Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
Back in 2017, the federal government and its provincial government partners aimed to welcome more than 7,000 newcomers and their families to the Atlantic Canada region by 2021 through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. Since then the program remain in an extended state. Due to its success the Government has committed this pilot to a permanent program in February of 2021.
It will continue to be a flagship regional economic program, complementing the provincial nominee programs in each Atlantic province.
The Atlantic Immigration Program is designed to welcome additional newcomers to the Atlantic Canada region to fill the needs of local employers and communities.
The program allows designated local employers to identify, recruit and retain global talent. The program also has the goals of supporting population growth, developing a skilled workforce, and increasing employment rates in the region.
The program forms part of an overall Atlantic Growth Strategy that is focused on the following five priority areas:
- skilled workforce and immigration;
- clean growth and climate change;
- trade and investment; and
Atlantic Immigration Program: How it works
The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven program that facilitates the hiring of foreign workers. All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the program must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family.
Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, that employer will need to first offer them a job. Employers do not need to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under this program.
Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.
Employers that need to fill a job vacancy quickly will have access to a temporary work permit, so that the candidate and his or her family can come to Canada as soon as possible. In order to obtain this work permit, candidates will need:
- a valid job offer;
- a letter from the province; and
- a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.
Employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the program must apply to the province(s) in order to receive designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require a separate designation for each province. Employers must meet certain requirements, including a commitment to support the newcomer and his or her family as they integrate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has two programs for skilled workers:
- Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)
- Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)
and one program for international student graduates:
- Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)
The work experience, education, and job offer required will depend on whether the individual is applying as a worker or as an international student graduate. The other requirements are the same for both.
Other ways to immigrate to Atlantic Canada
The Atlantic provinces have already been active in immigration over recent years, principally through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Through these programs, the provinces have been able to welcome a wide range of skilled workers, graduates who have studied in Canada, and business immigrants such as entrepreneurs.
Since 2015, each Atlantic province has created at least one PNP stream aligned with the federal Express Entry system, allowing candidates in the Express Entry pool who are also eligible to immigrate through one of these streams to submit an application to immigrate to the given province.
Currently, the Atlantic PNP options include:
- Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
- New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
- Newfoundland And Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
- Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)