The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program now has a new name, as well as two new rural and entrepreneur immigration categories.

Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta stated on February 16 that the province's immigration department will be renamed and two new immigration programs would be added. Alberta released the results of its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw from earlier this month two days later.

Alberta welcomed 400 Express Entry applicants to apply for the Alberta Express Entry stream on February 1. To be asked to submit for a provincial nomination, Express Entry applicants needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 340. If they are nominated, their score will be increased by 600 points, and they will be eligible for an Express Entry PNP round of invitations.

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program will now be known as the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), and the Rural Renewal Stream and the Rural Entrepreneur Stream will be the two new streams.

Three current entrepreneur streams in Alberta are also getting new names:

• The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream has replaced the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream.

• The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream has replaced the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream.

• The Farm Stream has replaced the Self-Employed Farmer Stream.

The qualifying requirements for these current streams will not change.

Candidates who applied using Alberta's online portal must now request a nomination extension through the platform, according to the government. If you filed your application using the online portal and later need to seek an extension, you must do it through the portal as well. You can still file a paper extension application if you submitted a paper application. The rest of the post-decision processes remain unaffected.

In the next weeks, the Alberta website will be updated with the new program and stream names.

Premier Kenney, a former federal immigration minister, made the statement at the Premier's Summit on Fairness for Newcomers, which was held for the first time. Stakeholders in immigration from around Alberta gathered on to explore how to help newcomers succeed and generate economic growth in the province.

According to a government press release, the new name will "help promote Alberta's reputation and benefits as a desirable destination to work and raise a family when deciding where to work and raise a family."

The new Rural Renewal and Rural Entrepreneurship Streams aim to attract experienced and talented professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world to reside in rural Alberta towns. Rural villages that are eligible must be located outside of the Calgary and Edmonton metropolitan regions and have a population of less than 100,000 people as of the 2016 census.

The Rural Renewal Stream is for those who have been offered a job in a designated rural Alberta community by an Alberta company. The Rural Renewal Stream in Alberta is presently accepting submissions from rural communities. A small number of localities will be chosen to participate in this initiative as designated communities.

Entrepreneurs who wish to develop or purchase a business in a rural Alberta community can apply to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream. Candidates that meet the criteria can submit an expression of interest and visit the community in which they want to launch their company.

Alberta nominated 6,250 immigrants for permanent residency in 2021.

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