The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, originally launched in 2017, has proved to be highly successful in attracting more number of qualified immigrants to the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, which are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. So the Canada government has decided to make it a permanent immigration program, announced Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently. The permanent Atlantic Immigration Program will officially open on January 1, 2022. Candidates with a valid endorsement will be able to submit applications for permanent residence under the new program starting from March 6, 2022.
The program is expected to allow Atlantic Canada to welcome more number of skilled workers and thus find effective solutions to their economic and demographic challenges caused by a low population growth rate.
As per the official data, more than 10000 new permanent residents have been admitted to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Program so far. Among them, more than 90% have been living in the same region for more than one year, which indicate a higher retention rate for Atlantic Immigration Program compared to other programs. More than 9800 job offers were made by the participating employers, in key sectors such as healthcare, accommodations, food services and manufacturing.
Reasons for the success of Atlantic Immigration Pilot
According to the news release issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, there are three factors that made the Program a success. They are focus on employers, enhanced settlement support and a collaborative approach across all Atlantic Provinces. The Permanent Program was given shape on the basis of the lessons learned from the Pilot Program as well as the pilot evaluation. The major changes being introduced in the Permanent Program, as against the Pilot Program are clarifying roles between partners, increasing employer support through training and strengthening program requirements to ensure newcomers can successfully establish themselves in the region.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot makes an impact
The evaluation of the AIPP found that the Program has been helping employers to fill labour market needs, especially in technical occupations, skilled trades and intermediate-level occupations. The evaluation found that a large majority of the principal applicants are working and the earnings are comparable with the regional average. The evaluation report further found that a large proportion of the AIP principal applicants are still working for their designated employer and even many of those who have changed their employers, are working in the same province. More importantly, a majority of AIP newcomers continue to live in Atlantic Canada after the first year, meaning the Program has high retention rate.
The news release further said that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was working closely with employers and provincial governments to ensure a smooth transition between the pilot and the permanent program.