Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Backgrounder

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which was announced in July 2016, is a key initiative under the Atlantic Growth Strategy. It is an innovative approach to respond to regional labour market needs and increase newcomer retention in the Atlantic region.

A distinguishing feature of the pilot will be the increased role of the employer, in partnership with federal and provincial immigrant settlement service provider organizations, in the settlement and retention of newcomer employees and their families.

There are three different programs under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. Based on their work experience, education and job offer, applicants will apply under one of the following:

  • Atlantic Intermediate Skilled Program
  • Atlantic High-Skilled Program
  • Atlantic International Graduate Program

Permanent resident applications are now being accepted under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. A total of 2,000 applications are expected to be processed in the first year of the Pilot.

How It Works

Designation Stage

Designation is the first step for an employer interested in participating in the Pilot. Provinces are responsible for designating employers to take part in the Pilot. Employers should submit Employer Designation Application forms to the province where the business is located.

In addition to guaranteeing full-time employment for the principal applicant, employers must commit to four settlement-related obligations:

  1. partner with a federally-and/or-provincially-funded immigration settlement service provider organization;
  2. demonstrate a welcoming workplace;
  3. ensure each principal applicant and their family members receive a needs assessment and individualized settlement plan from a settlement service provider organization; and
  4. support newcomers’ access to settlement services.

The Atlantic provinces started designating employers to participate on January 27, 2017.

Endorsement Stage

Designated employers who have identified a candidate able to fill an existing vacancy are required to complete an Endorsement Application for each candidate. Endorsement is required before a candidate can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The endorsement application includes the job offer and settlement plan for the candidate and their family.

As part of the endorsement, the employer connects the candidate to a designated immigrant settlement service provider organization to complete the pre-endorsement needs assessment and settlement plan for the candidate and their family. The employer must also commit to support specific settlement needs of the candidate and their families once they arrive in Atlantic Canada.

Employers can visit the websites below for information on how to obtain and complete an endorsement application under the Pilot.

New Brunswick: www.welcomenb.ca

Nova Scotia: www.novascotiaimmigration.com/atlantic-immigration-pilot

Prince Edward Island: www.immigratepei.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador: www.nlimmigration.ca

Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs

To address each province’s unique labour market and skill level needs, three permanent residence programs were designed, each with flexible selection criteria: high-skilled workers; intermediate-skilled workers and international graduates. Candidates apply for the program that corresponds to their individual work experience. Broadly, eligibility criteria include:

  • Basic language proficiency
  • Equivalent of Canadian high-school education for high- and intermediate-skilled categories; or, two-year diploma from Atlantic institution for international graduates
  • One-year work experience related to the job offer for high- and intermediate-skilled categories; no work experience is required for international graduates
  • Full-time, non-seasonal job offer
  • Individualized settlement plan for each newcomer employee and family member based on a needs assessment

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