The City of Cold Lake has been designated under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program’s Rural Renewal Stream.
The RRS is an economic immigration program that allows municipalities to offer foreign nationals a letter of nomination once they have a job offer from eligible and approved businesses. The letter will replace the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment. All other federal and provincial immigration regulations and processes remain in place.
Cold Lake says the program will take four to six weeks to be set up and get applications flowing. The city applied for the designation after the business community and the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce asked for the program.
Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says this program effectively allows businesses to streamline the entry point into the economic immigration process.
“We were told that the LMIA process was proving to be a bottleneck that was delaying applications. Cold Lake has proven to be a welcoming community with many opportunities for people who have immigrated here for work. They have helped to grow our community and contribute greatly to the vibrancy of the city we call home. Many have put down roots, became Canadians and some have gone on to start their own businesses.”
Businesses will need to be located in the City of Cold Lake, have permanent, full-time positions that they have been unable to fill, not be in violation of any federal, provincial or municipal regulations, and must complete a brief housing plan and agree to a plan that will assist newcomers hired through the program with settling into the community to be eligible for the program.
The program will be run by the City of Cold Lake’s administration from City Hall and Cold Lake and District FCSS, with the support and assistance of the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Lakeland.
“Our staff at FCSS are well positioned and connected to assist newcomers in our community,” Copeland said. “In fact, it’s a function that they and their partners have already been performing admirably for years. We have a welcoming city with a resourceful business community and significant growth on the horizon, and this program has arrived at the perfect time to make sure our businesses can grow to their full potential.”
More details of the City of Cold Lake’s Rural Renewal Stream application process will be advertised and made available online.