The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), renamed as the Atlantic Immigration Program, is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The program is designed to allow employers in these provinces to hire foreign skilled workers and international graduates who want to immigrate to Atlantic Canada.
To initiate the process, you must secure a designation from the provincial government of the Atlantic region where the potential employee will be stationed.
After you’ve extended a job offer and it’s been accepted by the candidate, there are a number of procedures that both you and the candidate must execute. If all the conditions are met by you and the applicant, the candidate may then be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide on how the program works for employers:
- Designation: The first step for an employer is to become designated by the Atlantic province(s) where the job is located. This requires meeting certain requirements, such as wanting to hire full-time, non-seasonal international candidates, being in good standing, demonstrating efforts to hire locally, among other things.
- Job Offer: Once designated, the employer can offer a job to a foreign worker. The job offer does not need to be based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and there’s no need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The job offer must be full-time and non-seasonal.
- Endorsement: When the foreign worker accepts the job offer, the employer connects them with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. The employer then needs to get an endorsement from the province (Endorsement Application). Each province has a different application process.
- Permanent Residence Application: After the province endorses the job offer, the foreign worker can apply for permanent residence. This is where the immigrant worker will need to provide documents and fulfill other requirements for immigration.
- Settlement and Retention: The employer plays a crucial role in helping the immigrant worker settle in the province and providing support to ensure their retention.
Hiring through the Atlantic Immigration Program: Understanding the Designation Process Before you are able to extend a job offer to a prospective employee, it is necessary that you achieve designation from the provincial government of the Atlantic province where the candidate will be employed.
Earning “designation” indicates your eligibility to recruit candidates under the auspices of the Atlantic Immigration Program. The responsibility of designating employers rests with the provinces.
In order to gain designation, your organization must fulfill several criteria:
- It should not have violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
- It must be in good standing and adhere to employment standards and legislation related to occupational health and safety.
- The organization should not hire workers for creating a candidate pool that can be subsequently transferred or outsourced to different businesses for staffing purposes.
- It should have been operating continuously under the same management for a minimum of 2 years in one of the Atlantic provinces. Alternatively, evidence of continuous active operation in another location with approval from the province where designation is sought can be shown.
- The organization should collaborate with a settlement service provider organization to assist the candidates in getting settlement services.
- The organization must commit to attending free onboarding training.
- The organization must also agree to undertake free intercultural competency training unless exempted by the province.
The next step is applying to the province to achieve designation. Each province follows its unique application process. There are no charges associated with becoming a designated employer. You can locate the applications for becoming designated on the websites of the respective provinces:
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Employer designation is under the purview of the provinces. Directly contact the provinces for any queries regarding the designation process.
Important points about designation:
- You need to apply only once to get designated by a province. There is no need to apply separately for each candidate.
- You can apply for designation even before identifying a candidate.
- Designation must be sought in the province where the candidate will be employed. If the candidate is expected to work across multiple provinces, you must secure designation in all those provinces.
- Hiring a candidate under the Atlantic Immigration Program is not permissible if they will not be employed in an Atlantic province.
- After you’ve achieved designation, you will receive a Confirmation of Designation from the province.