Alberta Announces New Immigration Strategy to Fill Labour Market Gaps
While most news regarding immigration in Canada has had a dark shadow cast over it in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a bit of good news has come out of the province of Alberta.
As announced in the recently-released provincial budget, Alberta is in the process of developing a new immigration strategy titled the Alberta Advantage Immigration Strategy, that will include two new business immigration streams for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Alberta will also launch a separate plan to help new immigrants find work at their skill level more quickly. This will be called the Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan.
The overall goal of these new immigration initiatives is to help fill gaps in Alberta’s labour market and create more jobs.
“One of the biggest barriers to growth in Alberta’s digital economy is a shortage of people with relevant skills and experience,” read the official budget statement.
Working alongside the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, these two new streams will be known as the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Program and Startup Visa Stream.
As it stands, not much is known about these new initiatives, however, the provincial budget statement did outline what types of candidates the Alberta government is hoping to attract.
For the Startup Visa Stream, the government will target foreign student graduates in the United States and offer fast track processing for “qualified graduates of top universities if they commit to launch a startup enterprise in Alberta, with a bridge to permanent residency through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.”
For the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Program, Alberta is aiming to attract highly qualified foreign students to Alberta colleges and universities and “offer similar fast track immigration opportunities for foreign nationals who have graduated from Alberta post-secondary institutions.”