Atlantic Immigration Program (Detailed Guide)

Atlantic Immigration Program (Detailed Guide)

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a Canadian immigration program that is designed to attract skilled workers in its 4 Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), which helps in the economic growth of the province.

Why the Atlantic Immigration Program?

Eligibility for the Atlantic Immigration Program requires applicants to secure an official job offer from a designated employer, you don’t need to have LMIA for this program. The program was initially introduced as a pilot program in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Program was officially established as a permanent program in early 2022, with an annual target of giving around 8,000 new immigrants a path to permanent residency.

How does the Atlantic Immigration Program Work?

The Atlantic Immigration Program assists employers in Canada’s Atlantic provinces in hiring foreign workers. To qualify, foreign workers need a job offer from a designated employer and a also settlement plan with them. Employers do not need a complex Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to assist foreign workers.

After accepting the job, the employer connects the candidate with a settlement service to plan their relocation. Employers provide support to the new employee and their family, aiding in integration and achieving settlement goals. For urgent job vacancies, a temporary work permit is available. To obtain it, candidates require a valid job offer, a letter from the province, and a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days.

The Atlantic Immigration Program works on  connecting 2 parties:

  1. Foreign nationals want to settle in Atlantic Province
  2. Designated Employer to employ foreign worker

Learn More about the Designated Employer list for the Atlantic Immigration Program.

Eligibility Requirements for AIP

Work experience

In the past 5 years, applicant must have at least a minimum of 1,560 hours, equivalent to a year’s work at 30 hours per week. To calculate:

  • Include hours from both part-time and full-time jobs.
  • Consider only paid work, excluding volunteering or unpaid internships.
  • Exclude hours from self-employment.
  • Ensure legal authorization to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
  • Accumulate hours over at least 12 months.
  • Include work experience during studies, as long as authorized hours aren’t exceeded.

Qualifying work should fall under NOC 2021 categories Atlantic immigration program jobs:

  • TEER 0 (e.g., restaurant or mine managers)
  • TEER 1 (e.g., doctors, dentists, architects)
  • TEER 2 (e.g., technical jobs, skilled trades, police officers)
  • TEER 3 (e.g., technical jobs, skilled trades with <2 years of college or apprenticeship)
  • TEER 4 (e.g., intermediate jobs, high school education, job-specific training)

Work experience must align with the NOC description and encompass most main duties.

International graduates

International graduates are also eligible for this stream if they are meeting the following criteria are exempt from work experience requirements:

  • Possess a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade/apprenticeship certification from a recognized post-secondary institution in any of the 4 Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador).
  • Completed at least 2 years of studies.
  • Maintained full-time student status throughout the academic period.
  • Resided in one of the specified provinces for a minimum of 16 months in the last 2 years before graduation.
  • Held the required visa or permit for working, studying, or training in Canada during their stay.
Recognized Post-Secondary Institutions
Acadia UniversityNova Scotia
Atlantic School of TheologyNova Scotia
Cape Breton UniversityNova Scotia
Collège communautaire du Nouveau-BrunswickNew Brunswick
Collège de l’ÎlePrince Edward Island
College of the North AtlanticNewfoundland and Labrador
Dalhousie UniversityNova Scotia
Holland CollegePrince Edward Island
Maritime College of Forest TechnologyNew Brunswick
Memorial University of NewfoundlandNewfoundland and Labrador
Mount Allison UniversityNew Brunswick
Mount Saint Vincent UniversityNova Scotia
New Brunswick College of Craft and DesignNew Brunswick
New Brunswick Community CollegeNew Brunswick
Nova Scotia College of Art and DesignNova Scotia
Nova Scotia Community CollegeNova Scotia
Saint Francis Xavier UniversityNova Scotia
Saint Mary’s UniversityNova Scotia
Saint Thomas UniversityNew Brunswick
Université Sainte-AnneNova Scotia
Université de MonctonNew Brunswick
University of King’s CollegeNova Scotia
University of New BrunswickNew Brunswick
University of Prince Edward IslandPrince Edward Island

Educational requirements

You need one of the following:

  1. For job offers in NOC 2021 TEER 0 or 1, you must have a one-year Canadian post-secondary credential or its equivalent from outside Canada.
  2. For job offers in NOC 2021 TEER 2, 3, or 4, a Canadian high school diploma or its equivalent from outside Canada is required.

If you studied abroad, you must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) confirming your studies meet or exceed the required education level for your job offer. The ECA report should be less than 5 years old when we receive your application, and the educational credential must have been obtained within 24 months before you applied for permanent residence.

Language requirements

You need to meet language requirements based on your job offer’s NOC 2021 TEER category, assessed through Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). The minimum requirements are:

  • CLB/NCLC 5 for TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3
  • CLB/NCLC 4 for TEER 4

Include language test results from a designated organization in your application. Ensure these results are less than 2 years old when you apply.

Settlement funds

The money you need to support your family depends on its size, including yourself, your spouse or partner, and dependent children. This includes your spouse or partner’s dependent children, even if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents not coming with you.

The minimum amounts required for immigration as of 2023 are below:

Number of family membersFunds required (in CAD)
For each additional family member$926

Designated Employer Requirements

To join the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, businesses need to apply and become designated employers.

Once designated, they can hire foreign workers without going through the process of getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Designated employers are also responsible for helping their hired foreign workers settle in the province where they will be living.

To hire foreign workers through the Atlantic Immigration Program, employers need to apply for official designation with the province where their business operates. This involves demonstrating good standing with provincial regulatory bodies and outlining labor needs. Designated employers must also show their capacity to provide settlement support. Businesses can find application details on the immigration webpages of Atlantic provinces:

How to apply for the Atlantic Immigration program?

To apply for the Atlantic Immigration Program, follow these steps:

  1. Employer Designation: Employers must apply to become designated in the province where their business is located.
  2. Job Offer: Secure a job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).
  3. Endorsement: Obtain an endorsement from the province for your job offer, which is required to apply for immigration.
  4. Applicant Submission: Applicants can then submit their application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  5. Processing: IRCC will process the application and, if approved, the applicant can immigrate to the Atlantic province with the job offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for Atlantic Immigration Program?

Individuals with a job offer from a designated employer in an Atlantic province, along with specific work experience, educational qualifications, and language proficiency, are eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program.

What is the AIP endorsement in Canada?

Before applying for a work permit and Permanent Residency in Canada, applicants need endorsement. Employers must confirm the relevant work experience that qualifies the Principal Applicant for the specific application category.

How long does it take to get an AIP in Canada?

The average processing time for AIP in Canada is around 9 months to 12 months depending on the applicant’s profile and Employer requirements.

What is the difference between AIPP and PNP?

AIPP is specific to the Atlantic provinces, driven by regional job offers, while PNP operates across Canada with diverse streams, including those that are aligned with Express Entry. AIPP requires an employer endorsement, whereas PNP will give Province nominee that will ultimately help you get Canada PR.

What are other ways to get PR in Atlantic provinces?

If you don’t want to choose AIP then the other option go for would be PNP. Each Atlantic province has a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream linked with the federal Express Entry system. If you’re in the Express Entry pool and eligible for a specific province’s PNP stream, you can apply to immigrate there.

These are the PNP Options you can choose from, click the link to learn more about them:


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