The new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), officially launched on March 6, will accept 2,000 new applications in 2017. The program is set to last for an initial period of three years. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process 80 percent of complete applications within six months.
The AIPP was established by the federal immigration department in conjunction with the Atlantic Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland and Labrador. The program is employer-driven: with all applicants needing a job offer in order to meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants also require provincial endorsement before submitting an application to IRCC.
AIPP applications will be processed separately from Express Entry applications. Furthermore, there is no points system under the AIPP and the language ability requirements are less onerous than for Express Entry programs.
Those eligible to apply must intend to reside in a province in the Atlantic region, and meet all of the following pass or fail criteria:
- Provincial endorsement;
- minimum education requirements;
- minimum language proficiency requirements;
- minimum work experience in a qualifying occupation within the 3 years before the date of application including: the employment requirements relevant for the occupation identified in the job offer, as listed in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) description;
- minimum job offer requirements.
The AIPP has two sub-programs for skilled workers: 1. the Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP), and 2. the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP), and one sub-program for international student graduates: 3. the Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP).
The table below shows the summary of the requirements:
|Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)||Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)||Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)|
|Job offer from a designated employer||
• Full time
• NOC 0, A, B or C
|• Full time
• One-year offer
• NOC 0, A or B
• Full time
• One-year offer
• NOC 0, A, B or C
|Skilled work experience||Applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained work experience:
1. for at least one year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), non-continuous, full-time or an equal amount in part-time, within the last three years
2. that was for paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count),
3. in an occupation with the following National Occupational Classification (NOC)
– for high-skilled program – at skill type 0, or skill levels A, or B.
– for intermediate-skilled – at skill level C.
4. where they have carried out the activities listed in the lead statement of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and a substantial number of the main duties, and
5. that was obtained overseas or obtained in Canada. To count, Canadian experience must have been obtained while the foreign national was authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
Work experience does not need to be continuous to qualify, but the period of 12 months of required employment does not include any extended breaks in employment, periods of unemployment, prolonged sickness or parental leave. However, a reasonable period of vacation time will be counted towards meeting the work experience requirement (e.g., a two-week period of paid vacation leave within a given 52-week period in which the applicant was engaged in qualifying work.
Any periods of self-employment will not be included when calculating the period of qualifying work experience.
Work experience acquired during a period of study is allowed, as long as the work hours did not exceed what they were authorized to do.
|No experience required|
|Minimum education requirements
|Applicants must demonstrate they have the following:
1. Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, Or
2. a completed foreign credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by IRCC. [The report must show the foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.] and,
3. the ECA must be less than five years old at the time of the application.
|A degree, diploma, certificate or trade or apprenticeship credential following completion of a post-secondary education program of at least 2 years from a recognized publicly-funded institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador).
The applicant must have lived in either New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador or Prince Edward Island for at least 16 months within the 24-month period before their credential was granted, and had valid or legal temporary resident status.
Eligible educational credentials
Only certain educational credentials are eligible for the AIGP. An educational credential is not eligible if the credentials were obtained in a study or training program where:
1. the study of English or French as a second language was at least half of the program;
2. distance learning was at least half of the program; or
3. where a scholarship or fellowship stipulated that the recipient return to their home country to apply the knowledge and skills gained.
|Language requirements||The applicant must have:
1. language level of four (4) in the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens in French for each of the four language skill areas, and
2. the test results must be less than two years old on the date of application.
|Provincial endorsement||All applicants must have a letter of endorsement|
Work permit issuance
Applicants may be eligible to apply for a one-year work permit (exemption code C18) while their permanent residence application is being processed. This will allow employers to fill immediate job vacancies by providing skilled immigrants and their families with temporary resident status documents before submitting a permanent residence application.
To qualify for this temporary work permit, foreign nationals will need:
- a valid job offer,
- a referral letter from the province, and
- a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of submitting the temporary work permit application.