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Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program – Buyer Beware

by David Cohen

A good number of qualified candidates applying to immigrate to Canada under the US Visa-Holders category of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) Strategic Recruitment Stream were told this month that their files were being closed due to the current economic climate in the province of Alberta. The affected applicants are largely professionals in the Information Technology sector. Canadian Immigration Attorney David Cohen has retained legal counsel in Alberta for the purpose of filing a Class Action lawsuit against the Alberta Immigration Minister on behalf of his clients, whose applications were unexpectedly closed by the Alberta government.

This category was introduced in 2008 to help Alberta fulfill its labour market needs with professionals who had North American work experience. Individuals temporarily working in United States in certain highly demanded occupations were encouraged to apply to immigrate to Alberta under the category. Qualified individuals whose applications were approved would receive Nomination Certificates from the province, and submit their permanent residence applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for fast-track processing.

Over the past two years, however, the global economic climate has changed, and the province says that employment opportunities for professionals in the Information Technology sector have decreased significantly. As a result, a large number of applicants who had been expecting nomination certificates were instead told that their files would be closed, and that only candidates who obtained valid job offers from Alberta employers within the next year could have their files reopened.

According to Cohen, “The actions of the Alberta government, vis-à-vis these applicants, were patently unfair and in my opinion, illegal. That is why I have instructed legal counsel in Alberta to file a lawsuit against the Alberta government.”

For more on Attorney David Cohen’s views on the actions of the Alberta government, please read this month’s Canada Immigration Blog.

Individuals with management experience in the Information Technology sector may be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker or other Canadian immigration programs. Please fill out our free Canadian immigration eligibility assessment to find out if you qualify.

About The Author

David Cohen is senior partner at the Canadian immigration law firm of Campbell Cohen and has been practicing Canadian immigration law for almost 30 years. He graduated from Montreal's McGill University, Faculty of Law, and is a member of the Quebec and Canadian Bar Associations as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Most recently, he was appointed a governor of the Fondation du Barreau du Québec. David Cohen is managing editor of the Canadian Immigration Newsletter, a monthly publication with readership of more than 150,000 subscribers. He also moderates a web-based public discussion forum, which covers topics relating to Canadian migration and settlement.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.