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Employers Quickly Joining the Skilled Immigrant Pilot Program for Atlantic Canada

April 2017, 05
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Skilled Immigrant Pilot Program for Atlantic Canada
Over 50 businesses in Atlantic Provinces of Canada have been formally accepted for a new pilot program by the federal government of Canada. Nearly 200 employers expressed an interest and so far 50 have been designated. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is being developed by the four Atlantic Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Newfoundland and Labrador. The program launched on March 6, 2017 to provide a fast-tracked route to immigration and vital workers for businesses in the territories.

The pilot program will allow employers to find the skills they need using permanent immigration programs. Via the program, eligible candidates who receive an offer of employment from one of the participating provinces, and thus gain an endorsement from the province, will be able to apply and progress their application for permanent residence in their chosen province.

The goal is to process up to 2,000 applications in 2017 for the four provinces. The 2,000 total does not include accompanying family members who will be in addition to these numbers.

The streams which form part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) are the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP), the Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP), and the Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP). Applications will be processed via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the usual way. AIPP streams have unique eligibility criteria and applications are likely to be processed faster to meet the aim of getting employees to businesses in need as soon as possible. Processing times are expected to be around six months and the program is not part of, but has been compared to, the federal Express Entry scheme for skilled workers.

Under the AIPP employers will not be required to have the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for their qualifying jobs. Variations to the scheme exist between the four Atlantic Provinces. Those employers who need to hire a worker quickly are able to apply for a temporary work permit for the prospective employee to enter Canada with their family and work. A permanent residence application would need to be submitted by the new employee within 90 days of arriving in Canada. 

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