Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program was launched in 2017 by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada in cooperation with the Atlantic Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. The program was designed in response to the need of boosting the economies of the Atlantic Canada region. Two biggest Canadian provinces, Ontario and Quebec, attract more immigrants and qualified specialists than any other. In the long run, such disproportion threatens equal distribution of goods and creates gaps in the wellbeing of the inhabitants of different provinces.
Earlier, the newcomers to Atlantic Canada fled to Ontario or Quebec after obtaining their permanent residency, looking for more job opportunities and higher salaries. For that reason, the Atlantic Pilot focuses on local employers, helping them to find specialist overseas. If a newcomer has a secured job position, a chance for their migration outside of Atlantic Canada is significantly reduced. New immigrants can establish deeper ties with their new home, and in that way contribute to the local economy. To reach the higher success rate of the program, the Federal government excluded the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the requirements for Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
In 2017, the program aimed for up to 2,000 additional primary immigrant applicants and their families. In July 2018, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced that the Government decided to increase the number of skilled immigrants and their family members who can obtain permanent residence through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program this year by 500, bringing the 2018 allotment to 2,500. Moreover, the Federal Government confirmed that the program would continue to increase, and by 2020 Atlantic Pilot will reach 4,000 candidates per year.
This increase indicates the optimistic reaction of the government to the Pilot, however Immigration experts state that it is too early to call the Atlantic Pilot a complete success. Nevertheless, it is definitely not a fail.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program consists of three streams:
- Atlantic Intermediate Skilled Program (AISP)
- Atlantic High Skilled Program (AHSP)
- Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)