Canada’s immigration department is now accepting online applications for work permits under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) program.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) started accepting applications for AIP work permits as of today, August 17. Paper applications will be accepted until September 1, 2020.
The AIP offers a pathway to permanent residence for foreign nationals with a job offer in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia. Before applying for permanent immigration, candidates need a work permit to work legally in Canada.
In order to get this work permit, candidates will need:
- a valid job offer from an employer in an Atlantic province;
- a referral letter from the province; and
- a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.
Once all these requirements are met, candidates may then be eligible for a one-year employer-specific work permit. The foreign national’s partner may be eligible for an Open Work Permit for Spouses and Common-Law Partners. Atlantic Canada employers do not need to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment through this program.
Once the candidate has accepted the job offer, the employer is expected to connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. Employers are also supposed to support the long-term integration of newcomers, so they can settle permanently into their new homes.
Foreign nationals must submit their application for the employer-specific work permit online. They are not eligible to apply at a port of entry. After applying for the temporary work permit, foreign nationals must then apply for permanent residence within 90 days.
The AIP offers two programs for foreign workers and one program for international student graduates: the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and the Atlantic International Graduate Program.
Skilled workers need at least one year of prior work experience in an occupation that’s related to the job offer from their Atlantic Canada employer. International student graduates do not need to meet this same requirement, but the job offer should be full-time for at least one year and classified as a skill-level of 0, A, B, or C.
Candidates need a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) language level of 4 in all areas for English and French, and test results cannot be more than two years old. Canada will accept copies of test results for this program.
The AIP is in place until December 31, 2021. Canada created the pilot in 2017 with the intention of admitting over 7,000 immigrants and their families over the pilot’s term. The AIP has been successful in attracting immigrants to the region, and Minister Marco Mendicino said he intends to make it a permanent immigration program in his mandate letter.
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