AIPP does not require work experience for Atlantic graduates and has a lower standard for language skills
Posted on - Jan 30, 2018

By Matthew Morawski

Matthew Morawski

Do not give up on your goal of immigrating to Canada just because you do not score enough points to obtain an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Express Entry program. There are still many options available to successfully immigrate to Canada. One great option is to move to Canada’s Atlantic coast by accessing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP).

The AIPP is a 3-year program designed to bring new immigrants to Canada’s four Maritime Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. There is a great deal of opportunity with the AIPP as Canada wants to add 7,000 Canadian permanent residents to Atlantic Canada through this program between 2017-2020. To ensure the success for such growth, the AIPP includes many advantages as compared to Canada’s Express Entry program.

Advantage #1: AIPP allows lower skilled jobs

Express Entry requires previous work experience or a job offer in highly skilled work for managers, professionals requiring a university degree, or technical jobs that usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship. Many newcomers do not qualify under Express Entry because their work experience or job offer does not meet this high skilled work standard.

The first advantage of the AIPP program is that it allows for a job offer from a designated employer to be from a lower skill level and which usually calls for high school and/or job-specific training only (eg. butcher, long-haul truck driver, food and beverage server). The AIPP program opens up immigration opportunities to newcomers working in lower skilled jobs who were previously not qualified for Canadian immigration.

Advantage #2: AIPP does not require work experience for Atlantic graduates

The need for previous work experience is a large barrier for international graduates looking to obtain permanent residency. This is because many international students looking for their first job struggle to secure relevant work experience in a management, professional, or technical job.

The AIPP provides a big advantage for students who finish a 2-year school program in a publicly funded institution in Atlantic Canada as they do not need any work experience to qualify under AIPP’s international graduate program for permanent residency.

Advantage #3: AIPP has a lower language requirement

The Express Entry language requirements are often difficult for newcomers to achieve:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program requires a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for all four language abilities;
  • the Canadian Experience Class requires a minimum of CLB 5 for all four language abilities for technical jobs; and
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program requires a CLB 5 for speaking and listening.

The AIPP opens up permanent residency to prospective newcomers who are still learning Canada’s official languages as it requires only basic language requirements of CLB 4 for all of the language abilities of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Advantage #4: AIPP helps newcomers settle in Atlantic Canada

Finally, the AIPP helps newcomers succeed in Atlantic Canada by creating a unique plan for each of them. In the AIPP, the employer connects the candidate with a designated settlement provider organization to complete a needs assessment for the applicant. The employer helps the newcomer and their family to create and achieve their settlement plan. This plan helps newcomers settle and adjust to a new life in Canada. The plan usually includes:

  • referrals to community resources;
  • assistance with finding housing;
  • assistance with transportation;
  • assistance with obtaining essential public services such as health cards, child tax benefits, and obtaining social insurance numbers;
  • assistance in registering in schools for children;
  • language training;
  • information and orientation to life in Atlantic Canada;
  • connecting newcomers to their community.

This feature symbolizes AIPP’s focus on each newcomer to successfully settle and stay permanently in Atlantic Canada.

If you would like to become a permanent resident in Canada but lack the points to get an ITA through Express Entry it is worth looking to the AIPP with your Canadian immigration lawyer. Securing a job or attending school in Atlantic Canada may be the best strategy to achieve your goal in becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

Matthew Morawski is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. If you would like to learn more about immigrating to Canada, bringing a family member to Canada, or becoming a permanent resident please email Matthew at or call him at 604-689-5444.

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