Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Environmental Scan – Pathways to Prosperity: Canada

This is an environmental scan. It examines the impact of federal policy changes on the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) and the flow of nominees to the Alberta labour market and communities. It was found that the AINP has taken on a broad scope of helping to achieve provincial economic and labour market needs. It is mainly low/semi-skilled TFWs who use the program to achieve residency, as the federal immigration streams tend to have higher requirements. The program itself has been criticized for creating a vulnerable environment for TFWs in addition to its limited capacity to process applications in a timely manner. The key learnings of the report find that immigrant retention is best achieved through community and family support. Although there were moves away from this with the closing of the family stream of the AINP in 2013, the new Liberal government has highlighted family reunification as a key immigration goal. However, federal and provincial immigration goals have also been shown to conflict with each other, as the provincial labour market need for low/semi-skilled workers is misaligned with the federal target of a highly-skilled and educated workforce. Lack of intergovernmental communication in the past resulted in confusion and little consideration of how immigration streams may influence each other. Behaviour of employers is also as a key factor contributing to TFW vulnerability. Thus, we recommend increasing intergovernmental communication and lateral dialogue on policy changes and how they may affect other immigration streams. Long-term labour market assessments are recommended to support the provision of residency to immigrants who are needed most. Furthermore, the AINP’s structural complexity should be reduced to be more inclusive, consistent and easy to access for applicants. Greater accountability, transparency and oversight should also be employed to reduce labour abuses and reduce the vulnerability of nominees of the program.
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