Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced that the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement will be extended. The agreement, first signed in 2016, describes joint immigration aims and how they will be achieved through federal-provincial cooperation.
“In our efforts to build Canada through immigration, Newfoundland and Labrador is an invaluable ally. I want to salute the leadership of my friend Premier Furey, who has put immigration at the heart of the province’s economic growth. The extension of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement sets the stage for many more years of fruitful cooperation, as we work together to help more of the world’s best and brightest come to Newfoundland and Labrador.”—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
What is the purpose of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement?
As the fertility rates decline and the population ages, Atlantic Canada faces a population crisis. As most immigrants choose to live in larger cities in Canada, Atlantic provinces struggle to increase their population through immigration. These provinces also face challenges in retaining the immigrants that do choose to initially settle in the region.
The federal government is working in tandem with the province to ensure immigration policies respond to the province’s needs. One of the main drivers of immigration and immigration retention is employment. Accordingly, many immigration programs in Atlantic provinces require a job offer in the province. However, in January 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador announced a new Priority Skills immigration stream, which does not require a job offer to apply. Instead, this stream uses the input of local employers to help select skilled immigrants.
Priority Skills NL
Newfoundland and Labrador launched their new Priority Skills NL stream in January 2021. The stream is designed to attract skilled workers and certain graduates with experience in one of the province’s in-demand fields. The stream targets candidates with either one year of work experience in an occupation indicated as being in-demand in the province, or having had recently completed a Master’s or PhD degree in an in-demand field at Newfoundland and Labrador’s Memorial University.
Through this stream, Newfoundland and Labrador invite candidates to submit supporting work and education documents that are viewable to local employers. Community employers then weigh in on whether they believe applicants would be successful in their companies or the province in general. Candidates with the highest scores and most interest from employers may then be invited to submit an application to the province’s nominee program.
The stream is no longer currently accepting new Expression of Interest (EOI) profiles. The province has begun inviting candidates in the health care sector that had previously applied. Invitations to candidates in remaining in-demand fields will also be issued in the coming weeks.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) is another economic program that helps bring newcomers to Atlantic Canada. The program is included in the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which complements the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program aims to help employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers and international graduates that wish to settle in the region. The program designates Atlantic employers that are unable to fill job vacancies. Once designed, employers are exempt from the obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This allows Atlantic employers to more easily recruit foreign skilled. The program also works with settlement service provider organizations. This ensures AIPP candidates are able to settle and integrate into the Atlantic province with ease.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is welcoming more newcomers than ever before to join us as we build a prosperous future together, and they are critical to our population growth and future prosperity. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement sets us on a shared course for a more diverse and inclusive Canada.”—The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador