Due to an aging population and low immigration rates, four Atlantic Provinces have met with the Canada’s minister of Immigration to establish a new immigration pilot program for the region. The federal and provincial government alike recognize that these provinces need more newcomers who can establish themselves in the labour market and local communities. The 4 Provinces are Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
Immigrants will always go to where they have families or friends or anywhere they deem to be popular like Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta. The onus for this program, therefore is to prove to prospective immigrants that these cities are attractive enough to bring them in and keep them.
This pilot program forms part of an overall Atlantic Growth Strategy that will focus on the following five priority areas:
- skilled workforce and immigration;
- clean growth and climate change;
- trade and investment; and
In early March 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada began accepting permanent resident applications targeting international students, intermediate-skilled workers and high-skilled workers.
How will the AIPP work?
AIPP’s aim is to welcome 2,000 newcomers and their families to the Atlantic region of Eastern Canada annually from 2017 to 2019, of which up to 442 applications have been allocated to Newfoundland and Labrador.
As this is an employer driven program, applicants should have a job offer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family. To participate, 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.
Culled from the Canada Visa website the steps are as below;
Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, that employer will need to first offer them a job. Employers do not need to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under this program.
Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect the candidate 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 new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.
Employers that need to fill a job vacancy quickly will have access to a temporary work permit, so that the candidate and his or her family can come to Canada as soon as possible. In order to obtain this work permit, candidates 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.
Is it worth considering?
My view is yes, depending on your circumstances obviously. I imagine that if you are a graduate or a skilled person of sorts and you are still struggling to irk out a living in your home country then this is for you. Canada has a long list of skills that they seek from barbers to aeronautical engineers so you may fit in somewhere in between. These provinces are not the most popular but with this drive for immigrants they will grow and in a few years’ time, the entrance doors will close. Plus if it’s any comfort for my “Naija people”, one of the popular Nollywood actresses just moved to Nova Scotia with her family.
On a serous note, if I wanted to move, Canada is the best bet at the moment in terms of integration, lifestyle, safety, accommodation and more. Obviously there is the cold to contend with but you will be fine. Do hurry the clock is ticking…..
Uloma for Diaspora Chronicles