The Success Of The Provincial Nominee Program In Alberta

The provincial nominee program has been tremendously successful in Alberta, though it has gone through growing pains.

At first, processing times were slow because the program was very bureaucratic and their numbers were low, but it has evolved. The provincial nominee program administration is committed to increasing the numbers very substantially, so it has a very positive attitude. These people really want to help, and they want to help the Alberta economy and employers more than anything. They have created a system that works efficiently and is user friendly, and overall it has been very successful.

We have seen the numbers increase since they started the program five years ago. They had perhaps 50 people approved the first year. Over the next couple of years they aimed towards 8,000 immigrants approved per year so their numbers are going up fairly aggressively as they go along. The retention rate has been very good so far, according to the studies. There are differences in some of the skill sets and in other areas it is just too soon to tell because the program is relatively new, but the statistics so far show that, when they check one and three years after the person got permanent residence, there is a very high rate of retention. I think that’s the result of a combination of different things. One is that the economy is in good shape and there are jobs here, so people can do quite well in Alberta. The other factor is people are grateful to employers who sponsor them for immigration. They are happy that the employer was willing to make that investment, took the time and the trouble and sometimes the expense to assist them to immigrate to Canada, so they tend to stay with their employers.

So far it seems to be a success story. Some of the other immigrant programs can be very frustrating because they are slow, very bureaucratic and appear as if the government doesn’t give people the benefit of the doubt, acting more as gatekeepers than facilitators. We don’t tend to see that in the provincial nominee programs. It could change if there is a major shift in numbers, for instance if there is a great reduction in the number of immigrants that we are willing to take and people are competing for fewer spots. In that case, the mood could change there and it could get far more restrictive, but right now the provincial nominee program seems to be very facilitative.
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with immigration law issues in the Calgary, Alberta Region, contact Sherritt Greene Barristers & Solicitors for a consultation.

This article is taken from a March 18, 2008 interview with Michael Greene an immigration lawyer with Sherritt Greene Barristers & Solicitors, a Calgary Immigration Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.