The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) which was launched in 2017 in response to the labour market shortage in the Atlantic region of Canada has become a permanent immigration pathway.
AIPP is a fast-track immigration program that allows employers in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrado, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to hire foreigners and potentially process permanent residency for them.
Canada’s aging population is causing labour shortages due to the massive retirement of most of the workforce and the Atlantic provinces are the hardest hit. Although the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was created in 1998 to address regional labour market needs in each province, the Atlantic provinces still struggled to retain immigrants and meet up with their labour demands. This is why AIPP was launched as a pilot and the success of the program has made Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) turn the program into a permanent pathway to immigration.
Since its inception, over 10,000 foreigners have immigrated to the four Atlantic provinces, filling over 9,800 jobs in key sectors through participating employers. Early signs of success included immigrants moving to the Atlantic provinces with job offers and settlement plans which have addressed the reasons many immigrants tend to leave the region (lack of satisfying employment). Studies indicated that over 90% of the newcomers from the AIPP were still living in Atlantic Canada after one year of migrating to the province; which is much higher than other immigration programs in the region.
IRCC announced that AIPP has become a permanent immigration program and officially kicks off January 1, 2022 and will now be called Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP). The permanent program will begin accepting applications on March 6, 2022. Sean Fraser, Immigration Minister projects that 6,000 newcomers will migrate to Atlantic Canada annually through this program.
The Pilot program closed on December 31, 2021, and provincial endorsement will no longer be issued, however, those with valid provincial certificate of endorsement under the Pilot program can still apply for permanent residency until March 5, 2022.