ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT - PROGRAMS AND EMPLOYER DESIGNATION

BACKGROUNDER: ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT - PROGRAMS AND EMPLOYER DESIGNATION

January 27, 2017

Context

As the first key initiative under the Atlantic Growth Strategy, three new employer-driven permanent residence immigration programs have been created under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. The goal of the three-year Pilot is to help attract and retain skilled immigrants in Atlantic Canada.

With a shrinking labour force and ageing population, immigration of skilled workers is required to meet pressing labour market needs and to ensure long-term economic growth and continued success for Atlantic Canada.

All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the Pilot will have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for them and their family. A job and settlement support are key to having newcomers succeed and stay in the region.

Starting in early March, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will begin accepting permanent resident applications for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs. In 2017, a total of up to 2000 applications, which include the skilled worker and any family member coming with them, will be accepted for these programs.

How it works

In an innovative first, employers will be required to work with settlement service provider organizations to help newcomers to Canada integrate into their new communities in Atlantic Canada so they stay there long-term and help grow the economy in the region.

Often, economic immigrants that come to Canada don’t necessarily have a job offer or a settlement plan in place before they arrive. Under this Pilot, every principal applicant will come to Atlantic Canada with a job offer and an individualized settlement plan for themself and their family, connecting them to services known to support successful integration.

Once a designated employer finds a skilled immigrant who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, they will need to first offer them a job.

In many cases a Labour Market Impact Assessment is needed for immigration purposes to show that no Canadian worker is available to do the job. To help address the pressing labour market needs of the Atlantic region, employers will not need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment for jobs they offer to skilled workers under these new pilot programs.

After accepting the job, the employer will connect the skilled immigrant with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the newcomer and their family so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.

Starting in March 2017, employers that need to fill an immediate job vacancy will also have access to a temporary work permit so the skilled immigrant and their family can come to Canada right away. To qualify for this temporary work permit, the skilled immigrants will need a valid job offer, a letter from the province and a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.

To help determine the success of the Pilot, ongoing reporting by employers, settlement service provider organizations and provinces to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will be in place. Details on reporting requirements will be available later in 2017.

Employer designation process

The Atlantic provinces are now accepting applications from employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the Pilot. Employers with locations in multiple Atlantic provinces will require separate a designation for each province.

To become designated, employers must meet certain requirements, including a commitment to support the newcomer and their family as they integrate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.

Employers can visit the websites below for information on how to apply to become a designated employer under the Pilot.

  • New Brunswick: www.welcomenb.ca

  • Nova Scotia: http://novascotiaimmigration.com/atlantic-immigration-pilot

  • Prince Edward Island: www.immigratepei.ca

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: www.nlimmigration.ca

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