A recent study by Statistics Canada has shown that the Atlantic Canada provinces now have high retention rates and this is attributed to the success of Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP). The Atlantic Immigration Program was launched in 2017 as a pilot program. It brought forth a platform where governments, employers, communities as well as settlement agencies could work together to bring more newcomers to the Atlantic Canada provinces. Under the Program, immigrants also receive more support in settling in Canada compared to other immigration programs.
The study by Statistics Canada found that AIP was more successful in retaining newcomers after one year of their arrival compared to Provincial Nominee Programs(PNPs). The study report further showed that the retention rates of Atlantic Provinces rose significantly within the first three years after the AIP was launched. However, in other provinces, retention rates are declining.
The highest retention rate was reported by the province of Nova Scotia. The retention rate of skilled workers and skilled tradespersons in the province was 67.6% in 2019. This is three times higher compared to the retention rate in 2016, which was 21.5%. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador also recorded high retention rates, which has increased by 22% over the past four years.
Atlantic Immigration Program
Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are the four Atlantic Provinces of Canada. The Atlantic Provinces’ population is aging fast so they need young workers who can contribute towards their economic growth. The Atlantic Immigration Program aims to make it easier for immigrants to move to one of the Atlantic provinces of Canada. The Program was launched in 2017 on pilot basis and it became a permanent program in 2022.
The AIP is an employer-driven program, which allows employers in these provinces to hire foreign workers. This program requires the candidates to have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualised settlement plan for themselves and their families. However, it is not mandatory for the designated employers to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). But they must connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider and support them long-term for their integration into the community.
Eligibility requirements for AIP
- Minimum 1560 hours of work experience acquired within the past five years
- Educational qualification required for the occupation, as per the National Occupational Codes (NOC) TEER.
- Language proficiency required for the occupation, as per the National Occupational Codes (NOC) TEER.
At the same time, international graduates applying under the Program must have completed at least 2 years of post-secondary education in a higher education institution in one of the Atlantic Canada provinces. They must also be living in Canada on a study permit or have lived in an Atlantic Canada province for at least 16 months during the past two years before graduation.
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