Atlantic Immigration Program

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    Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)

    The Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) is part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), a new Canadian immigration venture for 2017 and beyond.

    Through this program, eligible foreign workers with a job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada can apply for Canadian permanent residence.

    Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) strive to process 80 percent of applications within six months.

    The Job Offer

    The AHSP is an employer-driven program, and therefore all applicants are needed to acquire a valid job offer.

    Applicants to the AHSP must reveal that they have a job offer that is:

    • from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces;
    • for full-time employment for at least one year;
    • non-seasonal;
    • skilled (i.e., in a managerial, professional, or technical/trades position at skill type 0, A, or, B of the National Occupational Classification [NOC]); and
    • supported by a provincial certificate of endorsement from the province that indicates that the job offer is genuine and that a needs assessment has been completed, and a settlement plan is in place for the applicant and each member of the family.

    Work Experience

    Applicants to the AHSP must show that they have obtained work experience for at least one year (1,560 hours total/30 hours per week), non-continuous, full-time, or an equal amount in part-time, within the last three years. This work experience must be:

    • paid work (i.e., volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count); and
    • in a managerial, professional, or technical/trades position (NOC 0, A, or B).

    Additional notes on work experience:

    • Applicants must have carried out the activities listed in the lead statement of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) description and a substantial number of the primary duties.
    • Canadian experience must have been obtained while the foreign national was permitted to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
    • Applicants do not have to be employed at the time they apply.
    • Periods of self-employment will not be included when calculating the period of qualifying work experience.
    • Work experience acquired during a study period is permitted, as long as the work hours did not surpass what the applicant was authorized to do for that period.


    Applicants to AHSP must exhibit they have one of the following:

    • a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree; or
    • a completed foreign educational credential.

    For applicants with an education completed outside Canada, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required to confirm that the level of education is proportional to Canadian standards. The ECA must be less than five years old when the application is submitted.

    Language Ability

    Applicants to the AHSP must verify the language ability of at least fluent basic English or French to apply to the program. This is equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. To find out how this blends with the standardized language tests recognized by IRCC for this program. The following language tests are approved for the AHSP:

    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) — General test only.
    • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) — General test only.
    • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français).
    • Test de connaissance du français (TCF Canada)

    Potential applicants may note that the language point for this program is lower than for many other Canadian economic immigration programs, including the programs operated under the Express Entry system. Moreover, because there is no points system for the AHSP, once a potential applicant has verified the required language proficiency, there is no additional incentive — concerning applying to the AHSP, at least — in re-taking a language test.

    Language test results must be less than two years old when the application is submitted.

    Settlement Funds

    The directed settlement funds must be equal to or greater than the sums listed below for each family size.

      Number of family members (including those supported by the applicant, even if they are not included on the application)

    1 $3,075
    2 $3,828
    3 $4,706
    4 $5,714
    5 $6,481
    6 $7,309
    7 or more $8,138

    Applicants must show that they have adequate money to support themselves and their family members, if appropriate, after landing in Canada unless they work in Canada under a valid work permit.

    These funds cannot be borrowed from another person.

    Provincial Endorsement

    Applicants must be endorsed by an Atlantic province for the application to be complete and accepted by IRCC.

    The province gives an endorsement letter to persons who have been endorsed. Applicants should submit a copy of this letter with their application for permanent residence submitted to IRCC.

    All endorsements are valid for six months after the date of issuance, and extensions are not permitted under these programs. Therefore, the application for permanent residence must be submitted before the expiry date of the endorsement letter.

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