The recently-launched Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has attracted interest from employers in its early stages, the government of Canada has announced. In a meeting between the federal Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, and Donald Arseneault, New Brunswick Minister for Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, it was revealed that as of March 31, 2017, more than 50 employers have been formally designated to recruit immigrants within the scope of the AIPP.
The AIPP, introduced earlier this month, is a three-year pilot program that offers workers and international graduates a way to immigrate to Canada's Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that up to 2,000 applications through the three streams of this program will be processed in 2017. The three streams included in the AIPP are:
- The Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)
- The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)
- The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)
All three streams of the AIPP require the applicant to obtain a job offer from an employer designated by the province to which they intend to immigrate. Each province is responsible for the designation of employers within that province. Under the AIPP, designated employers do not have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to recruit a foreign national.
In a press release following the meeting between Hussen and Arseneault, it was also stated that "Provinces will also have an enhanced coordination role in facilitating connections between employers, settlement service providers and other government services," although no further details were provided.
According to IRCC, almost 200 employers have expressed their interest in becoming designated for the program. “I’m pleased to say we are off to a good start," stated Hussen. "Employers have been keen to get involved and provinces have started to receive applications from employers who wish to participate in the pilot."