A helpful tool to overcome labour shortage in The Atlantic region
Due to a shrinking labour force and an aging population, The Atlantic region has been facing a severe talent shortage. Therefore, increasing the number of foreign skilled workers that immigrate and settle in these provinces is main concern of Canadian government at present.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is one of the fast-track Canadian immigration programs that allows employers in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces — New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia— to hire foreign skilled workers for jobs they are unable to fill locally.
Introduced in 2017, The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is mainly designed to welcome foreign nationals to the Atlantic Canada region to fill the needs of local employers as well as communities.
With the aims of developing a skilled workforce, supporting population growth, as well as increasing employment rates in the Atlantic region, the three-year pilot program allows designated local employers to identify, recruit and keep global talent.
The pilot program is an integral 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
All prime candidates arriving in Canada under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program as well as employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under this program first need to meet certain requirements.
- Candidate requirements
Candidates must have a job offer from a designated employer along with an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has two programs for skilled workers:
and one program for international student graduates:
The candidate’s work experience, education, and job offer requirements will depend on whether he/she is applying as a skilled worker or as an international student graduate. The other requirements are generally the same for both categories.
- Employer designation
All employers who want to hire skilled immigrants under the pilot program need to apply to the province(s) to receive designation.
Employers with locations in multiple provinces require a separate designation for each province. Apart from this, employers have to meet certain other requirements as well, including an assurance to support the newcomer and his/her family as they start their new life in Atlantic Canada.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot – A step by step guide
- Atlantic Intermediate Skilled Program (AISP)
- Atlantic High Skilled Program (AHSP)
- Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)
Note: A Labour Market Impact Assessment is not needed for Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs.
- Employer in Atlantic Canada, who would like to hire skilled immigrants under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP), fills a full time job vacancy.
- Employer contacts a participating settlement service provider organization and commits to prepare their workplace to welcome newcomers.
- Employer applies to the province to become a designated employer.
- Atlantic Province designates the employer.
- Employer finds candidate that qualifies the program criteria based on his/her initial assessment and offers him/her a job.
- Employer connects his/her recruit with a participating settlement service provider organization.
- Candidate contacts a settlement service provider organization of his/her choice for a needs assessment service that will result in a settlement plan for themselves and their family.
- Settlement service provider organization provides candidate with a settlement plan after the needs assessment.
- Candidate sends a copy of the settlement plan to the employer
- Employer completes the provincial endorsement application by identifying the appropriate program based on candidate’s work experience and including the job offer and settlement plan, and sends it to the province.
In cases where it is urgent to fill the position, candidates may be eligible for a temporary work permit. Certain conditions apply, such as having a valid job offer, a referral letter from the province and a commitment to apply for permanent residence.
- Province reviews and approves the endorsement application and sends candidate an endorsement letter.
- Candidate completes his/her permanent residence application and sends it to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) including endorsement letter and any other requisite documents.
- IRCC processes the application (In the majority of cases, applications are generally processed in six months or less)
- Approved candidate and his/her family come to Atlantic Canada.
- Employer supports candidate and his/her family’s settlement and integration in their workplace and community in partnership with settlement service provider organization.