Atlantic Canada pilot programme off to positive start

A pilot program to attract more skilled immigrants to Atlantic Canada and retain them is gaining significant interest from employers in the region.

To date, almost 200 employers have expressed interest in the programme, with over 50 being formally designated. Under the pilot, employers play a key role, with responsibility to help with the recruitment of immigrants and their successful integration into the community.

Provinces will be responsible for designating employers to participate in the pilot, and in endorsing applicants who can apply for permanent residency. Provinces will also have an enhanced coordination role in facilitating connections between employers, settlement service providers and other government services.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot was developed in collaboration with the four Atlantic Canada provinces. Its aim is to help address the pressing labour market needs of the Atlantic region by giving businesses that need skilled workers the ability to fill job vacancies quickly using permanent immigration programs.

“I’m pleased to say we are off to a good start,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). “Employers have been keen to get involved and provinces have started to receive applications from employers who wish to participate in the pilot. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners – including provincial governments, employers and settlement service provider organizations – as we move forward with this dynamic component of Canada’s Atlantic Growth Strategy.”

IRCC is now accepting permanent residence applications for three programs under the pilot: the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program; the Atlantic High-Skilled Program; and the Atlantic International Graduate Program, aimed at international students.

Eligible skilled immigrants and international graduate students with a job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic Canada provinces, and an endorsement from that province, can now apply for permanent residence.

Up to 2,000 applications will be processed in 2017 for principal applicants and accompanying family members.

Article published 4th April 2017