Credential recognition can be a major barrier for immigrants to enter the labour market.
The cost associated with having international credentials recognized is often expensive and can affect newcomers’ eventual inclusion in their chosen field.
The Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Fund (AICLF), launched April 1, is a community-based micro-loan program that assists internationally trained immigrants throughout Atlantic Canada in overcoming those financial barriers so they could enter the workforce in their field or a related field.
The Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program funds the AICLF program.
AICLF began as a pilot project called the Career Pathway Loan Fund (CPLF) and was targeted at newcomers in regulated professions (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, engineers, CPAs, etc.).
AICLF will expand on the previous fund and will include such careers as project management, trades, etc.
Newcomers will be able to borrow money to pay for training, programs, exams, fees for language tests, application fees, etc. in professions not eligible for student loan funding.
"We believe this is a great project that will support and empower newcomers, especially those who seek to have their international credentials recognized in P.E.I.," said Craig Mackie, executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada executive.
Newcomers are able to apply for funding through the AICLF immediately.