The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) has unique eligibility requirements that may be particularly attractive to certain workers and graduates. For example, eligible international students and graduates may note that no work experience is required before an application may be submitted. In addition, workers in intermediate level (National Occupational Classification C) occupations, as well as workers with limited language ability, may be able to immigrate through this program.
It should be noted that the program is also open to workers in management, professional, technical, and skilled trades occupations (NOC 0, A or B).
The AIPP is a new venture that involves the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The former
Plans to establish the AIPP were first announced following a meeting between the provincial heads of government last summer. At that time, then Immigration Minister John McCallum said that he heard “loud and clear” the message that Atlantic Canada wants to attract more immigrants to settle in the region. The governments of these provinces recognize the need to solve labor market and demographic challenges. The three-year pilot program aims to address resource gaps that certain sectors are facing, and to help businesses attract and retain global talent.
Atlantic Canada is an area of stunning natural beauty, from the epic national parks of Newfoundland to the beaches of PEI and New Brunswick, all the way to the quaint villages and bustling city of Halifax, NS, the largest city in the region.
The Atlantic region is not like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, in that the urban areas of Atlantic Canada are far smaller than Canada’s largest cities, which together attract a majority of newcomers to the country. Therefore, the job market in the Atlantic region is smaller.
Employers in Atlantic Canada require additional public support, and this pilot program, which forms part of the wider Atlantic Growth Strategy, is a clear nod to this reality. The AIPP provides employers with the means to attract new workers who will be ready to begin working in the sector immediately upon arrival.
The AIPP aims to ensure that newcomers and their families are provided with settlement support, thereby reducing the risk that these newcomers may move to larger job markets soon after arriving in Canada.
Employers that would like to hire through the pilot program must apply to the province(s) in order to receive designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require separate a designation for each province.
Despite the program being new on the scene and having a limited application quota for this year, it is nonetheless a program with a relatively broad base. As such, different kinds of potential applicants may be attracted for different reasons.
For example, many Canadian immigration programs, including the federal economic programs processed through the Express Entry system, require applicants to have at least one year of skilled work experience in a NOC 0, A or B position. The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program of the AIPP, however, opens the door to individuals whose work experience and/or job offer is in the NOC C category. These occupations usually require secondary education and/or occupation-specific training.
In addition, potential applicants may note that the language requirement is set at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4, or fluent basic level, a significantly lower threshold than what is required for most Express Entry candidates. Consequently, the AIPP may attract individuals who are not currently eligible to enter the Express Entry pool, as well as candidates who are in the pool but who wish to expand their potential immigration options.
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