Atlantic Immigration Program

The goal of the Atlantic Immigration Program is to bring in more immigrants to the Atlantic Canada region in order to meet the demands of nearby businesses and communities.

The Atlantic region, employers, and immigrants have all found the AIP to be a huge success. Along with encouraging population expansion, the initiative aims to increase employment rates in the area and produce a skilled labor force. It continues to grant thousands of immigrants permanent resident status’ each year, meeting the demands of neighborhood employers while fostering population, labor force, and economic growth.

The Process: 

This program is a business-driven initiative that makes it easier to hire international workers. All applicants entering Canada through the program are required to have both an individual settlement plan for themselves and their families as well as a job offer from a recognized company.

An applicant must be given a job offer after a designated employer finds them and determines that they meet both the program's requirements and employment needs. Employers are not required to go through the Labor Market Impact Assessment process (LMIA).

Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.

A temporary work permit is available to employers who need to fill a position swiftly in order for the applicant and his or her family to enter Canada as soon as possible. Candidates will require the following in order to receive a work permit:

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

Employer Designation

Employers who wish to employ skilled immigrants under the program must submit an application to the relevant province(s) in order to be designated. Employers who have locations across several provinces will need a unique identifier for each province. Employers must adhere to specific standards, which include a promise to assist the immigrant and his or her family while they adjust to life in Atlantic Canada.

Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for the AIP you must:

  • have qualifying work experience unless you are an international student that graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
  • meet the educational criteria
  • meet the language criteria
  • show you have enough settlement funds. You do not need to show proof of settlement funds if you are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit
  • You can start to look for a job with a designated Atlantic Canada employer if you meet all the above criteria

Work Experience

You must have worked at least 1,560 hours in the last 5 years.

To calculate your hours:

  • Count hours worked in full-time and part-time jobs
  • Only count paid hours of work. Do not count volunteer or unpaid hours
  • Do not count self-employed work hours
  • You can count hours worked inside Canada or abroad. You must have been legally authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident
  • Count hours that were accumulated over a period of time of at least 12 months
  • You can count work experience you gained while you were studying as long as the work hours comply with the conditions of your study permit

The work experience must have been performed at a skill level of 0, A, B, or C according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

The tasks listed in your NOC's job description and the majority of their primary responsibilities must be included in your work experience.

International Graduates

International students who graduated in Canada do not need to meet the work experience requirements if they:

  • have a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification that took at least 2 years of studies, and is from a recognized post-secondary institution in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador
  • were a full-time student during their entire studies
  • had the visa or permit they needed to work, study, or get training while they lived in Canada
  • lived in one of the Atlantic provinces for at least 16 months during the last 2 years before they graduated

Educational Requirements

  • If your offer is at the NOC 0 or A skill level, you must have a one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or the equivalent outside of Canada
  • If your job offer is at the NOC B or C skill level, you must have a Canadian high school diploma, or the equivalent outside of Canada.

If you completed your studies outside of Canada, you must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to verify that your coursework meets the requirements of Canadian educational standards for the position you have been offered. On the day that IRCC receives your application, the ECA report must be no older than five years.

Language Requirements

  • For NOC 0, A and B job offers, you need a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) level of 5.
  • For NOC C job offers, you need a CLB or NCLC level of 4.

Test results obtained from a recognized language testing organization must be submitted to IRCC. When you apply, the test results must be no older than two years.

Settlement Funds

  • If you already live in Canada and are working with a valid work permit, you do not need to show proof of funds.
  • For all other applicants, you need to show you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you get to Canada.

Other Ways to Immigrate to Atlantic Canada

Recently, the Atlantic provinces have been actively involved in immigration, primarily through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The provinces have been able to welcome a variety of skilled employees, graduates who have studied in Canada, and business immigrants like entrepreneurs thanks to these initiatives.

Every Atlantic province has at least one PNP stream that is compatible with the federal Express Entry system, enabling Express Entry candidates who are also qualified to immigrate through a particular stream to apply to immigrate to the specific province.

Atlantic Canada PNP options are:

  • 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)