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Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) – Special pathway for skilled workers with a job offer

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Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Program is a streamlined permanent residency pathway for skilled workers either living abroad or in Canada, who have a job offer in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island (the Atlantic provinces).

Reinstated since March 6, 2022 after piloting the program, the Atlantic Immigration Program is a lesser-known but potentially attractive option for skilled workers that can be a great shortcut to Canadian permanent residency.

Who is eligible for the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)?

  • Have a full-time, non-seasonal job offer from an employer in one of the Atlantic provinces.
  • Have at least 1 year of full-time “skilled work” experience (or part-time equivalent) in the past 5 years; OR have graduated from a Canadian university in one of the Atlantic provinces.
  • The work experience and the job offer must be at NOC skill level 0, A, B, or C. (See link for a discussion of what kinds of jobs each NOC levels indicate). The job offer must be at the same or higher level than the work experience.
  • Have at least a one-year post-secondary credential, or a high school diploma depending on the skill level of the job offer.
  • Meet minimum language requirements (CLB 4 or 5 depending on the job’s skill level).
  • Have minimum settlement funds (12.5% of each year’s low income cut-off).

How to apply?

  • Secure the job offer: If you believe you meet the above criteria, you can start by researching the list of designated employers in each province and applying for any relevant job openings. If a prospective employer is not in the list, there is also a procedure that an employer can follow to be admitted to that list. The employee or his or her spouse cannot be a majority owner of the business that is extending this job offer.
  • Obtain a Settlement Plan and obtain the Certificate of Endorsement from the province: Based on the job offer, you need to contact one of the designated Settlement Service Provider organizations for a Settlement Plan, which they will provide for free. The employer will submit this Plan and endorsement application to the province, which will then “endorse” your application.
  • Prepare documents and submit the Permanent Residency Application. You may also be eligible to apply for a temporary work permit to start working for your employer in Canada.
  • Receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) (and a visa, if needed). The applicant may be contacted for an interview, at which the officers will assess your continued intent to live and work in the Atlantic province that nominated you.

How long do you need to work for the employer that sponsored you?

The applicant must genuinely intend to, and proceed to, take the permanent job offer from the sponsoring employer and make a good faith effort to work and reside in the province that has endorsed them. But there is no minimum length of time the applicant must fulfill by working and residing in the province after being granted permanent resident status, and IRCC does not require an applicant to report their whereabouts after they become a permanent resident, nor would IRCC normally have a reason to actively monitor it.

However, it may invite suspicions and findings of misrepresentation if the circumstances are inconsistent with genuine intent, for example, if an applicant quits and moves to a different province after working for the employer for only a few weeks, or never attempts to work and live in the province at all. If it ever becomes an issue, a finding of misrepresentation can have very serious consequences, including losing one’s permanent resident status.

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