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The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP Canada)

Want to immigrate to Canada? The Atlantic Immigration Program formerly known as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) allows employers to recruit skilled workers abroad to fill labor gaps and become permanent residents.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Introduced in March of 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) now known as the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) works to recruit newcomers to the Atlantic provinces giving a pathway to Canada PR as skilled foreign workers. While most immigrants have been drawn to the most populous cities of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, a great deal of work opportunity exists in these provinces, and this program offers a mutually beneficial opportunity for employers and immigrants alike.

The Atlantic provinces include:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Prince Edward Island
  3. Nova Scotia
  4. New Brunswick
Atlantic Immigration Program Processing Time: 6 months

Candidate Requirements

To successfully immigrate through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, you must be a recent graduate of a publicly funded institute in Atlantic Canada or a skilled worker who meet the programs requirements. Other documentation you must prove includes:

  • Language proficeny
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Financial stability
Once you’ve received a job offer you must:
  • ask for a copy of the employer’s Confirmation of Designation, or
  • tell them about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and ask them to consider becoming designated, if they aren’t already

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs

There are 3 programs within The Atlantic Pilot. It is possible to qualify for all 3 programs but you can only apply to one so it’s important to choose the best program for your case. Learn more about these programs below!

Atlantic International Graduate Program

In general, you must:

  • have a degree, diploma or other credential from a publicly funded institution in an Atlantic province
  • have lived in an Atlantic province for at least 16 months in the 2 years before getting your degree, diploma or credential
  • take a language test to prove language proficiency 
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

Work experience is not required for international graduates hired through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

Learn about the full requirements within The Atlantic International Graduate Program!


Atlantic High-Skilled Program

In general, you must:

  • have worked in a management, professional or technical/skilled job for at least a year
  • have at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent education
  • take a language test to prove language proficiency
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

Learn about the full requirements within The Atlantic High-Skilled Program!

Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program

In general, you must:

  • have worked in a job that requires a high school education and/or job-specific training for at least a year
  • have at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent education
  • take a language test to prove language proficiency
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

Learn about the full requirements within The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program!

Getting a Settlement Plan

After you get a job offer, you are required to get a settlement plan.

A settlement plan will help you and your family adjust to your new home in Atlantic Canada. It will provide you with useful resources and contacts to help you feel welcome in your new community with no cost.

  • If you’re already in Canada, you must work with a settlement service provider organization in the region where you’ll be working. Your employer can help you find one.
  • If you’re outside Canada, there are several settlement service provider organizations in Canada you can contact. Check with your designated employer for recommendations.


Once you have your settlement plan, give a copy to your employer and keep a copy for yourself. If you’re not in Canada, bring the plan with you when you move to Canada.

Getting a Certificate of Endorsement

After you have your settlement plan, the province must endorse your job offer. Your employer will handle this process. No need to submit your permanent residence application until you confirm with the employer that your offer has been endorsed.

If the province endorses your job offer, you’ll get a Certificate of Endorsement in the mail which you must include with your permanent residence application.

Applying for Permanent Residence Through AIPP

If interested in permanent residency you choose the application package for the designated Atlantic program you applied through:

The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out, including these Atlantic Immigration Pilot documents:

  • Offer of Employment to a Foreign National
  • Certificate of Endorsement
  • Biometrics (if needed)
Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR)

Once the IRCC has received your PR immigration application, you will receive an Acknowledgment of Receipt also known as an AOR. This AOR is a confirmation that your application file has been created. You may also be referred to an “AOR date” which is the date from when your 6 months intended processing time begins.

Applying for a Temporary Work Permit

If you applied for permanent residence under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, you may be eligible for a 1-year work permit. This would allow you work while your permanent residence application is being processed for the employer that gave you job offer.

You must send your permanent resident application within 90 days of submitting your temporary work permit application to qualify.

To qualify for a temporary work permit, you must have:

  • a job offer from a designated employer that meets the requirements of the program you’re applying under
  • a referral letter from the Atlantic province where you’ll be working

Atlantic Immigration Program as an Employer

The Atlantic Immigration Program helps you hire qualified skilled workers for jobs you haven’t been able to fill locally. These candidates may be abroad or already living in Canada as a temporary residents. There are a few steps as an employer you must follow before successfully sponsoring an employee to work for you.

Step #1: Get Designated

Before you can offer a candidate a job, you must become a designated employer by the provincial government where the applicant will be working. This allows you to hire employees under the Atlantic Immigration Program.

To be designated, your organization must:

  • not be in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
  • be in good standing and comply with employment standards and occupational health and safety legislation
  • not recruit or hire workers for the purpose of establishing a pool of candidates that can be later transferred or contracted out to separate businesses for staffing purposes
  • have been in continuous, active operation under the same management for at least 2 years in 1 of the Atlantic provinces, or be able to show continuous, active operation in another location with confirmation of approval from the province in which you’re applying for designation
  • work with a settlement service provider organization to help your candidates get settlement services

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Step #2: Take the Required Courses

As a designated employer, you must take 2 training courses that will help you with the different steps you need to follow in the Atlantic Immigration Program. This will be onboarding training and intercultural competency training. 

Step #3: Find a Candidate

When you’ve become a designated employer, you can hire skilled workers and international students who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Immigration Program doesn’t match candidates with jobs. You may find a candidate on your own or a candidate may approach you.

Interested in Applying for a Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program?

If you find yourself interested in these programs but not sure where to start Contact VisaPlace today. All of our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.