The Atlantic Immigration Pilot program is an exciting new Canadian immigration program aimed to help attract and retain skilled immigrants in Atlantic Canada. The Pilot will include three new employer-driven permanent residence immigration programs; the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program, the Atlantic High-skilled Program, and the Atlantic International Graduate Program.

 

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ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM

NOTE: All Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs are employer-driven. To apply to the program, you need to have a job offer from a designated employer.

There are four Atlantic Provinces in Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Atlantic region has a shrinking labour force and is faced with an aging population, so increasing the number of skilled workers that immigrate and settle in these provinces is a top priority. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a new Canadian immigration program designed to meet those labour market needs and ensure long-term economic growth in Atlantic Canada.

Unlike most other Canadian immigration programs, employers play a role in ensuring the successful settlement and integration of newcomers under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program. Every principal applicant under this program will have a job offer and an individualized settlement plan for themself and their family when they arrive in Canada.

PROGRAM DETAILS

There are three programs included in the Pilot, two for skilled workers:
  • Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program (AISP)
  • Atlantic High-skilled Program (AHSP)
and one for international student graduates:
  • Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)
Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and who’s eligible under one of the pilot programs, they first need to offer them a job. Because of the pressing labour market needs of the Atlantic region, employers will not need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for jobs they offer under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program.

If the candidate accepts the employer’s job offer, the employer will then connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization. That organization will perform a needs assessment on the candidate and their family, and develop a personalized settlement plan for them in the province.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications for permanent residence from candidates under this program in March 2017. A total of 2,000 applications will be accepted in 2017.

EMPLOYER DESIGNATION PROCESS

Only designated employers are eligible to offer jobs under the pilot programs. Interested employers have to apply to the province(s) in which they operate to be designated. The criteria for designation vary between the provinces, and if an employer operates in multiple provinces, then they must apply to each province they want to be designated in. However, in general, employers must:
  1. Want to hire full-time (30 hours/week), non-seasonal international candidates
  2. Be well-established and in good standing with the provincial and federal standards and legislation
  3. Demonstrate their preparedness to receive and meet the settlement needs of the international candidate(s) and accompanying family members

See below for more details about the employer designation process for each province.

TEMPORARY WORK PERMITS

In March 2017, employers that need to fill an immediate job vacancy will also have access to a temporary work permit, so the skilled immigrant and their family can come to Canada right away. To apply for this temporary work permit, the candidate must:
  • Have a valid job offer from a designated employer
  • Have a letter from the province
  • Apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

IRCC will only accept applications from candidates with a job offer from a designated employer.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot includes three Canadian immigration programs. The job offer, work experience, and education you need will depend on which program you are applying through. The other requirements are the same for all three programs.
*Click here for a complete list of publicly funded learning institutions in the Atlantic region.

**More information about provincial endorsements will be released in March 2017.

RELATED IMMIGRATION OPTIONS

Each of the provinces participating in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) as well. Through these PNPs, each province operates multiple immigration programs, each with its own eligibility criteria. Each of these provinces also has an immigration stream aligned with the federal Express Entry system, allowing Express Entry candidates to apply directly to the province.

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