Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) started in March 2017. It has now been extended through December 2021. The AIP is available in the four Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. The AIP allows employers in these provinces to make job offers to foreign workers without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Foreign workers with an approved job offer under the AIP can then apply for permanent residence. They can also apply for a temporary work permit while the PR application is processed.
Before making a job offer, the employer must apply for designation from the province where the employer is located. This can be done before or after the employer decides to hire a specific foreign worker. There are three requirements for designation:
- The company must be in good standing in the province
- The company must have been operating in the Atlantic Region for at least two years under the same management
- The company must agree to work with a settlement agency to help new immigrants adjust to life in Atlantic Canada and remain in Atlantic Canada.
Once the employer is designated, the employer can make a job offer. The job offer must then be endorsed by the province. The employer must show that the job offer meets the requirements of the program; that the employer has tried to recruit Canadians for the position; and that a settlement plan for the worker and his or her family is in place, including language training if necessary.
Once the endorsement is issued, the province will issue a letter allowing the foreign worker to apply for a temporary work permit. The foreign worker must submit an application for permanent residence within 90 days of applying for the work permit. The work permit is valid for one year. In most cases the permanent residence will be approved before the temporary work permit expires.
There are three separate programs or “streams” within the AIP. The three streams are as follows:
- Atlantic High-Skilled program (Must have one year of work experience, education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma or better, and a NOC Level 0, A or B job offer)
- Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled program (Must have one year of work experience, education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma or better, and a NOC Level C job offer; or a job offer as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse)
- Atlantic International Graduate program (Must have at least a 2 year diploma from a recognized publicly funded Atlantic college or university, and a NOC level 0, A, B, or C job offer).
All job offers must be for full time, non-seasonal employment. All applicants must take an approved language test and achieve a minimum CLB of 4 in each language skill. (This is much lower than the score required for the Federal Skilled Worker program.) Applicants relying on education outside of Canada must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
Applicants must also prove they have funds to support themselves when they arrive in Canada. The amount required is 12.5% of the low income cutoff. As an example, for a family of two, the amount is $3,943.
The Atlantic Immigration Program is a great path to permanent residence for persons with a job offer in Atlantic Canada. If you are an employer who wants to hire a foreign worker for a job in Atlantic Canada, we can help with all stages of the process.