New Canadian Atlantic Pilot Immigration Program Unveiled

The government of Canada on Friday 27 January 2017 announced details of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program which was first announced in July 2016 and is part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The Atlantic Growth Strategy is aimed at improving key immigration objectives in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, together these provinces are known as Atlantic Canada. 

A spokesperson or the Canadian government through a press statement said: “the region's dwindling labor force and the aging population mean that immigration of skilled workers is required to meet pressing labor market needs and to ensure long-term economic growth and continued success for the region of Atlantic Canada". 

The Atlantic Canada Pilot Program was created to improve the settlement process for newcomers, by ensuring that economic immigrants that arrive through the program have a job offer and a viable settlement plan. 

Focus on Labour Market Needs

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is aimed at attracting foreign skilled workers, and international graduates from institutions in the regions, to immigrate permanently to the provinces of Atlantic Canada. In order to make sure that the process is as quick as possible, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) will not be required. An LMIA is a document that is obtained by a Canadian employer providing proof that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident was able or willing to fill the position.  

In addition to that, the Pilot immigration program will issue temporary work permits to skilled immigrants so that they and their families can move to Canada immediately for the applicants to begin working and settling in the region while their applications are being processed. Note, that there are certain requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for this temporary work permit.

The statement also goes on to mention that applicants to the Atlantic Canada Pilot Programs will start being accepted from March 2017. Nearly, 2,000 applications are expected to be accepted in 2017 including both principal applicants and their accompanying family members.  

The three main categories

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has three broad categories:

  • The Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) – Targeting candidates with a qualifying job offer for a one-year contract in full-time employment at a position level as specified by the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • The Atlantic Intermediate Skilled-Program (AISP) – Targeting international graduates with a qualifying job offer of an undetermined duration in a full-time employment position as determined by the NOC.
  • The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) – Targeting international graduates with a post-secondary qualification with a duration of at least two years. The qualification should have been obtained at a public-funded institution in the Atlantic region. Candidates for this category are also required to have a valid job offer.

For more news about work opportunities in the Atlantic region, click here.