Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP)

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Launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is a part of the joint initiative between the Canadian federal government and Atlantic provinces to attract skilled immigrants to smaller communities. The AIPP Canada attracts skilled workers to the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island

entrepreneur in Canada
courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio

In 2018, the AIPP aimed to receive 2500 new immigrants in the Atlantic provinces, with agendas to maximize its targets to 4000 by 2020. Initially, the AIPP was launched as a three-year pilot program but later, it was extended until December 2021.

Applying for immigration under AIPP Canada can prove trickier than other programs. This program is focused on skilled workers and foreign nationals who can contribute to the local economy of the Atlantic provinces. It is crucial to take your time while building your application and start sooner so you can meet the eligibility criterion adequately. 

This article will walk you through a detailed overview of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, its requirements, the AIPP processing time, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about AIPP Canada:

What is the AIPP Canada?

AIPP Canada is a pilot project aimed at welcoming well-educated, skilled, and experienced immigrants to expand the labor population in a region that has always struggled to retain locals and attract newcomers. Locals and immigrants are attracted to metropolises, such as Toronto and Ontario, and the AIPP was launched to invite skilled workers to settle across these smaller communities. 

As per the AIPP requirements, applicants who receive a job offer from an approved employer can relocate to any one of the states in the Atlantic Immigration pilot program, as long as the meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants will also need endorsement from the province before they submit their application to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Applicants who receive a referral letter from one of the Atlantic provinces and a job offer from an approved employer can be eligible to apply for a year-long Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is exempt from an employer-focused work permit. 

The work permit of AIPP Canada also includes language proficiency assessment, education credentials and skills, and work experience. 

How to apply for the AIPP Canada?

Applicants require an official job offer from a designated employer to qualify for the Atlantic Immigration pilot program. As per the regulations, the applicant requires a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to land a job offer in Canada that is valid for immigration applications. 

The AIPP requirements do not include an LMIA, rather, the applicant must receive a job offer from a designated employer. Applicants will be pleased to know that the Atlantic Canada immigration does not evaluate applications on a points-based system. Instead, it operates on a first come first-served basis. 

The AIPP offers two programs for skilled workers, and one program aimed to welcome international student graduates. 

Let us take a closer look at the programs. 

Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)

To qualify for the AHSP, applicants require the following experience: 

The applicant must have at least one year of full-time or part-time equivalent work experience within the last three years, in their main profession, as enshrined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). 

Management jobs required a skill level 0, professionals jobs require skill level A, and technical jobs and skill-based trades require skill level B. Applicants need to perform the actions in the lead statement of the NOC, alongside performing a significant number of the main duties in the NOC, alongside all the essential duties. 

The experience must be paid work, as unpaid internships and volunteer positions do not count. The applicant could have worked abroad or in Canada as a temporary resident. The applicant must have a high-school diploma, post-secondary degree, or certificate, and at least a level 4 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)

To qualify for the AISP, the applicant must have worked for at least 1560 hours in the last three years. The hours must be in one profession, but they can be with different companies and employers. 

Applicants can calculate their work hours with this simple method: 

You can count all the hours you have worked in full-time and part-time jobs. These must be paid working hours as volunteering and unpaid internships do not count. If you are self-employed, you do not have to count your hours. Your working hours can be overseas or within Canada. 

As per the AIPP requirements, the work experience is subjected to the following conditions:

  • For an NOC skill level C, the applicant must have a secondary or high school education and training that is specific to their job. 
  • Applicants can also qualify for the AISP with work experience or a higher skill level. For instance, a registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse ranks at an NOC skill level A, while a licensed practical nurse ranks at an NOC skill level B. For a job offer to work as a home support nurse, patient services associate or a nurse’s aide, the applicant requires an NOC skill level C.
Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)

Applicants can qualify for the AIGP if they meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be living in an Atlantic province for a period of at least 16 months in the 2 years before obtaining their academic credentials, degree, or diploma. 
  • The candidate must meet the education AIPP requirements.
  • The candidate must sit for a language test for English or French.
  • The applicants must have sufficient money to support themselves and their family in Canada.

The AIGP does not require any work experience from the applicant. Applicants can now apply for the AIGP after 24 months of receiving their education credentials.

Who can apply for the AIPP Canada?

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program offers immigration services to connect two stakeholders:

  • Government approved employers to hire skilled foreign nationals
  • Foreign nationals who seek become residents of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. 

The AIPP Canada has set different requirements for each of these stakeholders. 

Requirements for Foreign Nationals 

Foreign nationals who are interested in relocating to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, or the Prince Edward Island can apply for immigration under the Atlantic Canada immigration program, provided they meet the AIPP requirements. 

The Atlantic Program Canada requires a foreign nation to have an official job offer from an approved employer before processing the application. 

The foreign applicant must meet the AIPP requirements for one of the programs, and these requirements tend to vary based on the streams. 

A man works in a park in Ontario

A candidate can select any one of the following three streams of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program:

  • High-Skilled Workers Stream
  • Intermediate-Skilled Workers Stream
  • International Graduates Stream

There are numerous online job fairs and overseas events for foreign nationals seek job offers to immigrate to Canada’s Atlantic provinces. New Brunswick regularly holds overseas events to attract skilled foreign nationals. Foreign applicants are strongly advised to attend these events to land a lucrative job, so they are eligible for immigration under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

Aside from the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, the Atlantic provinces also invite foreign nationals to apply for their Provincial Nominee Programs. This program is aimed at nominating applicants residing in the province or from overseas to award permanent residence. The eligibility criteria for each program varies and is subject to local regulations. 

These programs include: 

  • Nova Scotia Nominee Program
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program
  • Prince Edward Islands Provincial Nominee Program

Frequently Asked Questions about AIPP Canada 

How long does it take to get PR through AIPP?

It takes around six months for eligible applicants to get a permanent residency through the AIPP. The IRCC aims to process 80% of the application with an AIPP processing time of six months, which is similar to the processing time of the Express Entry System. However, it is crucial to note that AIPP applications are processed in an entirely different and separate manner from Express Entry applications. 

What is the difference between AIPP and express entry?

Express Entry is a much broader immigration program that deals with the entire country, while the AIPP is focused solely on replenishing the labor pool of the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Prince Edward Island. Unlike the Express Entry System, the AIPP Canada is not a point-based system and has a different eligibility criterion. 

Is LMIA required for AIPP?

While the LMIA is a usual requirement for applicants seeking a job offer from a Canada-based employer, it is not required for the AIPP. 

Does AIPP require job offer?

As per the AIPP requirements, the applicant must have a job offer from a government designed employer based in the Atlantic provinces before applying for immigration. It is advisable to check out the list of designated employers for each province and apply for jobs accordingly. Applicants who are foreign nationals are advised to identify job fairs and events sponsored by the Atlantic provinces in their country or region to land lucrative job opportunities. 

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