Alberta Border Testing Pilot Program & LMIA updates

Alberta immigration bulletin

26 November 2020

The Alberta provincial government has introduced the International Border Testing Pilot Program (the "Pilot Program"). Under the Pilot Program, eligible international travellers returning to Alberta at select airport and border crossings may be allowed to quarantine for less time than the 14 days otherwise required pursuant to the federal quarantine requirements.



The Pilot Program is a partnership between the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and industry to safely explore ways to reduce the length of time that travellers must quarantine while still protecting Albertans from COVID-19.

Eligibility

The Pilot Program is only available to international travellers arriving directly to the following locations:

  1. Coutts land crossing; and
  2. Calgary International Airport (international arrivals only).

International travellers arriving at these locations are eligible if they are:

  1. Returning Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  2. Foreign nationals currently permitted entry into Canada; or
  3. Travellers otherwise exempt from 14-day quarantine.*

Travellers are ineligible if they are:

  1. Arriving on domestic flights into the Calgary International Airport, including if they have had a lay-over in Canada.
  2. Non-exempt travellers proceeding to other provinces. Participants must say in Alberta for 14 days after entering Canada, unless they are departing the country directly from Alberta prior to the end of 14 days.
  3. Travellers who have symptoms of COVID-19 at the time they enter Canada, have been in contract with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is the last 14 days, or do not have an acceptable quarantine plan or need to quarantine at a federal quarantine site.

How to Participate in the Pilot Program

There are four mandatory steps and one optional step to participate in the Pilot Program:

  1. Enroll in the Pilot Program: Individuals must register online prior to arrival at customs. Once at customs, further eligibility determinations will be made. If eligible, a COVID-19 test will be administered on-site;
  2. Quarantine and wait for the test result;
  3. Follow preventative measures;
  4. Take a second COVID-19 test on day six or seven; and
  5. Provide feedback (optional).

For further details on each of these steps, see the Government of Alberta's Pilot Program website here.

If, during Step 2, the individuals first COVID-19 test comes back negative, the individual is allowed to leave quarantine and follow all other preventative measures, including completing daily check-ins and the second COVID-19 test.

If the test comes back positive or indeterminate, the individual must remain in quarantine or take a re-test, respectively.

Conditions and Restrictions of Participants in the Pilot Program

Participation in the Pilot Program is contingent on individuals complying with certain conditions and restrictions, which include the following:

  1. Submitting daily symptom reports online or by phone;
  2. Maintaining a list of close contacts for the duration of the Pilot Program;
  3. Booking a second test on day six or seven at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart;
  4. Following preventative measures throughout the regular 14-day period; and
  5. Avoiding prohibited settings during the regular 14-day period.

Further, participants are prohibited in attending or engaging in certain activities during the course of the Pilot Program, including:

  1. School and child care;
  2. Health care settings;
  3. Workplaces (other than with the permission of the employer, COVID-19 measures in place, and the absence of vulnerable populations);
  4. Gatherings; and
  5. Group living facilities.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Update

The Alberta provincial government has implemented new restrictions on the processing of Labour Market Impact Assessments ("LMIA"). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all new and pending LMIAs for positions in Alberta must be on a list of exempt occupations to be eligible for processing. If a position does not appear on the list, the LMIA will not be processed unless the LMIA falls under a separate exemption.

Exempt Occupations

See the full list of the exempt occupations for which LMIAs will be processed at the end of this bulletin.

Additional Exemptions to Alberta LMIA Refusal to Process

Alberta LMIAs will also continue to be processed if they fall into one of the following exemptions: (a) short-term duration technical work; (b) permanent Residence or Dual intent; (c) Global Talent Stream; and (d) In-Home Caregiver positions.

Exempt occupations from the LMIA refusal to process
Number

National Occupational Classification code Positions eligible for processing

Management occupations

1

0213

Computer and information systems managers

2

0432

Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers

3

0821

Managers in agriculture

Natural and applied sciences related occupations

4

2147

Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

5

2161

Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries

6

2171

Information systems analysts and consultants

7

2172

Database analysts and data administrators

8

2173

Software engineers and designers

9

2174

Computer programmer and interactive media developers

10

2175

Web designers and developers

11

2271

Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors

12

2281

Computer network technicians

13

2283

Information systems testing technicians

Health occupations

14

3111

Specialist physicians

15

3112

General practitioners and family physicians

Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services

16

4011

University professors and lecturers

17

4312

Firefighters

18

4411

Home child care providers

19

4412

Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport

20

5131

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

21

5241

Graphic designers and illustrators

Trade, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

22

7371

Crane operators (only All-Terrain Crane Operators)

Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations

23

8252

Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers

24

8431

General farm workers

25

8432

Nursery and greenhouse workers

26

8611

Harvesting labourers

Occupations in manufacturing and utilities

27

9462

Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

Gowling WLG

Immigration legislation and practices continue to change frequently amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For any questions you may have about Canadian immigration, the Gowling WLG Immigration Group would be pleased to assist. To find out more about our Group, click here.


* For a complete list of travellers exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement, see Order in Council: Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation).


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