The first year of the AIP was slow-going. Most of the Atlantic provinces included in the pilot filled only a portion of their immigration quotas for the year. However, this changed in the second year of the program, as the Atlantic provinces quickly filled their quotas for 2018. To compare, in November of 2017 Atlantic provinces had accepted less than half of their allowed immigrants for the year. In the summer of 2018, there was demand to accept even more than the quota for 2,000 newcomers. This growth motivated the Minister for Immigration to announce an increase in the 2018 quota by 500 additional spots. This increase takes the current quota from 2,000 to 2,500 spots!
The AIP was developed by the Canadian government to address labour shortages in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces: Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. These provinces have been experiencing difficulty attracting young skilled workers, and the pilot seeks to address these shortages.
The AIP is also able to offer candidates a faster route to Canadian permanent residence than most provincial programs. Unlike many streams that rely on job offers, the AIP is LMIA-exempt, meaning employers do not need to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment before they hire an overseas worker. This saves employers time, money, and resources in hiring a skilled worker outside of Canada.
The AIP is an employer-driven program. This means that hopeful immigrants can only apply to the program after they have received a job offer from one of the program’s designated employers. With a job offer, candidates are able to begin the endorsement phase of the process, in which they work with their employer and the provincial immigration authority to arrange the settlement services they will receive upon arrival in Canada. Finally, with approval from the province, the candidate receives a work permit allowing them to start working while they submit an application to become a Canadian permanent resident.
The promise of more success through the AIP has motivated the creation of a recently released new pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. This program was announced January 24th, and has been modelled after the AIP. Targeting Canada’s rural and northern areas, the pilot is directed by individual communities that want to bring in and retain newcomers. Excluding Canada’s Atlantic coast, this program plans to attract newcomers to rural communities in Northern Canada, and from Ontario westward.
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