CILA welcomes IRCC’s Atlantic Immigration Program announcement


The Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association (CILA) welcomes IRCC’s recent announcement on the forthcoming Atlantic Immigration Program.

On December 17, 2021, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser was joined by other leaders from Atlantic Canada to confirm that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is making the Atlantic Immigration Pilot a permanent program on January 1.

The AIP has been an overwhelming success and key to supporting population, labour force, and economic growth in the Atlantic region.

Since 2017, the AIP has led to over 10,000 permanent residents landing in Atlantic Canada, and has fostered stronger labour market attachment as well as retention.

A hallmark of the AIP’s success has been collaboration. IRCC, in conjunction with provincial and municipal governments, employers, immigrant-serving organizations, lawyers, and other key stakeholders have worked together in pursuit of the common goal to attract, settle, integrate, and retain more newcomers to the region.

The AIP and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are contributing to the highest newcomer levels in the region’s history. As a result, Nova Scotia recently surpassed a population of one million people, and is now eyeing a goal of two million people by 2060.

New Brunswick is enjoying much higher levels of immigrant attraction and retention as it continues to pursue its population growth strategy.

PEI continues to enjoy the highest immigration rate per capita in Canada.

Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador is poised to exceed its AIP allocation for the first time this year.

CILA wishes to congratulate all involved stakeholders for the AIP’s success and draw on a few important lessons. First, the AIP is yet another example of what Canada’s immigration system is capable of when various stakeholders come together to pursue a common goal. Second, the AIP once again underscores the importance of providing smaller jurisdictions with greater flexibility to attract immigrants through dedicated programs. CILA hopes that the lessons learned from the AIP can help to broaden the evidence-base in support of the development of future programs aimed at promoting regionalization, such as the proposed Municipal Nominee Program.

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