must be current and valid and you must be legally working in your eligible occupation at the time of final decision by the AINP. You are required to notify the AINP of any changes in your employment situation or change of address throughout the AINP process up to and including obtaining your permanent residence. You can notify the AINP by fax at 780-427- 6560 or by mail at:

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
Suite 940, Telus Plaza North Tower
10025 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J 1S6
I am not eligible for the U.S. Visa Holder Category. Do I have other options? (H-1B expired, wrong type of visa, occupation not eligible…)
If you are not eligible for the Strategic Recruitment Stream – U.S. Visa Holder Category, you may consider coming to Alberta as a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) or apply through the federal skilled worker program. If you obtain a job in Alberta in an eligible occupation, you may be eligible under the AINP Employer-Driven Stream.
What are certified copies?
Certified copies are notarized copies. In Canada, documents can be certified (notarized) by a lawyer or notary public and they will copy the documents, stamp and sign the document indicating that it is a true copy of the original. The AINP will accept certified (notarized) copies from persons/associations in the U.S. authorized to certify (notarize) documents.
Will you be contacting my current employer in the U.S.?
The AINP may contact your current employer in the United States if further explanation regarding your current job duties or confirmation of your current employment is required. If you include all requested supporting documents, including a job description from your current U.S. employer on company letterhead, as well as your most current pay stubs, the AINP will be less likely to contact your current U.S. employer. In cases that are unclear or uncertain, you should provide an explanatory note to the AINP.
Can I work in Alberta while waiting for permanent residence?
You would require a work permit in order to work in Alberta while waiting for permanent residence. The AINP may be able to assist you in obtaining a work permit if you submit proof of a valid full-time job offer from an Alberta employer in a skilled occupation (NOC level 0, A, or B) in a field related to your post-secondary education and current occupation in the U.S.
Is my spouse eligible to work in Alberta prior to receiving permanent residence?
If you come to work in Alberta on a temporary work permit prior to receiving permanent residence your spouse/common law partner can accompany you and may be eligible for an open work permit. For more information visit the CIC website.
When the permanent resident visa is issued, how long do I have to take up residency? Do I have to leave the U.S. right away?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will issue a permanent resident visa which has an expiry date. You and your dependants must arrive in Canada before this expiry date.
Do I have to live or work in Alberta?
You must show a clear ability and intention to establish permanently in Alberta in order to be nominated through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). The expectation is that you will live and work in Alberta. If you intend to live in another province, you should not apply to the AINP Strategic Recruitment Stream – U.S. Visa Holder Category.
Does permanent resident status expire? Can I lose my permanent resident status?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is responsible for granting permanent residence. For information on becoming a permanent resident and maintaining permanent residence status in Canada, visit CIC’s About Being a Permanent Resident webpage.
Can I start my own business once I get my permanent resident status?
Yes, a permanent resident of Canada can own and operate a business. We would encourage you to contact the Business Link for additional information on operating a business in Alberta. Find more information at the Canada Business Services for Entrepreneurs website.
Where should I live? What is the weather like? I want to know about the Alberta economy.
Information on living in Alberta can be found in the living section of this website.

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Date Updated: Mar 14, 2011
RDP:1075