Atlantic Immigration Program

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    Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

    The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a fast-track immigration program that allows employers in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island — to hire foreign nationals for jobs haven’t been able to fill locally.

    Introduced in 2017, the federal government and its provincial government partners aim to welcome more than 7,000 newcomers and their families to the Atlantic Canada region by 2020 through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.


    The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is designed to welcome additional newcomers to the Atlantic Canada region to replenish the needs of local employers and communities.

    The three-year pilot program lets designated local employers identify, recruit and retain global talent. The program also has the objectives of supporting population growth, inventing a skilled workforce, and boosting employment rates in the region.

    The pilot program forms part of an overall Atlantic Growth Strategy that is focused on the following five priority areas:

    • skilled workforce and immigration;
    • innovation;
    • clean growth and climate change;
    • trade and investment; and
    • infrastructure.

    On November 1, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a multi-year immigration targets plan for 2018-2020with specific allocations for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

    Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program: How it works

    The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is an employer-driven program that promotes the hiring of foreign workers. All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the pilot program must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their families.

    Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, that employer will need first to offer them a job. Employers do not need to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under this program.

    Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect with a designated settlement service provider organization to assess conditions and create a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and their families, if applicable, to achieve the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.

    Employers that need to fill a job vacancy quickly will have access to a temporary work permit so that the candidate and their family can come to Canada as soon as possible. To acquire this work permit, candidates will need:

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

    Employer designation

    Employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the pilot program must apply to the province(s) to receive the designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require a separate designation for each province. In addition, employers must meet specific requirements, including a commitment to support the newcomer and their family as they integrate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.

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