The Canadian province of Alberta has made an economic recovery plan in order to overcome the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan also includes an immigration system that will focus on filling labor shortages and job creation. Alberta is going to accelerate two immigration streams that had already been announced. Both these streams target foreign graduates from universities in the United States as part of an overhaul of Alberta’s immigration system.
The two streams, namely the Student Entrepreneur program and the Foreign Graduate Startup Visa Program, will be promoted mainly to graduates from American universities who are not considered welcome in the United States. The Alberta Recovery Plan specifies all the details of the two programs.
The Alberta Recovery Plan
Alberta published the report on June 29, one week after the Trump administration enforced an immigration freeze for 2020. This was a week before the United States announced that international students would have to leave the country if they were enrolled in a full time online study program.
The Alberta Recovery Plan says that a major factor that is hindering the growth of Alberta’s technology sector is a lack of skilled workers. Ironically, the United States just closed its border for extremely talented information technology workers as well as start-up entrepreneurs.
Alberta’s economic recovery plan heavily prioritizes the growth of the technology sector as a strategy after the pandemic lockdown. The government hopes to create capital investments that will help tech startups and provide support to develop artificial intelligence, create an Innovation Employment Grant program, and improve 5G initiatives.
After the economic shutdown in March, Alberta has decided to decrease its immigration targets for the year by a third. Previously, the province was aiming for 6,250 permanent resident nominations, but now it plans to invite no more than 4,000.