Deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk says the changes will stop what he calls "a revolving door" that can be unfair to workers and to employers who train staff only to see them leave Alberta to return home.
Currently, foreign workers who want to apply for permanent citizenship need an OK from their employer before they can apply for permanent resident status.
Lukaszuk says under the new rules, workers will no longer need to be nominated by their employer and will be able to apply for permanent status on their own.
He says that doesn't necessarily mean they will be accepted.
That decision is up to the federal government and there is an overall cap in place.