NEW ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM

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NEW ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM

NEW ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM

NEW ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced details about the new Atlantic Immigration Pilot. This is a new federal stream of Canadian immigration designed to ensure the long-term economic success of the Atlantic region of Canada.

This exciting new Canadian immigration pathway will accept up to 2,000 applications, including principal applicants and their families, in 2017. The program isn’t open yet – IRCC will begin accepting applications as of March 2017 – but now we know some of the details about the new programs under the Pilot.

THREE NEW PROGRAMS

There are three new employer-driven permanent residence immigration programs under the pilot. Two programs are for skilled workers:

  • Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program (AISP)
  • Atlantic High-skilled Program (AHSP)

The third is for international graduates:

  • Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)

To apply to any of these programs, you need a job offer from a designated employer in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI), or Newfoundland and Labrador. The type of job offer varies depending on the program, though.

TYPE OF JOB OFFER NEEDED FOR EACH PROGRAM

Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program (AISP):

  • Full time (30 hours/week)
  • Indeterminate
  • In an occupation classified as NOC 0, A, B, or C

Atlantic High-skilled Program (AHSP):

  • Full time (30 hours/week)
  • Minimum one-year contract
  • In an occupation classified as NOC 0, A, or B

Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP):

  • Full time (30 hours/week)
  • Minimum one-year contract
  • In an occupation classified as NOC 0, A, B, or C

EMPLOYER-DRIVEN

Employers play a unique role in programs under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. Like many other Canadian immigration programs, applicants need a job offer from an employer in order to apply for the program. However, unlike any other Canadian immigration program, the employer will be required to work with settlement service organizations to help newcomers to Canada integrate into their new communities.

Every principal applicant who immigrates to Canada under the Pilot will not only already have a job, they will also have a personalized settlement plan for themselves and their family.

For now, the provinces are in the process of accepting applications for designation from employers in the region.

PROGRAM ADVANTAGES

There are several unique advantages to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, compared to other Canadian immigration programs:

LMIA EXEMPT JOB OFFERS

One of the biggest advantages is that job offers under the Pilot do not require an LMIA.

Q: What is an LMIA?

A: LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. It’s a document that employers have to get that proves they tried and failed to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position they are now offering to a foreign national. Getting an LMIA takes both time and money and limits the types of jobs that employers can offer.

Since job offers under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot are LMIA exempt, there is a lot more flexibility in the types of jobs designated employers can offer. Each of the participating provinces also operates Provincial Nominee Programs with streams for foreign nationals with a job offer from a local employer, but most of those require an LMIA.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The federal government has indicated that they are interested in making it easier for international students to transition to the permanent residence following their studies. Unlike most pathways to permanent residence for students, the Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) does not require any work experience. Interested candidates who have graduated from an eligible school and have a valid job offer can apply for permanent residence right away when they graduate.

SEMI-SKILLED WORKERS

Since the introduction of the Express Entry system, there hasn’t really been a federal economic pathway for people with experience in an occupation classified as National Occupational Classification (NOC) C. These types of occupations typically require secondary school education or specialized occupational training. The Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program (AISP) provides a potential pathway to permanent residence for people with experience in NOC C occupations.

REDUCED LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

Programs under the Pilot require at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. That’s a much lower requirement compared to Express Entry (CLB 7), which means that people who might not be eligible for other programs because of their language ability might find a pathway to permanent residence in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. That said, you need a valid job offer to be eligible for the Pilot. Improving your English or French language skills beyond CLB 4 could make you more attractive to potential Canadian employers.

HOW TO APPLY

This program will only begin to accept applications in March 2017, so you can’t apply yet.

For now, the provinces are creating a database of designated employers who will be able to offer jobs under these programs. Since the program was just launched last week, details about whether and how information about designated employers will be made available to eligible candidates are unclear.

In the meantime, you can:

Get your ECA. Unless you have Canadian educational credentials, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This document compares your degree to its Canadian equivalent.

Take a language test. The IELTS in English or the TEF in French. You’ll need language test results that demonstrate you have at least CLB 4.

Work on your resume. At the end of the day, the deciding factor for this program is whether you have a job offer from a Canadian employer. Polishing your resume and cover letter can help increase your chances of receiving a job offer.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about how the application process for these programs will work.

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