The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program enables employers in the Canadian Atlantic provinces to recruit foreign nationals for the job positions, for which they are not able to find qualifying candidates among residents and citizens in the area.

The AIPP was introduced in 2017, in collaboration with the Government of Canada with a purpose to meet labour-market shortages by welcoming newcomers in the four Atlantic provinces of the country. The four Atlantic provinces participating in AIPP are – 

  • Nova Scotia, 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador,
  • New Brunswick, and
  • Prince Edward Island. 

Under the AIPP, the federal and provincial governments have aimed to invite over 7,000 new immigrants to the region by the end of 2021.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Overview

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a three-year pilot program designed to invite new immigrants to the four provinces of Atlantic Canada. The purpose is to meet the workforce requirements of local communities and employers.

This immigration program aims to develop a skilled workforce, increase employment rates, and support population growth.

The AIPP works as a part of the overall Atlantic Growth Strategy, based on the following five priority areas:

  • Innovation;
  • Skilled workforce and immigration;
  • Trade and investment;
  • Clean growth and climate change; and
  • Infrastructure.

Know more about Canada Immigration Pilot Programs

Check details for different programs.

The framework of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is an immigration program that enables designated employers in Atlantic Canada to welcome foreign talent. 

All the principal applicants under this program must have: 

  • A job offer from a designated employer and 
  • An individualized settlement plan for themselves and accompanying family members.

The designated employer has to find a suitable candidate who meets the employment and program requirements, and then he has to offer him or her a job. Employers who are hiring foreign nationals under the AIPP do not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

As soon as the candidate accepts the job offer, the employer has to associate the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization. The new immigrants and his or her accompanying family members will also get support from the employers for the long-term integration, if applicable, so that they can meet the goals of their settlement plan as soon as they arrive in Canada.

In case, if an employer needs a candidate to fill the job opening quickly, then the candidate can apply for a temporary work permit so that he can move with his family to Canada at the earliest. To obtain a work permit, a candidate must have:

  • A letter from the province
  • A valid job offer
  • A commitment to apply for permanent residence within the next 90 days of the temporary work permit application

Designated Employers 

To recruit foreign skilled workers under the pilot program, employers have to apply to the province to obtain the designation. Employers who are operating in multiple locations have to obtain separate designations from each province. To receive the designation, employers must meet specific requirements:

  • Show that the AIPP is the best-suited to meet employer’s needs;
  • Must have a business operating in good standing;
  • Provide a valid, full-time, non-seasonal job offer to international workers;
  • Show preparedness to meet the settlement requirements of international candidates and their accompanying family; and
  • Understanding and agreeing to the reporting needs of the program.

Different programs under AIPP

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program consists of three programs, including two for skilled workers and one for international graduates. The programs are:

For Skilled Workers

1. Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)

This program of AIPP enables eligible skilled foreign workers with a valid job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada can apply for permanent residence in Canada. 

To qualify for this program, a candidate must:
  • Show that he has a valid job offer from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces, and the offer is:
    • For full-time employment for at least one year;
    • Non-seasonal;
    • For a skilled job (managerial, technical/trades, or professional position) classified under National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 0, A, or B;
    • Supported by a provincial certificate of endorsement from the province that shows:
      • The job offer is genuine;
      • A needs assessment has been completed; and
      • A settlement plan has been set up for the applicant and his family members.
  • Show that he has a minimum of one-year (30 hours per week/1560 hours in total) work experience within the last three years. This experience must be:
    • Paid work (unpaid internships and volunteer work do not include); and
    • In a technical/trades, managerial, or professional positions (classified under NOC code 0, A, or B).
Additional notes:
  • Applicants do not have to be employed while applying.
  • Applicants must have done the activities mentioned in the lead statement of the NOC description.
  • Applicants must have obtained Canadian work experience while living as a temporary resident in Canada.
  • Periods of self-employment is not eligible to be included while calculating work experience.
  • Work experience gained while the study is permitted if the work hours did not exceed the number of hours the applicant was authorized to work for that period.
  • Show one of the following as an education credential;
    • A Canadian high-school or post-secondary degree or diploma; or
    • A completed foreign education credential.

Note: Applicants with an education credential completed outside of Canada, have to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by IRCC, to prove that the level of education meets Canadian standards. The ECA report should not be older than five years while applying.

  • Prove language ability in English or French by scoring a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in an IRCC-approved language test:
For English (Take General Test only):
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
For French:
  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF Canada)

Note: Language test results must be not older than two years during application submission.

  • Show that he has enough financial resources to support himself and his family members after arriving in Canada (unless working in Canada on a valid work permit.
  • Submit a copy of the endorsement letter issued by the province while applying for permanent residence with the IRCC.

Note: The endorsement letter has an expiration date after six months from the date of issuance, without any extensions.

2. Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)

Under the AISP, the eligible intermediate-skilled foreign workers can apply for Canadian PR if they have a valid job offer from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada.

To qualify for this program, a candidate must:

  • Show that he has a valid job offer from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces, and the offer is:
    • For full-time employment for at least one year;
    • Non-seasonal;
    • For a skilled job (managerial, technical/trades, professional, or intermediate position) classified under National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 0, A, B, or C;
    • Supported by a provincial certificate of endorsement from the province that shows:
      • The job offer is genuine;
      • A needs assessment has been completed; and
      • A settlement plan has been set up for the applicant and his family members.
  • Show that he has a minimum of one-year (30 hours per week/1560 hours in total) work experience within the last three years. The work experience must be:
    • In an occupation classified under the NOC C level; 
    • In one occupation; and
    • Paid work (unpaid internships and volunteer work do not include).
Additional notes:
  • If an applicant has a job offer as a:
    • Nurse’s aide (NOC 3012),
    • Patient service associate (NOC 3413), 
    • Orderly (NOC 3413), or
    • Home support worker (NOC 4412).
Then the applicant can include work experience under skill level B gained while working as a:
  • Licensed practical nurse (NOC 3233),
  • Registered nurse (NOC 3012), and
  • Registered psychiatric nurse (NOC 3012).
  • Applicants must have done the activities mentioned in the lead statement of the NOC description.
  • Applicants do not have to be employed while applying.
  • Applicants must have obtained Canadian work experience while living as a temporary resident in Canada.
  • Periods of self-employment is not eligible to be included while calculating work experience.
  • Work experience gained while study is permitted if the applicant has not exceeded the authorized work hours.
  • Show one of the following as an education credential;
    • A Canadian high-school or post-secondary degree or diploma; or
    • A completed foreign education credential.

Note: Applicants with an education credential completed outside of Canada, have to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by IRCC, to prove that the level of education meets Canadian standards. The ECA report should not be older than five years while applying.

  • Prove language ability in English or French by scoring a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in an IRCC-approved language test:
For English (Take General Test only):
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
For French:
  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF Canada)

Note: Language test results must be not older than two years during application submission.

  • Show that he has enough financial resources to support himself and his family members after arriving in Canada (unless working in Canada on a valid work permit.
  • Submit a copy of the endorsement letter issued by the province while applying for permanent residence with the IRCC.

Note: The endorsement letter has an expiration date after six months from the date of issuance, without any extensions.

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For International Graduates

1. Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)

The Atlantic International Graduate Program of AIPP enables international graduates to apply for permanent residence without work experience. Under this program, international graduates with a valid job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada can apply for Canadian PR.

To qualify for this program, a candidate must:
  • Show that he has a valid job offer from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces, and the offer is:
    • For full-time employment for at least one year;
    • Non-seasonal;
    • For a skilled job (managerial, technical/trades, or professional position) classified under National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 0, A, or B;
    • Supported by a provincial certificate of endorsement from the province that shows:
      • The job offer is genuine;
      • A needs assessment has been completed; and
      • A settlement plan has been set up for the applicant and his family members.
  • To meet the education criterion, the candidate has to show that he:
    • Has obtained a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship credential after completion of a two-year program for post-secondary education from a recognized publicly-funded institution in Atlantic Canada;
    • Was enrolled as a full-time student for at least two years in Canada;
    • Lived in one of the four provinces of Atlantic Canada for a minimum of 16 months within the 24-month duration before their credential was granted; and
    • Had valid temporary resident status while staying in Canada and was authorized to work, study, or complete training in Canada.

Note: IRCC states that the education credential must not be older than 24 months while applying for PR.

  • Prove language ability in English or French by scoring a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in an IRCC-approved language test:
For English (Take General Test only):
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
For French:
  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF Canada)

Note: Language test results must be not older than two years during application submission.

  • Show that he has enough financial resources to support himself and his family members after arriving in Canada (unless working in Canada on a valid work permit.
  • Submit a copy of the endorsement letter issued by the province while applying for permanent residence with the IRCC.

Note: The endorsement letter has an expiration date after six months from the date of issuance, without any extensions.

Other immigration pathways to Atlantic Canada

The Atlantic provinces have their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to welcome skilled workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs.

Each Atlantic province has a minimum of one PNP stream aligned with the Express Entry immigration system, enabling the given province to nominate potential immigrants from the Express Entry pool.

Various PNP options to immigrate to Atlantic Canada are:

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

Not sure where to start with the application process for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program? Do not worry, MakeHomeCanadda is here to address all your queries. Reach out to our expert immigration consultants to get a brief about various pathways for Canadian immigration, including the Express Entry streams and PNPs. We will help you decide the most appropriate immigration program as per your credentials. Let us join you on this immigration journey to Canada.