Canada federal government is extending its Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) to December 2021 with an aim to maintain the program’s momentum.
Launched in 2017 for an initial three-year run, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) was formed to deal with the growing labour shortages in the Atlantic Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
AIPP allows designated employers in these provinces to hire qualified foreign skilled workers and international graduates of universities and colleges in the Atlantic Canada region.
According to statistics released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a total of 1,896 employers in the Atlantic Canada region have made 3,729 job offers through the AIPP since its establishment in March, 2017 while a total of 2,535 principal applicants and their families have been approved for permanent residence under the same.
Increasing Demand for the AIPP last year made IRCC increase its annual target of new admissions to Canada through the pilot by 500 spaces.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, asserted that extending the pilot will give the Canadian Government and the Atlantic Provinces more time to experiment with different approaches and to evaluate the AIPP’s medium and long-term impacts on the region.
IRCC also introduced a number of strategic program changes to the AIPP, which include:
- International graduates will now have 24 months post-graduation to apply for the AIPP, which will increase the number of eligible international graduates that can participate in pilot and give them the sufficient time to complete the PR application process.
- Employers in the health-care sector will be able to hire internationally trained nurses to work as continuing care and home care support workers to fill job vacancies.
- The Atlantic Provinces will have new authorities to focus on in-demand labour market needs that will lead to better oversight of the pilot along with giving provinces greater ability to manage designated employers.
- Beginning May 1, 2019, IRCC will require that applicants fulfill the language, education and work experience requirements of the AIPP prior to being approved for a work permit.
A major advantage of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIPP) is that designated employers are not required to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment for jobs endorsed under the pilot program.
To be eligible under AIPP, foreign workers need to have a full-time job offer from a designated employer and hold a minimum one year of full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid work experience in an occupation designated Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or Skill Level B under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).