The Government of Canada is increasing the number of skilled immigrants and their family members who can obtain permanent residence through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program this year by 500, bringing the 2018 allotment to 2,500.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced the increase Tuesday after a meeting with the premiers of Canada’s four Atlantic Provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Hussen said the increase reflects the “significant use [of] and interest in” the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) from businesses in the four provinces in 2018.
“The provinces have told us that they need more space to ensure that they have the people that they need to continue to grow their businesses right here in Atlantic Canada,” Hussen told reporters Tuesday.
As of May 31, 2018, Hussen said there were 1,000 employers designated under the one-year-old AIPP, which allows approved employers to recruit skilled foreign workers to fill labour force gaps and fast-track them and their families for permanent residence.
Hussen said the 1,000 employers were double the number designated under the AIPP in 2017 and that they had already issued 2,000 job offers to eligible skilled immigrants and international graduates of universities in the Atlantic Canada region in 2018.
This is a significant improvement over 2017, the project’s inaugural year when only 250 job offers were issued.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it has received 900 applications for permanent residence through the AIPP since its introduction. Admissions targets through the AIPP are set at 1,000 for 2018, 2,000 for 2019 and 4,000 for 2020.
A key advantage of the AIPP is that designated employers do not have to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment for jobs endorsed under the pilot program.
In order to be eligible, foreign workers must have a full-time job offer from a designated employer and possess at least one year of full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid work experience in an occupation designated Skill Type O, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).