Alberta immigration has introduced a new $500 processing fee for the provincial Self-Employed Farmer Stream.
The fee is applicable to all applications mailed after October 1, 2020.
It is one of a number of new measures introduced under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
The province also announced it will not meet its federal government nomination allocation for the AINP as port of its coronavirus economic recovery plan.
The province says it will issue a maximum of 4,000 nominations through the AINP, more than a third down on the allocation of 6,250.
As of October 1, the province has already issued 3,720 nominations. There are also 1,525 Alberta Opportunity Stream applications awaiting assessment and 125 Expression of Interest applications in the Alberta Express Entry pool.
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New Online Portal and $500 Processing Fee
Meanwhile, the AINP has also announced a new online application portal for all candidates except those applying through the Self-Employed Farmer Stream.
Alberta Express Entry candidates require authorization from the AINP to access the portal.
Candidates submitting applications through the portal must pay a non-refundable $500 processing fee, required whether or not a nomination certificate is issued.
“The AINP portal was designed to make the application for candidates easy,” the AINP said.
“Candidates receive tips on how to enter data, a customized list of documents and can save a draft application to complete at a later date.
“The system does an initial assessment on eligibility, and ensures that candidates who clearly do not meet basic criteria do not waste time and money submitting an application.”
Alberta Opportunity Stream and Alberta Express Entry candidates who submitted applications by mail before October 1 do not have to pay the processing fee.
Applicants to the Self-Employed Farmer Stream who submitted applications by mail before October 1 also do not have to pay the processing fee. Applications mailed after October 1 must pay the fee.
New Post-Decision Services Fee
A new fee for post-decision services has also been introduced under the AINP.
Services include requests for reconsideration, nomination extensions and letter of support requests.
Post-decision services requests must now be emailed, with those received on or after October 1 subject to a $100 fee.
“The fee covers the cost of processing your request and is required even if it is determined you are not eligible to have your decision reconsidered,” the AINP said.
“Refunds will only be provided for requests for reconsideration where the original decision to decline an application is overturned.”
Candidates, including those who originally applied by mail, must now submit application updates by email. Updates may include:
- Corrections or updates to information or documents.
- Updates to employment status, immigration status, contact information, family composition.
- Updates to use of a representative.
- Application withdrawal.
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