The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) lets employers from the four Atlantic provinces of Canada hire foreign professionals. These four provinces are Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
The program aims to allow employers to fill the gap in the local labour market by hiring foreign workers while also supporting the regional population growth.
The AIP was introduced at the beginning of 2022 to replace the older Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
Participating in the program
AIP is an employer-driven program, meaning you must obtain a valid job offer from one of the designated employers located in the Atlantic regions to apply under AIP.
There are at present two options under AIP. You can apply if you are:
- A skilled worker, or,
- A recent graduate from a recognized post-secondary institute located in one of the Atlantic provinces.
Eligibility and responsibilities of employers
Note that LMIA is not required for the AIP Program. Yet, there are certain requirements that the interested employers must meet.
- Being designated: To hire foreign workers, the employer must be designated at first. Following are the main requirements which the organizations must meet to get designated:
- The organization must not be in violation of the IRPA and IRPR rules
- The organization must not hire workers for transferring or contracting out to some other business.
- The business must be in continuous, active operation under the same management for at least two years in one of the Atlantic provinces, or demonstrate continuous, active operation in another location with approval from the province in which they are applying.
- The organization must work with an organization that provides settlement services to help their candidates get those services.
- The organization must commit to undertake the free onboarding training
- The organization must commit to undertake the free intercultural competency training (unless it is exempted by the province).
- The organization must be compliant with workplace safety and health regulations.
- Cost: Employers can become designated at no cost.
- Process: Each of the provinces has its own application system. The employers need to contact the province directly to become designated and obtain the Confirmation of Designation. Once you’re designated, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Designation from the province.
- Important things to note about designation:
- To be designated by a province, you only have to apply once. You don't have to apply for each candidate separately or again.
- A designation can be applied for even before a candidate has been identified.
- It is mandatory that you be designated in the province where the candidate will be employed. If the candidate will be employed in more than one province, you must be designated in each province where they will be employed.
- A candidate cannot be hired under the Atlantic Immigration Program if he or she will not be working in an Atlantic province.
- The next step after you are designated, is to get mandatory onboarding and intercultural training. You can then find a candidate you would like to employ. You are responsible to ensure that you meet the job offer requirements and the proposed candidate meets the AIP eligibility requirements.
- Job Offer: A valid job offer must be:
- Full-time and non-seasonal.
- At least one year from when the applicant becomes PR (for NOC 0, A, B jobs), or permanent for NOC C jobs.
- At the same level or higher than the NOC level of the candidate’s work experience unless the candidate is an international student who has graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
- There are some occupations in the health care sector where you don't need a job offer at the same skill level as, or higher than, the qualifying work experience.
- Work experience in NOC 3233 (practical nurses) and NOC 3012 (registered nurses) can be used as qualifying work experience if you have a job offer in NOC 3413 (nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates) or NOC 4412 (home health care workers).
Eligibility requirement for the applicant
Apart from having a valid job offer, the applicant must also meet the following requirements:
- Experience: Within the last 5 years, at least 1,560 hours of work experience is required under the relevant NOC code or the applicant should be an international student who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
- Education: You must hold a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree from a recognized institution or equivalent foreign degree, diploma, or certificate.The candidate will need an Educational Credential Assessment report for their foreign education
- Language: For NOC levels 0, A, and B, the minimum language requirement is CLB 5 (English) or NCLC 5 (French). For NOC level C, the requirement is CLB/NCLC 4.
- Proof of funds: The applicant will also need to submit proof of settlement funds unless they are already working in Canada under a valid work permit. The required amount is much lower than the funds requirements under Express Entry.