Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


With the political turmoil in the United States and Canada and with the upcoming elections in both countries, the province of Alberta, Canada has recently announced another fast-track immigration program that is geared to recruiting temporary workers in the United States to Canada. According to Alberta government officials, the new program is finalizing applications in as little as six months.

The province of Alberta has a population of about 3.3 million and is experiencing explosive population and economic growth particularly in oil and natural gas production. With its explaining cities and low unemployment rate, it is a haven for skilled workers who have the North American work experience, know the culture and speak English.

The most attractive part of the new program is that no job offer from an employer is required and no sponsor is required. An applicant can qualify on their own merit and permanent residence will be obtained in less than a year. The applicant is able to include their spouses, common law partners and dependant children on their application thus obtaining residence for the whole family at once.

The above program is a golden ticket to those who are interested in immigrating to Canada mainly due to the fact that the Federal Immigration Minister has recently announced upcoming changes to the Federal Immigration laws. As discussed in early articles, the upcoming changes can impact thousands of cases and close the doors on many would be immigrants if they do not fall within the parameters of the “occupational list” that the minister is proposing to reveal by the end of the year. To be safe, the solution is therefore to apply to Alberta which will not be altered by any election results. The Alberta government has a treaty with the Federal government to select its own immigrant on what ever basis they deem fit. Changes to the federal system will not affect those who apply through a province.

How does one qualify for Alberta’s Strategic US Visa Category?

1. Applicants must be currently working in the USA in one of the following categories (H-1B, H1-B1, H-1C, E-3).
2. Applicants must have a minimum of one year of work experience in the USA in one of the categories above
3. The applicant’s occupation must be in demand in Alberta
4. No job offer from an Alberta employer is required*
5. There is no requirement that a relative be living in Alberta.*

*Applicant’s with job offers or relatives in Canada are able to apply under the separate and equally fast Skilled Stream or Family Stream.

Who does not qualify for Alberta’s Strategic US Visa Category?

Applicants who are refugee claimants or entered the USA as visitors and overstayed do not qualify. Applicants in these situations are able to apply under the federal immigration program.

How does one apply for the Alberta’s Strategic US Visa Category?

Currently, the application forms are not available on line. Applicants who feel they are qualified must first be pre-approved.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by fax, phone or email