The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a fast-track immigration program that allows employers in Canada's four Atlantic provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island — to hire foreign nationals for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally.

Introduced in 2017, the federal government and its provincial government partners aim to welcome more than 7,000 newcomers and their families to the Atlantic Canada region by 2020 through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. 

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Background

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is designed to welcome additional newcomers to the Atlantic Canada region to fill the needs of local employers and communities.

The three-year pilot program allows designated local employers to identify, recruit and retain global talent. The program also has the goals of supporting population growth, developing a skilled workforce, and increasing employment rates in the region.

The pilot program forms part of an overall Atlantic Growth Strategy that is focused on the following five priority areas:

  • skilled workforce and immigration;
  • innovation;
  • clean growth and climate change;
  • trade and investment; and
  • infrastructure.

On November 1, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a multi-year immigration targets plan for 2018-2020 with specific allocations for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program: How it works

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is an employer-driven program that facilitates the hiring of foreign workers. All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the pilot program must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family.

Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, that employer will need to first offer them a job. Employers do not need to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under this program.

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.

Employers that need to fill a job vacancy quickly will have access to a temporary work permit, so that the candidate and his or her family can come to Canada as soon as possible. In order to obtain this work permit, candidates will need:

  • 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 that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the pilot program must apply to the province(s) in order to receive designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require a separate designation for each province. Employers must meet certain requirements, including a commitment to support the newcomer and his or her family as they integrate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.

Learn more about AIPP employer designation.

Candidates: See the list of designated employers in Atlantic Canada.

Candidate requirements

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has two programs for skilled workers:

and one program for international student graduates:

The work experience, education, and job offer required will depend on whether the individual is applying as a worker or as an international student graduate. The other requirements are the same for both.

See the table below for a review of the requirements.

  Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP) Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)
Job offer from a designated employer
  • Full time
  • Indeterminate
  • NOC 0, A, B or C
  • Full time
  • One-year contract
  • NOC 0, A or B
  • Full time
  • One-year contract
  • NOC 0, A, B or C
Skilled work experience
  • One year in occupation related to job offer
N/A
Education
  • Completion of at least high school
  • Educational Credential Assessment or Canadian credential is required
  • Two-year post-secondary diploma from a publicly funded learning institution in the Atlantic region, obtained within the 12 months before the submission of the application for permanent residence.
Language Level 4 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in English or the Niveau de compétence linguistique Canadien in French
Provincial endorsement Letter of endorsement

Other ways to immigrate to Atlantic Canada

The Atlantic provinces have already been active in immigration over recent years, principally through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Through these programs, the provinces have been able to welcome a wide range of skilled workers, graduates who have studied in Canada, and business immigrants such as entrepreneurs.

Since 2015, each Atlantic province has created at least one PNP stream aligned with the federal Express Entry system, allowing candidates in the Express Entry pool who are also eligible to immigrate through one of these streams to submit an application to immigrate to the given province.

Currently, the Atlantic PNP options include:

Learn more about the Atlantic provinces

Nova Scotia

Welcome to Nova Scotia, Canada

New Brunswick

Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada

Newfoundland

St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada

Prince Edward Island

A beach in Belmont Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island, Canada

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