Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Atlantic Canada is the eastern region of Canada wherein you will the following provinces:

  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island

Right now, Atlantic Canada is currently a popular destination for immigrants. However, it was not always this way. Since 1999, Atlantic Canada, otherwise known as the Maritimes, has struggled to bring in and hold on to immigrants, temporary residents, and graduates.

The Canadian government has indeed taken the necessary steps to address this issue. The Express Entry selection system facilitated the arrival of thousands of immigrants. As well, the Provincial Nominee Program allowed temporary residents to become permanent residents in Canada.

Be that as it may, this led to another problem- high immigration levels in only a few provinces.  In fact, between 1999 and 2016, Atlantic immigration levels were low.

As a result, in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program was created. It was meant to encourage immigration to Atlantic Canada. The program was alongside the already established Express Entry system and the Provincial Nominee Program. Although its effects seemed minuscule during its inception, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program led to the arrival of more than 18,000 skilled workers in the region.

In short, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program has engendered the desired effects on the region. Currently, the region has more foreign skilled workers and permanent residents. Through some of its streams, the program has also helped retain its graduates.

If you are seeking permanent residence in this part of Canada, you have stumbled across the right article.

This article will be about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and the streams under which you may be eligible.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is an immigration program for Atlantic Canada. It aims to attract and retain immigrants and temporary foreign residents. The program is similar to several Provincial Nominee Programs. The program leads to permanent residence in the region and under the program are different immigration streams. These different streams target both skilled workers and qualified graduates.

Originally, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program was to close in 2020. However, due to its undeniable effects on immigration, the program’s tentative closure will now be in December 2021.

The program benefits skilled workers and employers in the region. Through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, a worker can have a valid job offer from a designated employer of the region. Since the provinces in the region urgently need skilled workers, a designated employer does not need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

In other words, the program makes it easy for a designated employer to hire a foreign skilled worker.

The Different Streams Of The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

There are currently three streams under which you may apply. There are minimum requirements to be eligible. You need to meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be eligible for one of these streams. For all of them, you should at least have a high school diploma.

The three streams are:

  • The High-Skilled Workers Stream
  • The Intermediate-Skilled Workers Stream
  • The International Graduates Stream

High-Skilled Workers Stream

This stream or program is for immigrants who have work experience in managerial occupations. This is also the right stream for you if you are in a professional or regulated profession. Skilled workers with work experience in a NOC B occupation are also eligible to apply.

Since this stream is for highly-skilled immigrants, you need to ensure that your occupation is under the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type or level:

  • NOC 0 or 00
  • NOC A
  • NOC B

Work experience needs to be at least 12 months long. It needs to be on a full-time basis (1,560 hours per year; 30 hours per week). If your work experience is part-time, you may still be eligible to apply for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program under this stream. It just needs to be equal to a year’s worth of full-time work experience. Self-employment does not count as work experience.

You will also need to include a language test result as part of your application. The minimum required language proficiency level (English or French) is CLB 4. This is easy to meet but, of course, try to aim higher in this area.

You should have at least a secondary educational credential or its equivalent in Canada. For this reason, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). In addition, you also need to have sufficient settlement funds.

You also need a valid job offer. It must be an offer for a full-time position in one of the following provinces:

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island

Only an employer designated by the Canadian government could issue a job offer. You will know that your employer is a designated employer from their Confirmation of Designation.

To learn more about the process, you can visit the Canadian Government’s main site.

Intermediate-Skilled Workers Stream

Skilled workers who have at least 12 months of full-time work experience in NOC C occupations may apply for permanent residence in Atlantic Canada through the Intermediate-Skilled Worker Stream.

Because NOC C occupations are considered semi-skilled occupations, you will only need a secondary educational credential or high school diploma. Again, for this, you will need an ECA for immigration purposes.

NOC C occupations require job-specific training. These include:

  • Butchers
  • Long-haul truck drivers
  • Food and beverage servers or attendants
skilled workers stream atlantic immigration pilot program

Some NOC B occupations are also eligible for this stream. In particular, applicants with work experience in nursing and home care may apply.

As with the High-Skilled Worker stream, the language requirement is CLB 4 and a job offer is required. The job offer must also be given by a designated employer from any Atlantic province in Canada.

Also, you need to prove sufficient settlement funds unless you are already in Canada on a work permit or study permit.

You can visit the Canadian government’s main site to learn more.

International Graduate Stream

This stream is meant for graduates of designated learning institutions (DLIs) in any Atlantic province in Canada. There are requirements both for education and the length of stay in the region. Aimed at fresh graduates, this stream has no requirements for work experience.

For a candidate to be eligible, his or her program should be a post-secondary program. It should be at least two years long. Also, the program must award a certificate, degree or diploma. The two-year credential should come from only one DLI in the Atlantic province from which the graduate earned it.

Before the completion of the study program, the candidate must have lived in Atlantic Canada for more than a year. More specifically, a candidate should have been in the region for no less than 16 months.

The study program should not be a preparatory program. For example, an English as a Second Language (ESL) program or a French as a Second Language (FSL) would not make a candidate eligible to apply.

Even for the International Graduate Stream, applicants need a valid job offer from a designated employer in any of the Maritime provinces.

To learn more about how graduates could be permanent residents in Atlantic Canada, you could look up the requirements on the government of Canada’s site.

Temporary Work Permit

At times, a foreign national is in Canada awaiting the decision of his or her application. In such a situation, it is possible to get a temporary work permit.

You can get a work permit while waiting for your Atlantic Immigration application. Being an applicant of the pilot program entitles you to a one-year work permit. With it, you will be able to legally stay and work in Atlantic Canada while waiting for your immigration application to be approved.

You must submit the following for a work permit:

  • A referral or endorsement letter from your Atlantic province
  • A job offer from a designated employer (must be an employer from any Atlantic province in Canada)
  • Your most recent language test results
  • Proof of education (high school diploma at least)

An application for a work permit must be followed by an application for Atlantic immigration. In other words, Temporary foreign workers under Atlantic Canada’s immigration pilot program must apply for permanent residence within 90 days of getting the work permit.

Work Permit Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

This page shows how to get a work permit for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.


Immigration to Canada does not always need to be in the direction of provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. There are many other parts of Canada where companies want to hire foreign workers.

Through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, skilled immigrants have made the Maritimes their new home. The program has also allowed employers in this region to benefit from immigration.

With the effects of the program, it is no surprise why the Canadian government has decided to put off its closure.

Choose Canada Magazine

Each member of our team at Choose Canada Magazine has been in Canada for over five years, and has helped dozens of people worldwide find their life in Canada.

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