On February 29, 2012, I attended a meeting at which Brad Trefan spoke. Mr. Trefan is the Director of Human Services - Immigration Division at the AINP. He reported on the changes that occurred in 2011, and on some interesting changes coming to the program in the coming months.
Notable changes in 2011:
- Certain Tradespeople, working in a Compulsory or Optional Trade in Alberta could no longer apply under the Employer-Driven Stream. Their only option was to apply under the Strategic Recruitment Stream.
- NOC B, C, D work permit holders are now limited to holding work permits for a maximum of four years (April 2011). Expect to see a surge in AINP applications in about April 2013 as those individuals approach their maximum time in Canada.
- Permanent Residence applicatoins by AINP nominated individuals are now being filed to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Ottawa for the initial assessment.
- Significant reduction in processing times. Employer-driven skilled workers and those that apply under the strategic recrutiment stream are being processed within a few days! Semi-skilled workers are processed within a few months.
- Minimum language requirements for those in NOC C and D occupations starting July 1, 2012. There will be a transition period and excpetions made.
- There will be an increased focus on the ability to economically establish. This will affect semi-skilled workers the most as their wages, in conjunction with the number of accompanying dependents, will dicatate their ability to economically establish in Alberta.
- There will be an effort to standardize the criteria in the semi-skilled streams to improve processing efficiencies.