Atlantic Immigration
Pilot Program

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a new program called Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program in the Canadian immigration process.

The federal government together with the governments of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have committed to welcome approximately 7,000 new immigrants and their families to the Atlantic region of Eastern Canada, through this program, in the next three years.


Canada’s Minister of Immigration held meetings with the Provincial Premiers (heads of government) of the Atlantic provinces. They worked together to secure an advanced immigration pilot program for the region, in July 2016. The federal and provincial government recognize these provinces need more new arrival immigrants who are able to secure themselves in the local labour market and local communities.

The three-year test pilot program has been negotiated between the federal governments and the provincial governments in the Atlantic provinces, to help address resource openings which many sectors are facing. In addition, the hope is to help businesses allure and keep global talent. The program will also aid population growth, help to cultivate a more diverse skilled workforce, and raise employment rates in the region.

The pilot program forms part of an all-encompassing Atlantic Growth Strategy which will focus on the following five priority areas:

  • Skilled workforce and immigration;
  • Innovation;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Trade and investment; and
  • Clean growth and climate change.

The Government of Canada introduced multi-year immigration targets for 2018-2020, on November 1, 2017, the with specific allocations for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program: the next steps

All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the pilot program will have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family.


The AIPP is an employer-driven program. Many employers in these provinces have committed to having significant involvement in the process and the progress of the program.

Employers are exempt from obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under this program. Once a candidate is chosen by a designated employer. The candidate meets the employment requirements and the requirements of the program criteria, that employer will then offer the candidate a job.

The candidate accepts the job and the employer will connect the candidate with a ‘designated settlement service provider organization”. This organization will conduct a needs assessment and will also develop a settlement plan.

Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so the newcomers are able to achieve the goals of their individual settlement plan, once they arrive in Canada.

Through the AIPP, employers who require a job vacancy filled quickly, will have access to a temporary work permit, which will enable the candidate and his or her family can come to Canada as soon as they are able.

In order to acquire the temporary work permit, candidates will need the following:

  • A valid job offer from the employer;
  • A letter from the province; and
  • A commitment, from the candidate, to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.


Skilled immigrants for hire by designated employers, under the pilot program, must apply to the province(s) to receive designation. Employers with multi-province locations will need a separate a designation for each province.

Employers must also achieve stipulated requirements. Which will include a commitment, by the designated employer, to support the newcomer and their family as they acclimate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.


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