February 17, 2024

Alberta pauses processing for Alberta Opportunity Stream applications; will launch stream for tourism and hospitality

As of February 15, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) has temporarily paused processing applications for the Alberta Opportunity Stream until further notice.

The AAIP says the pause will give the province time to “address its current inventory and focus its limited immigration nominations on priorities, such as filling labour shortages in healthcare, technology, construction, agriculture, tourism and hospitality and other in-demand sectors.”

The province will continue to assess any Alberta Opportunity Stream applications submitted before February 15 and says it will be implementing measures to “manage future application volumes against program priorities and to maintain reasonable service standards across its streams.”

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

The Alberta Opportunity Stream of the AAIP targets temporary foreign workers who currently work full-time in the province on a valid Canadian work permit and have a full-time job offer from an employer in Alberta. Post-Graduation Work Permit holders may also be eligible.

Province launches new PNP stream for tourism and hospitality

On March 1, the AAIP is introducing a new stream that targets “individuals who have already been working for a tourism and hospitality business for at least six months and who have met criteria to establish themselves in Alberta permanently.”

Further, candidates must have a “valid full-time, non-seasonal job offer from an approved employer operating within the appropriate industry.”

A recent release by the Alberta government says that the stream will help with shortages throughout the sector and help businesses throughout the province, including those in rural areas, retain workers and the economy.

The province says it will accept a limited number of applications for the stream and expedite their processing within other priority processing initiatives. More details are expected to be released on March 1.

Alberta is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. According to data from the provincial government, 32 million people visited the province in 2022, which generated $10.7 billion in expenditures.

Immigrating to Alberta

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that the Government of Alberta uses to select the economic immigration candidates who are likely to economically establish successfully within the province.

Like all PNPs, there are multiple streams that select candidates with different in-demand attributes. For example, the province has PNP streams that target skilled workers in specific occupations such as healthcare or agriculture. It also has PNP streams for those who work in rural communities within in the province as well as entrepreneurs.

Through the PNP, provinces are allocated a specific number of nominations that they can issue throughout the year. In 2023, Alberta issued 9,750 nominations to AAIP candidates. The province says it has not yet confirmed the number of nominations it has been allocated for 2024 but according to the federal Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 Canada will welcome 110,000 newcomers through the PNP by the end of this year.

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