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The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program | Updates & Extension

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The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program | Updates & Extension

Jade Calver

The Government of Canada recently announced the extension of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). This program was launched in 2017 and was originally supposed to be available until 2020. As of March, 2019, the AIPP will be available until December 31, 2021. 

The AIPP is a fast-track immigration program aimed at employers located in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. This program was created for employers interested in hiring foreign nationals for jobs they have not been able to fill with local residents. 

FACT: OVER 1800 EMPLOYERS PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROGRAM (GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, 2019).

The Beginning of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The three-year pilot program was designed to meet specific priorities, which include skilled workforce and immigration; innovation; clean growth and climate change; trade and investment; and infrastructure. The program was initially supposed to run from 2017 until 2020, but it has been extended for an additional two years, until the end of 2021. This extension will allow IRCC more time to experiment with the program’s long term success and impact on the Atlantic region of Canada.

Updates to The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

In addition to extending the length of the program, several adjustments have been made.

  • International graduates now have 24 months to apply to become permanent residents (PR), as opposed to the previous 12-month requirement. This will allow new graduates time to find full-time work and apply for PR under the AIPP.

  • Healthcare employers now have flexibility in terms of hiring internationally-trained nurses to work in Atlantic Canada as continuing care or home care support workers. 

  • Atlantic provinces now have greater flexibility in prioritizing the jobs they want to fill through the AIPP. This allows the provinces to determine what their immediate labour market needs are.

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will now assess foreign nationals’ language, education, and work experience before issuing them a work permit. This will ensure candidates possess the skills required to adequately perform their job and become Permanent Residents. 

FACT: JOB OFFERS HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO OVER 3,700 SKILLED WORKERS AND INTERNATIONAL GRADUATES THROUGH THE ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM (GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, 2019). 

Eligibility Requirements

A designated employer must find a candidate who suits their employment needs in addition to program criteria. Once they find a suitable individual, the employer must first extend a job offer. It’s important to note that in the AIPP, the employer is not required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), thus shortening the hiring process. 

There are two programs for skilled workers in the AIPP. These include the Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) and the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP). There is also one program for international graduates: the Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP). 

There are specific eligibility requirements for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, which applicants must meet. These requirements pertain to:

  • The job;

  • The applicant’s skills, experience, and education;

  • The applicant’s ability to communicate in English or French;

  • The applicant’s ability to support themselves and their family in Canada; and

  • The applicant’s intent to reside in an Atlantic province 

 
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