Operational Bulletin 279-D (revised) - September 27, 2012

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Alberta Pilot for Occupation-Specific Work Permits – Expanded to include 6 (six) additional occupations

Issue

OB 279-D has been revised:

  1. to include Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AAIT) short-term authorizations in the Alberta Occupation-Specific Pilot, and
  2. to clarify for employers that they may use the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) or Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A‑LMO) process rather than the Alberta Occupation-Specific Pilot. If an employer uses the LMO or A‑LMO process, the foreign national(s) should be issued an employer-specific Work Permit (WP).

Background

This Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex pilot project, launched June 1, 2011, in the Province of Alberta, allows foreign nationals to come to Canada to work temporarily in a specific occupation and to be issued a WP that allows them to move freely between employers, without requiring an LMO from Service Canada.

This pilot project was established under the TFW Annex to the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration which contains the following commitment:

“7.2.1 The Canada-Alberta Working Group on TFWs, defined in section 9.2, will work toward developing occupation-specific (but non-employer specific) WPs for TFWs working in Alberta in the engineering, construction and procurement industries to permit limited mobility of certain high-skilled TFWs within a particular industrial sector.”

On July 16 , OB 279-D replaced OB 279-C, to advise officers of six additional occupations now included in the Province of Alberta’s TFW Annex occupation-specific pilot project (formerly just for the steamfitter/pipefitter occupation).

Expanding the Pilot Project

In addition to steamfitter/pipefitter (NOC 7252), the additional occupations are the following:

Pilot Project Parameters

To ensure the protection of the Canadian labour market, TFWs taking part in these additional occupations (including steamfitter/pipefitter) will be required to have an initial job offer from an Alberta employer or an employer acting on behalf of a recognized Group of Employers (GoE) under the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)-Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) GoE Pilot.

The job offer from the employer must indicate that the wages offered are consistent with the prevailing wage rate paid to Canadians in the same occupation in the region and that the working conditions for the occupation meet the current provincial labour market standards.

TFW applicants who have a job offer in the carpenter, estimator, heavy-duty equipment mechanic, ironworker, millwright and industrial mechanic, steamfitter/pipefitter and welder occupations, for a position located in Alberta, from an individual employer or an employer acting on behalf of a recognized GoE under the CIC-HRSDC GoE Pilot, are eligible for one of the following:

  1. a one-year occupation-specific WP or employer-specific WP (with an initial job offer) or
  2. a two-year occupation-specific WP or open WP (with an initial job offer) where workers are free to move between employers

    depending on whether or not they hold an approval letter, an Alberta Qualification Certificate or a trade certificate recognized in the Province of Alberta at the journeyperson level.

    NOTE: Employers may use the LMO or A‑LMO process rather than the Alberta Occupation-Specific Pilot. If an employer uses the LMO or A‑LMO process, the foreign national(s) should be issued an employer-specific WP.

  3. a short-term employer-specific WP issued for the duration authorized by AAIT (compulsory trades only). Applicants are not required to have an approval letter from AAIT as an authorization is issued in lieu.

Information on AAIT certification requirements to work in a trade in Alberta can be found at www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca.

Eligible Applicants Application Period Duration of WP

Uncertified Applicants

  • have an approval letter from AAIT for an application in the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program for one of the trades included under this pilot project, AND
  • have an initial job offer for a position located in Alberta from an individual employer or an employer making a job offer on behalf of a recognized GoE under the CIC-HRSDC GoE Pilot.
Apply between July 16, 2012 and July 31, 2013 at a visa office or, if applicable, at a Port of Entry (POE).
 
Once certified, apply at CPC-Vegreville before the initial work permit expires to continue participation in this pilot project (see Certified Applicants below).
One-year occupation-specific WP or employer-specific WP.
 
This initial one-year period is to allow TFWs to meet the certification requirements of AAIT while remaining employed by the initial employer. Visible remarks on the WP must state that the application for extension must be accompanied by the Alberta Qualification Certificate.

Certified Applicants

  • must hold an Alberta Qualification Certificate OR a trade certificate recognized in Alberta (refer to www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca) in one of the occupations included under this pilot project, AND
  • are currently working for, OR have a job offer from, an employer in Alberta.
Apply between July 16, 2012 and July 31, 2013, at a visa office or, if applicable, at a POE.
 
If applicants are already working in Alberta, they can apply at CPC-Vegreville by July 31, 2013 and before their initial WP expires.
Two-year occupation-specific WP or open WP.
 
This open WP allows workers to move between Alberta employers in the specific occupation; employers don’t need to be entered in the employer field in the system. Instead, they are noted in the system notes.
Short-term (compulsory trades only)
  • must have a copy of the Authorization issued by AAIT permitting an Alberta employer to hire a TFW in a specified occupation for specialty work, for a short period of time (generally up to 90 days), OR
  • a job offer that references the authorization number, and dates of employment start and finish
Apply between July 16, 2012 and July 31, 2013, at a visa office or, if applicable, at a POE. Employer-specific, occupation-specific and location-specific WP for a duration authorized by AAIT (no more than 90 days).

Qualified Estimators*

  • have a certification by the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS); the CIQS website can be viewed at http://ciqs.org, OR
  • have completed a three-year college program in civil or construction engineering technology, OR
  • have several years of experience as qualified tradespersons in a construction trade such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical.

*Note: Qualified estimators are not required to apply to the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program, therefore will not have an approval letter from AAIT.

*Employers hiring estimators under this pilot project must ensure applicants have the qualifications to perform the job duties of the occupation.

Apply between July 16, 2012 and July 31, 2013, and if already working in Alberta, before the original WP expires. Two-year occupation-specific WP or open WP.
 
This open WP allows workers to move between Alberta employers in the specific occupation; employers don’t need to be entered in the employer field in the system. Instead, they are noted in the system notes.

Applicants will be required to meet all other applicable federal criteria including the likelihood they will voluntarily leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay. They must also continue to meet all admissibility criteria in order to obtain status as temporary residents in Canada. Additionally, WP approvals may depend on medical examination requirements.

Extensions

No WP extensions will be issued under this pilot project.

System Instructions

LMO Exemption Code is T13 in conjunction with R204(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations: “ … an agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces under subsection 8(1) of the Act.” This code must be used on the initial one-year WP and the subsequent two-year open WP.

Both the initial employer-specific WP and the subsequent open WP should indicate in the “Province” field and in the printed “Conditions” that it is only valid for work performed in the province of Alberta and in one of the occupations specified as inclusive to this pilot project.

It should also be noted in “Remarks/Notes” that “this WP application is in relation to the Province of Alberta Occupation-Specific Pilot Project – OB 279-D” to assist in statistical research, evaluation and policy-development purposes.

Rationale

The pilot project will assess whether or not the issuance of an occupation-specific, but otherwise “open”, WP in an engineering, construction or procurement (ECP) occupation allows for the successful mobility of a skilled TFW within a particular industrial sector.

A review and evaluation of this pilot project by the Province of Alberta will begin in 2013.

Contact

For more information about this pilot project, call the Immigrate to Alberta Information Service (toll free within Alberta: 1-877-427-6419) or look for the Factsheet on the Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education website at http://employment.alberta.ca/Immigration/145.html.

Date Modified: