The 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 AIP has proven to be a major success for immigrants, employers, and the Atlantic region. It continues to provide permanent resident status to thousands of immigrants each year, which addresses the needs of local employers, and promotes population, labour force, and economic growth.
How does the Atlantic Immigration Program work?
The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven program that facilitates the hiring of foreign nationals. All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the 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).
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.
Employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the 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.
Am I eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program?
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 also 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 needs to be under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level of 0, A, B, or C.
Your work experience must include the actions in the description of your NOC, and most of the main duties of your NOC.
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
What are the 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 studied outside of Canada you need to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to confirm your studies are equivalent to the Canadian educational standards needed for your job offer. The ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date IRCC receives your application.
What are the 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.
You must submit to IRCC test results obtained from a designated language testing organization. The test results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.
- 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. The amount you need depends on the size of your family and the size of your family includes anyone you support who is not immigrating with you.