Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is gaining momentum in its second year and is to attracting and retaining as many international students to Atlantic Canada as possible, said Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Since the pilot commenced in 2017, it has attracted more than 1,800 skilled immigrants and international students who have studied in Atlantic Canada.
“As of May 2018, over 1,000 Canadian employers have been designated to participate in the pilot program and these employers have made over 2,000 job offers to skilled workers and international students,” said Minister Hussen.
This update on the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program — one of several initiatives tied to Canada’s Atlantic Growth Strategy — was shared at a news conference held in the Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island on July 10.
Minister Hussen addressed the important economic and social benefits of retaining international students, especially in the Atlantic Canada region.
International students not only contributed approximately $15.5 billion to Canada’s economy in 2016, but they also make important contributions to schools and communities in the Atlantic region, said Minister Hussen.
Canada’s provincial and federal governments plan to increase the number of international students in Atlantic Canada and retain them through dedicated pathways for Canadian permanent residence.
No work experience required
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot program enables eligible international students, who have graduated from a post-secondary program at a participating educational institution in of the four Atlantic provinces, to apply for Canadian permanent residence with no work experience required before submitting an application.
This is possible under the program’s Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) stream, which appeals to international students, who have graduated from participating educational institutions.
International students interested in immigrating to Atlantic Canada can apply, if they:
- have a degree, diploma or other credential from a publicly-funded institution in an Atlantic province;
- have lived in an Atlantic province for at least 16 months in the 2 years before getting your degree, diploma or credential;
- take a language test to show you can communicate in English or French;
- show they can support themselves and their family when they come to Canada.
Nataliya Tarkhov, an international student currently at New Brunswick Community College, told Canada Study News,
I am considering the Atlantic pilot more than the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The pilot is a good and quick opportunity to get permanent residence in Canada. I am young and single and this is a fast way to stay in Canada permanently.”
Study and Stay work program expansion
Earlier this year, the Government of Canada announced the expansion of Nova Scotia’s Study and Stay, an international student attraction and retention program, to all four Atlantic provinces.
For the 2018 academic year, the work program is expected to help up to 200 international students enter the workforce or support their entrepreneurial initiatives in Atlantic Canada after graduation.
At the news conference Minister Hussen said the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Study and Stay work program are two important ways skilled workers can support the labour market and long-term economic growth in the region.
How Study and Stay works
Study and Stay program coordinators will work with international students by providing them with resources and practices to help them forge professional networks, understand the local job market, and develop the necessary skills to search for meaningful employment after graduating from participating community colleges and universities in the region.
Two key drivers for the work program are:
- the attraction of more international students to Atlantic Canada by demonstrating the region’s commitment to their academic success and integration as contributors to the economic growth of the region; and
- the retention and integration of international students into Atlantic Canada’s workforce and communities by providing services and programs to help international students develop employability skills and overcome obstacles, such as cultural, social and language barriers, that may have limit their ability to find work in Atlantic Canada.
The Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador offer international students with various quality institutions and study program options.
With the climbing success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and the increasing targets allocated to the pilot program, international students looking to settle where they have studied can expect many options for employment and career advancement in the region.
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