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Atlantic Immigration Program

Atlantic Immigration Program

Atlantic Immigration Program: How to Apply

The Atlantic Immigration Program offers permanent residence to skilled workers that want to settle in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island. This comprehensive page provides you with an overview of the Atlantic Immigration Program. Are you interested in applying for Canadian immigration? Please complete free assessment form


The Atlantic Immigration Program aims to attract and welcome skilled workers to settle in the Atlantic Canada region, meeting the needs of local employers and communities.

The program enables designated local employers to identify, recruit, and retain global talent. Its objectives include supporting population growth, fostering a skilled workforce, and increasing employment rates in the region.

The Atlantic Immigration Program has been highly successful, benefiting immigrants, employers, and the Atlantic region as a whole. It continues to grant permanent resident status to thousands of immigrants annually, fulfilling the demands of local employers and promoting population, labor force, and economic growth.

How the Atlantic Immigration Program Works

The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven initiative that streamlines the hiring process for foreign nationals. To qualify, principal applicants must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their families.

Once a designated employer identifies a candidate who meets their employment requirements and the program criteria, the employer extends a job offer. Notably, employers are not required to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for this program.

Upon accepting the job offer, the candidate is connected with a designated settlement service provider organization. This connection facilitates a needs assessment and the development of a settlement plan. Employers also play a crucial role in supporting the long-term integration of the new immigrant and their family, if applicable, enabling them to achieve the goals outlined in their settlement plan upon arrival in Canada.

Employers with urgent job vacancies have access to temporary work permits, allowing candidates and their families to arrive in Canada expeditiously. To obtain this work permit, candidates must have a valid job offer, a letter from the province, and a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.

Employer Designation

Employers seeking to hire skilled immigrants through the program must apply to the province(s) for designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require separate designations for each province. Designated employers must meet specific requirements, including a commitment to supporting newcomers and their families as they integrate into their new lives in Atlantic Canada.

To learn more about AIP employer designation, please visit the relevant resources.

Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Qualifying work experience, unless they are international students who graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
2. Educational criteria.
3. Language criteria.
4. Adequate settlement funds. Note: Applicants who are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit do not need to demonstrate proof of settlement funds.

If an applicant meets all of the above requirements, they can start looking for a job with a designated employer in Atlantic Canada.

Work Experience

Applicants must have accumulated at least 1,560 hours of work within the last 5 years. Here are some guidelines for calculating work hours:

– Include hours worked in full-time and part-time jobs.
– Count only paid hours of work; do not include volunteer or unpaid hours.
– Exclude self-employed work hours.
– Work hours can be counted from both within Canada and abroad, provided the applicant had legal authorization to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
– Accumulated work hours must span a period of at least 12 months.
– Work experience gained during studies can be counted if the work hours align with the conditions of the study permit.
– Work experience must fall under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) category of 0, 1, 2, or 3.
– The work experience must include the actions described in the NOC and cover most of the main duties associated with the NOC.

International Graduates

International students who graduated in Canada are exempt from the work experience requirements if they meet the following conditions:

– A degree, diploma, certificate, trade, or apprenticeship certification from a recognized post-secondary institution in New Brunswick, Nova      Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador, with a minimum duration of 2 years of study.
– Were full-time students throughout their studies.
– Held the necessary visa or permit to work, study, or receive training while residing in Canada.
– Resided in one of the Atlantic provinces for at least 16 months during the two years preceding graduation.

Educational Requirements

If the job offer falls under NOC categories 0 or 1, applicants must hold a one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or an equivalent qualification obtained outside Canada.

For job offers under NOC categories 2, 3, or 4, applicants must have a Canadian high school diploma or an equivalent credential obtained outside Canada.

Applicants who completed their studies outside Canada must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to confirm that their qualifications align with the Canadian educational standards required for their job offer. The ECA report must be less than 5 years old at the time of application submission to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Language Requirements

Language proficiency requirements vary based on the NOC category of the job offer:

– For NOC categories 0 or 1, applicants need to demonstrate a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level of 5.
– For NOC categories 2, 3, or 4, applicants need a CLB or NCLC level of 4.
– Applicants must submit test results from a designated language testing organization. These results must be less than 2 years old at the time of application.

Settlement Funds

Applicants residing in Canada with a valid work permit do not need to provide proof of settlement funds.

For all other applicants, sufficient funds must be demonstrated to support themselves and their families upon arrival in Canada. The required amount depends on the family size, including individuals the applicant supports but who are not immigrating with them. Please refer to the following table:

Number of Family Members (including those supported by the applicant, even if they are not included in the application) Funds Required
1 $3,303
2 $4,112
3 $5,055
4 $6,138
5 $6,962
6 $7,852
7 or more $8,742
Each additional family member $890

Other Immigration Options in Atlantic Canada

In addition to the Atlantic Immigration Program, the Atlantic provinces actively engage in immigration through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). These programs enable the provinces to welcome various categories of immigrants, including skilled workers, graduates who studied in Canada, and business immigrants like entrepreneurs.

Each Atlantic province offers at least one PNP stream aligned with the federal Express Entry system. This alignment allows candidates in the Express Entry pool, who are also eligible for immigration through one of these streams, to submit applications to immigrate to their preferred province.

The Atlantic Canada PNP options include:

– Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
– New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
– Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
– Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)

Please note that this information is subject to change, and it’s essential to consult official government sources for the most up-to-date and accurate details.