Atlantic Immigration Program
The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is an initiative by Canada to attract skilled foreign workers and international graduates to its four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The program facilitates local employers in hiring qualified candidates for job positions they’ve been unable to fill locally. It aims at supporting population growth, developing a skilled workforce, and enhancing employment rates in these regions. The program is employer-driven, requiring participants to have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan
Atlantic Immigration Program
1. Employer Requirements:
- Employers must become designated under the AIP to make legitimate job offers. This bypasses the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
2. Work Experience:
- Candidates must have worked a minimum of 1,560 hours in the past five years, equating to 30 hours weekly for one year.
- Relevant occupations must fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
3. International Graduates:
- International graduates are exempt from work experience requirements if they:
- Hold a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade/apprenticeship credential that demanded at least two years of studies from a recognized Atlantic province institution.
- Were full-time students throughout their academic journey.
- Resided in one of the four Atlantic provinces for a minimum of 16 months.
4. Educational Requirements:
- For job offers in NOC TEER 0 or 1: Minimum of a one-year Canadian post-secondary credential or its international equivalent.
- For job offers in NOC TEER 2, 3, or 4: A Canadian high school diploma or its international counterpart.
5. Language Proficiency:
- NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3: Level 5 proficiency in English or French.
- NOC TEER 4: Level 4 proficiency in English or French.
6. Settlement Funds:
Candidates must have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family upon arrival in Canada. The necessary amount varies based on family size:
- 1 member: $3,439
- 2 members: $4,281
- 3 members: $5,263
- 4 members: $6,391
- 5 members: $7,248
- 6 members: $8,175
- 7 members: $9,101
- Additional member: $926 each
7. Optional Temporary Work Permit:
- Some candidates are eligible for a temporary work permit, enabling them to commence work while their permanent residency application is under review.
8. Settlement Plan:
- All AIP candidates must draft a Settlement Plan post-receiving a job offer. This plan aims to smoothen the transition to Canada, spotlighting resources tailored to the candidate and their family’s needs. The plan is crafted in collaboration with a settlement service provider, available both domestically and internationally.
9. Provincial Endorsement:
- Every job offer extended via the AIP necessitates provincial endorsement. Post creation of the Settlement Plan, employers manage the endorsement application. Only after obtaining a Certificate of Endorsement should candidates proceed with their permanent residence application.
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Transition to a Permanent Program
The metamorphosis of the AIP from the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program to a permanent structure on January 1, 2022, marks a significant milestone. Since March 6, 2022, the AIP has opened its doors to accept permanent residence applications, pledging a minimum of 6,000 admission spaces annually. This transformation underscores the program’s commitment to addressing the regional labor market needs and bolstering newcomer retention in the Atlantic sphere.
To navigate the AIP pathway, one must first meet the eligibility requisites. The cornerstone of eligibility hinges on possessing qualifying work experience, albeit this requirement is waived for international students graduating from a recognized post-secondary institution nestled in Atlantic Canada. Additionally, candidates are expected to satisfy the educational and language criteria and exhibit proof of settlement funds unless they are already ingrained in the Canadian workforce with a valid work permit.
At the core of the AIP is an employer-centric philosophy, empowering local employers to scout, recruit, and retain a global cadre of talent. The journey commences when employers identify candidates aligning with their employment prerequisites and the program’s benchmarks. Upon extending a job offer and securing acceptance from the candidate, employers then orchestrate a rendezvous with designated settlement service providers to conduct a needs assessment and formulate a settlement plan, laying the foundation for a seamless transition of newcomers into the Canadian social and economic fabric.
Mandatory Training for Employers
A unique facet of the AIP is the obligatory training imposed on employers, aimed at fostering a supportive ecosystem for the integration of newcomer employees. Employers are mandated to complete two seminal training courses: Onboarding Training and Intercultural Competency Training, each designed to equip employers with the necessary knowledge and tools to aid the settlement and integration of their new hires.
Streamlining the Program: One Program Stream
Veering away from the three separate program streams of the Pilot, the AIP introduces a singular program stream known as the “Atlantic Immigration Class.” This streamlined approach is engineered to simplify the program, rendering it more comprehensible to Canadians, employers, and candidates alike.
Modified Work Experience Criteria
In a bid to foster inclusivity, the AIP has recalibrated the work experience requisites, making it less restrictive especially for candidates engaged in certain health care occupations. This amendment is accompanied by an expanded work experience eligibility period, thereby opening the doors wider for a diverse pool of candidates.
Measuring Success: Impact and Retention
Since its embryonic stage in 2017, the AIP has been a harbinger of hope and opportunity for over 10,000 new permanent residents in Atlantic Canada. The resonance of success is echoed in the over 9,800 job offers extended across various sectors like healthcare, accommodations, food services, and manufacturing. A remarkable 90% retention rate post one year of employment underpins the program’s effectiveness and the harmonious employer-employee relationships it fosters.
Economic Revival and Growth
The AIP is more than just a migration program; it’s a catalyst for economic rejuvenation and growth in the Atlantic provinces. By channeling skilled newcomers into key sectors, the program is fueling the economic recovery and driving further growth in the region, fortifying the provinces against the economic tribulations of the future.
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