top of page


Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Back in 2017, the federal government and its provincial government partners aimed to welcome more than 7,000 newcomers and their families to the Atlantic Canada region by 2021 through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. Since then the program remain in an extended state.  Due to its success the Government has committed this pilot to a permanent program in February of 2021.  In January 2022, it became a permanent program.

It continues to be a flagship regional economic program, complementing the provincial nominee programs in each Atlantic province.


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

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 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.


Find out the Government of Canada's allocations for the Atlantic Immigration Program under Canada's multi-year immigration levels plan 2021 to 2023

Atlantic Immigration Program: How it works

The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven program that facilitates the hiring of foreign workers. 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) 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 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 AIP employer designation.

If Candidates meet all the below requirements they can start looking for jobs with a designated employer:                   

See the list of designated employers in Atlantic Canada.

Candidate requirements

To be eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program applicants 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.

Work Experience

You must have worked at least 1,560 hours (1 Year) in the last 5 years in the occupation related to the job offer. 

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) TEER category of 0, 1, 2, or 3.


  • TEER 0 (management jobs such as restaurant managers or mine managers)

  • TEER 1 (professional jobs that usually need a degree from a university, such as doctors, dentists or architects)

  • TEER 2 (technical jobs and skilled trades requiring at least 2 years of college or apprenticeship, or occupations with supervisory or safety responsibilities such as police officers and firefighters)

  • TEER 3 (technical jobs and skilled trades requiring less than 2 years of college or apprenticeship; or more than 6 months of on-the-job training)

  • TEER 4 (intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or several weeks of job-specific training, such as industrial butchers, long-haul truck drivers, or food and beverage servers)


Your work experience must include the actions in the description of your NOC, and most of the main duties of your NOC.


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


Education Requirements

  • If your offer is at the NOC TEER category 0 or 1, 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 TEER category 2, 3, or 4, 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.


Langauge Requirements

  • For NOC TEER category 0 or 1 job offers, you need a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level of 5.

  • For NOC TEER category 2, 3, or 4 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.


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. 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. Please refer to the following table:

Program Summary

The table below presents a summary of the requirements for the AIP program

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:

Click the Images below to learn more about the Atlantic Provinces

bottom of page