Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP)

Overview of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) is an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Launched as a pilot in 2017, its primary aim is to attract and retain skilled immigrants in the Atlantic region of Canada to address labor shortages and support population growth and economic development.

Through AIPP, employers in the Atlantic provinces are able to hire foreign nationals for jobs that they haven’t been able to fill locally. One notable feature of this program is that it emphasizes the involvement of both employers and community groups in the immigration process, ensuring newcomers receive the support they need to integrate into their new environment and thus improving their retention in the region.

There are three different immigration programs within AIPP designed to cater to various applicant categories:
The Atlantic International Graduate Program is for recent graduates of recognized educational institutions in the Atlantic provinces. The Atlantic High-Skilled Program focuses on applicants with managerial, professional, or skilled/trades work experience. Lastly, The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program is intended for candidates with job offers requiring a high school education and/or job-specific training.

All three programs under AIPP share the requirement for a job offer from a designated employer in the Atlantic provinces, but they vary in terms of work experience, education, and other eligibility criteria. Further unique to AIPP is that it has a two-step application process, involving both a provincial endorsement and a federal application for permanent residence. In addition, the program takes into account the importance of applicant’s intention to reside in the Atlantic province where the job offer is located, to ensure the program’s long-term success in regional economic development.

Eligibility Criteria for AIPP Applicants

To be eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), applicants must meet various criteria, which primarily align with the program’s objectives of filling job vacancies and promoting settlement in the Atlantic provinces. These criteria are tailored according to the specific stream under the AIPP that the applicant is applying for. Here is a breakdown of the primary eligibility criteria for each of the AIPP streams:

  • Job Offer: Applicants must have a full-time, non-seasonal job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces. The job offer must be at skill type/level 0, A, B, or C under the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • Work Experience: Requirements vary by program.

    • The Atlantic High-Skilled Program requires at least one year of work experience in a managerial, professional, or skilled trade occupation.
    • The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program expects applicants to have at least one year of experience in an occupation that matches their job offer.
    • The Atlantic International Graduate Program does not require applicants to have work experience, but they must have graduated from a publicly funded institution in the Atlantic region within 24 months before the application.
  • Education: Applicants need a high school diploma or higher educational credential. For the Atlantic International Graduate Program, a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade/apprenticeship certification from a recognized institution in the Atlantic provinces is necessary.
  • Language Proficiency: Candidates must prove language proficiency in English or French at a level that meets or exceeds the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for the intermediate-skilled program and CLB 5 for the high-skilled and international graduate programs.
  • Settlement Funds: Unless already working in Canada with a valid work permit, applicants are required to show they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members after immigration.
  • Endorsement: Applicants must be endorsed by an Atlantic province, which involves submitting a settlement plan and getting an endorsement letter from the province.

It is essential for prospective applicants to thoroughly review the specific criteria for the AIPP stream they are interested in. These programs are employer-driven, meaning the job offer and support from the Atlantic employer are critical throughout the application process, further emphasizing the need to establish a connection with the local labor market and community.

Understanding these criteria is a pivotal aspect of the immigration process, and adherence to these requirements increases the likelihood of a successful application under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. The program is an opportunity for newcomers to integrate into Canadian society while contributing to the economic fabric of the Atlantic region. Candidates who demonstrate they can meet these criteria will be well-positioned to move forward in the immigration process.

Application Process for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The application process for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is a structured yet straightforward pathway that involves several key steps. To begin, applicants must receive a job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces. Following this, the candidate should work with their prospective employer to obtain an endorsement from the province. The steps below guide potential immigrants through the AIPP application journey:

  • Obtain a Job Offer: Secure a valid job offer from an employer who is designated to hire through the AIPP. The job offer must be full-time and non-seasonal.
  • Meet Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you meet the specific eligibility criteria for the AIPP stream that you are applying to—whether it is the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, or the Atlantic International Graduate Program.
  • Endorsement Application: Work with your employer to complete a needs assessment and develop a settlement plan, which is tailored to support your integration into the community. The endorsement application is then submitted to the provincial government for approval.
  • Receive Endorsement Letter: If the province approves your application, you will receive an endorsement letter. This is a crucial document that you will need for your permanent residence application.
  • Prepare Documentation: Gather necessary documents, including proofs of work experience, language proficiency, education, and sufficient settlement funds unless you are currently working in Canada.
  • Complete Medical Exam and Background Checks: All applicants must undergo a medical exam and security background checks to ensure they do not pose a risk to Canada’s public health and safety.
  • Apply for Permanent Residence: Once you have an endorsement letter and all documents at hand, you can submit your application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This application includes the endorsement letter and other supporting documents.
  • Wait for a Decision: After submitting your application, you must wait for IRCC to process it. Processing times can vary, so it is crucial to submit your application as early as possible within the validity period of your job offer and endorsement.
  • Prepare for Arrival: Upon approval, make preparations for your migration, such as housing arrangements and familiarizing yourself with local services and resources through your settlement plan.
  • Move to Canada: With your permanent residence approved, you can finally move to the Atlantic province where your job awaits. Your employer and community will be instrumental in helping you settle and integrate into your new life in Canada.

Throughout each step of this journey, effective communication with the designated employer and the provincial authorities is essential to ensure compliance with program requirements and to mitigate any potential roadblocks. As the program is designed to weave new arrivals into the socio-economic fabric of Atlantic Canada, applicants are strongly encouraged to engage actively with the community and local support services, enhancing the prospects of successful settlement.

Remember, although the AIPP offers a streamlined route to permanent residence for skilled immigrants, it remains important to adhere to the prescribed timelines and provide complete and accurate information throughout the process. By following these steps diligently and using the resources available, applicants maximize their chances of making a successful transition to life in Canada under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.