December 17, 2021—Ottawa—Immigration is vital to the future of communities across the country, and nowhere more so than Atlantic Canada. Over the past few years, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has brought and retained thousands of newcomers to the region. These new Canadians have helped communities thrive, businesses prosper and the region’s population grows.
Building on the success of the pilot, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of the Atlantic Immigration Program. This new permanent program will officially open on January 1, 2022, helping the Atlantic provinces attract the skilled newcomers they need to address economic and demographic challenges, such as the labour shortage in the region.
Originally launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has now brought over 10,000 new permanent residents to Atlantic Canada. Participating employers have made over 9,800 job offers in key sectors, including health care, accommodations, food services and manufacturing. Most significantly, over 90% of applicants were still living in the region after 1 year; a much higher retention rate than other programs.
The permanent program retains the 3 features that made the pilot such a success: a focus on employers, enhanced settlement support and a collaborative approach across all Atlantic provinces. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Atlantic provinces worked closely together to design the permanent program based on lessons learned and recommendations from the pilot evaluation. The changes include clarifying roles between partners, increasing employer support through training and strengthening program requirements to ensure newcomers can successfully establish themselves in the region.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is working closely with employers and provincial governments to ensure a smooth transition between the pilot and the permanent program. Candidates with a valid endorsement can begin submitting applications for permanent residence under the new program on March 6, 2022.