Federal and provincial political leaders in Canada meeting in Newfoundland have said that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) is working. More than 200 candidates have been endorsed to apply for Canadian permanent residence since the program opened to receive applications in March.
In addition, more than 400 employers in the region have attained designated status, allowing them to recruit through the AIPP.
These figures came out following a meeting in Steady Brook, Newfoundland, in which officials also discussed new initiatives to drive tourism in Atlantic Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expects to take in 2,000 newcomers, plus their families, through this program each year for its initial three-year duration.
The AIPP is a collaboration between the federal government and the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland and Labrador. It is divided into three streams:
Potential applicants must first obtain a job offer from a designated employer in order to be eligible to apply to this employer-driven program. Each province is responsible for designating employers.
Employers do not have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring through the AIPP. In another feature unique to this program, employers also commit to providing assistance with the settlement process and connect the candidates with a settlement service provider organization.
IRCC has labelled this collaborative style of immigrant settlement and integration “an innovative first” in Canadian immigration policy. It is expected that this requirement will accelerate the settlement of newcomers to the Atlantic provinces and help to improve retention rates, which, at around 60 percent, languish behind the likes of Ontario and Alberta, both of which boast retention rates upwards of 90 percent.
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