CANADA - Some Filipinos based in Edmonton are worried over delays in their Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) applications.
Ramon Sabellano works as an electronics assembler for a manufacturing company in Edmonton. He applied for his permanent residence last November.
"It's almost 8 months. I'm just worried my work permit is almost expired. I pray to the almighty Father that he will help me so my family ay makakasama ko dito sa Canada," he said.
Another applicant finds herself in a similar situation.
"We submitted an application for skilled worker for AINP I heard it was faster. Now it took us three months to get the file number. It depresses me and it's so frustrating that it took long time to know the results of the application. Now we just want to know if we can be approved or disapproved. Because what I'm doing now is for my son. It's not really just for me but for the future of my son," said Lyn Marie Yu.
The AINP began in 2002 as a pilot project that allows temporary foreign workers and international students in the province to apply for permanent residence. It was meant to address the province's labor shortage.
The Philippines has become Alberta's top country source of immigrants for several years. The program has been the fastest and best option in seeking permanent residency to Canada until now.
"If Alberta really needs the workers to stay here to help their companies, they should make the processing of applications faster like the previous years because this is an advantage for both the workers and the company," added Yu.
Arnel Suguitan said his application was approved in just about two months.
"Last year noong nag apply ako sa Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program madali lang yon, parang wala pang 2 months na-approve. Ewan ko anong nagyari ngayon sa iba. Matagal na," he said.
In an email to Balitang Canada, the AINP advised it will now take 8 to 12 months to complete assessments of all applications received since November 2013.
It is important for all AINP applicants to have a valid work permit upon submission of their application and until a decision is made. If a work permit expires while the application is on process, the application will be refused. An applicant is allowed only one active AINP application in process, multiple applications for multiple categories will not be accepted.
The Alberta government has a quota of 5,500 nominations allocations for 2014. As of end of May, the AINP has issued close to half of its maximum nomination certificates for the year.
Once quota is reached, the next batch of nomination certificates will be issued in 2015.