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Introduction

"The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) offers a pathway to attaining permanent residence for highly skilled foreign workers and international graduates who aspire to live and work in one of the four Atlantic Provinces in Canada viz New Brunswick, Nova Scotia , Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. This program is designed with a focus on employer-driven initiatives, aiming to assist employers in the Atlantic region to address labor shortages by hiring qualified candidates for positions that have proven challenging to fill locally. To be eligible for participation in the program, you are required to secure a job offer from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada.

We encourage you to first read through the entire article from start to finish without clicking on any of the linked resources or websites. This will provide you a comprehensive overview of the key aspects of the Atlantic Immigration Program and how the process functions.

Once you have gone through the full content, you can then go back and explore any linked references or external sites on your second read-through for additional details or to access application forms/documents. Taking this approach will ensure you gain a solid grounding on the program, eligibility and process before diving into specifics."

The idea is to first get the big picture view by reading the full narrative end-to-end. Then the reader can click links to dig deeper or access forms. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional suggestions!

To qualify for immigration to Atlantic Canada through this program, you must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Recent graduate from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
  2. Skilled worker with the requisite qualifications and experience.

Whether you currently reside abroad or are already in Canada as a temporary resident, you can pursue the Atlantic Immigration Program as a viable pathway to permanent residence

Eligibility Requirements for the Atlantic Immigration Program

To qualify for the Atlantic Immigration Program, you must meet several criteria, which include:

1. Work Experience: Unless you are an international graduate of a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada, you should have qualifying work experience. In the last five years, you must have worked for at least 1,560 hours, which is equivalent to a year of full-time work if you were working 30 hours per week. This work experience should be counted from part-time and full-time jobs, but unpaid internships or volunteering do not count. Self-employment hours should be excluded. You can count work hours acquired both inside and outside Canada, but you must have been legally authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident. The work hours should be accumulated over a period of at least 12 months. Your work experience must fall within specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) categories, which are categorized as TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, TEER 3, or TEER 4, depending on your occupation.

2. Educational Requirements: Your educational qualifications must meet the requirements based on your job offer's NOC 2021 TEER category. If you have a job offer in the NOC 2021 TEER 0 or 1 category, you should have a one-year Canadian post-secondary educational credential or its equivalent from outside Canada. If your job offer falls under the NOC 2021 TEER 2, 3, or 4 category, you need a Canadian high school diploma or its equivalent from outside Canada. However, if you completed your studies outside Canada, you will require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to confirm that your education level meets or exceeds the required level for your job offer. Your ECA report should be less than five years old at the time of your application, and the educational credential must have been obtained within 24 months before your permanent residence application date.

3. Language Requirements: You must meet the minimum language requirements as per the NOC 2021 TEER category of your job offer. These requirements are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de comp├ętence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). The minimum language requirements are CLB/NCLC 5 for TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3, and CLB/NCLC 4 for TEER 4. You must provide language test results from a designated language testing organization with your application, and these results should be less than two years old when you apply.

4. Settlement Funds: You need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada. The required amount depends on the size of your family, which includes individuals you support but who may not be immigrating with you.

It's worth noting that if you are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit, you are exempt from demonstrating proof of funds.

Meeting these requirements is crucial to participate in the Atlantic Immigration Program, allowing you to pursue permanent residence in one of Canada's Atlantic provinces.

Getting A Job Offer

To secure employment opportunities with designated employers, you should explore job prospects within the Atlantic Immigration Program. You can find more details on this by referring to the respective provincial websites:

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Your job offer must meet specific criteria, which include the following:

1. The job offer must be full-time.

2. It must be non-seasonal, signifying consistent and year-round paid employment.

3. For job offers falling under NOC 2021 TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3, the employer should offer a job that lasts at least one year from the time you become a permanent resident.

4. For job offers in NOC 2021 TEER category 4, the employment must be permanent, with no fixed end date.

5. The job offer cannot originate from a company where you (the applicant), your spouse, or common-law partner hold a majority ownership.

6. The job must be at the same skill level as, or higher than, the work experience that qualified you for the job, unless you are an international graduate from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.

7. Some healthcare sector jobs may not necessitate a job offer at the same skill level as the required work experience. Work experience in NOC 32101 (licensed practical nurses) and NOC 31301 (registered nurses) can be considered for positions in NOC 33102 (nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates) or NOC 44101 (home health care workers). The following points illustrate the relationship between NOC 2021 TEER job offer categories and their corresponding work experience requirements: TEER Work Experience Requirements

TEER Work Experience Requirements

TEER Level Work Experience Requirements
TEER 0 Requires TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 work experience.
TEER 1 Requires TEER 1, 2, 3, 4 work experience.
TEER 2 Requires TEER 2, 3, 4 work experience.
TEER 3 Requires TEER 3, 4 work experience.
TEER 4 Requires TEER 4 work experience.

When a designated employer extends a job offer, they will provide you with an "Offer of Employment to a Foreign National" form [IMM 0157]. You must ensure that you meet the employment requirements outlined in the National Occupational Classification, sign the "Offer of Employment to a Foreign National" form, and keep a copy for your records.

This form will be essential when you collaborate with a service provider organization to create your settlement plan and during your permanent residence application process. If you receive a job offer from an employer, you can request a copy of their "Confirmation of Designation," or encourage them to consider becoming designated if they are not already part of the Atlantic Immigration Program.

Documentation Requirements

Prepare Your Documents for Your Permanent Residence Application in Advance

To ensure a smooth and timely permanent residence application in Atlantic Canada, it's crucial to start gathering your documents well in advance. Here are the key steps to consider:

1. Language Test:

You are required to take a language test and include the results with your application. This applies even if you have previously studied in Canada.

Learn more about the language testing requirements for the Atlantic Immigration Program.

2. Educational Credential Assessment (ECA):

If you completed your studies outside of Canada, you will need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. This report demonstrates how your educational qualifications compare to Canadian standards.

For more information about ECA Click here Educational Credential Assessment

3. Proof of Funds:

• Upon your arrival in Canada, you must have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. Find out the specific financial requirements for your arrival in Canada.

It's important to note that if you are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit, you are exempt from demonstrating proof of funds.

4. Other Documents:

There are additional documents that must be included in your application. Consult the application guide's checklist to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

You can begin preparing your application in advance, but you should refrain from submitting it until you have all the required documents ready.

Obtain a Settlement Plan

After receiving a job offer from a designated employer, obtaining a settlement plan is essential. This plan is designed to assist you and your family in adapting to your new life in Atlantic Canada by providing valuable resources and contacts to help you feel welcome in your new community. Settlement plans are provided at no cost.

If You're Already in Canada:

You must collaborate with a settlement service provider organization in the region where you will be working. Your designated employer can assist you in finding one.

If You're Outside Canada:

There are numerous settlement service provider organizations in Canada that you can reach out to. Consult your designated employer for recommendations.

If you prefer to communicate in French, there are Francophone organizations available to assist you.

Find a settlement service provider organization and acquire a settlement plan. Please note that settlement service provider organizations are not involved in the job placement process. Avoid contacting them to find a job.

Once you have your settlement plan, provide a copy to your employer and retain one for your records. If you are not in Canada, bring the plan with you when you move to Canada.

Obtain Your Certificate of Endorsement

After securing your settlement plan, your job offer must be endorsed by the province. Your employer will manage this endorsement process. Do not submit your permanent residence application until you have confirmed with your employer that your job offer has been endorsed.

Upon receiving province endorsement for your job offer, you will be issued a Certificate of Endorsement, which should be included with your permanent residence application.


Applying for Permanent Residency 

Mandatory Biometrics Submission

In most cases, you are now required to provide your biometrics, which include your fingerprints and a photograph, as part of your application process. To understand who needs to provide biometrics and how the new application procedure functions, refer to the guidelines provided. Here's a step-by-step overview of the application process:

Step 1: Prepare to Apply Online

Beginning October 21, 2022, all applications must be submitted online.

In cases where accommodations are required due to a disability or other reasons, a paper, braille, or large print application format can be requested.

Sign in or create a Permanent Residence Online Application Portal account.

Consult the Instruction Guide [IMM 0154] for essential information about your eligibility, fees, and the application process.

Step 2: Complete Application Forms

Digital forms should be filled out online for yourself and any family members aged 18 or older.

Digital Forms:

Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)

Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)

Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

Supplementary Information - Your Travels (IMM 5562)

PDF forms, though not requiring your physical signature, should be completed and uploaded as part of your online application. The principal applicant will electronically sign for the entire application, including the family members.

Document Checklist [IMM 0155] (PDF, 367 KB)

Economic Classes – Atlantic Immigration Program [IMM 5501] (PDF, 237 KB)

Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union [IMM 5409] (PDF, 0.78 MB) if applicable

Separation Declaration for Minors Traveling to Canada [IMM 5604] (PDF, 1.99 MB) if applicable

Employers must complete the "Offer of Employment to a Foreign National under the Atlantic Immigration Program [IMM 0157] (PDF, 318 KB)." Your employer should fill out the form, print and sign it by hand, and then provide a copy to you. As the principal applicant, you must read and sign the declaration at the bottom, make a digital copy, and upload it with your online application.

If you are using an immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer), they can assist you with your application for a fee. However, they cannot open a portal account on your behalf, electronically sign the application for you, or sign into the portal using your username and password.

Step 3: Pay Application Fees Online

Instructions on how to pay your fees are provided.

A biometrics fee is required in most cases when submitting your application. Paying this fee is essential to avoid delays. This fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

After paying the biometrics fee and having a complete application, you will receive a letter confirming the need to provide biometrics, along with information on where to go. This letter must be presented during the biometrics appointment, which is conducted in person. Ensure you book an appointment if the service is offered and find a collection point near you.

Temporary Changes to Biometrics

If you cannot book a biometrics appointment within the given deadline, temporary measures may be in place to assist you.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Before submitting your application, ensure that you:

Answer all questions thoroughly.

Electronically sign your application by typing your full name exactly as shown on your passport.

Include your processing fee receipt.

Upload all the required supporting documents.

An incomplete application will be rejected, and you will need to rectify any errors before re-submission.

Optional Application for Temporary Work Permit

If you meet the requirements for applying for permanent residence, you may also be eligible to apply for a temporary work permit, allowing you to work while your permanent residence application is being processed. Here are the key details about the temporary work permit:

Temporary Work Permit Details:

This work permit is exclusively for the Atlantic Immigration Program.

It has a validity of 2 years.

It permits you to work only for the employer who extended the job offer to you.

However, it's important to note that obtaining a temporary work permit does not guarantee approval of your permanent residence application.

Qualifications for a Work Permit

To be eligible for a work permit, you must have:

A job offer from a designated employer that complies with the program's requirements.

A referral letter from the Atlantic province where you will be working.

Additionally, when applying for a temporary work permit, you are required to demonstrate that you meet the program's prerequisites concerning language, education, and work experience unless you are an international graduate.

Temporary Work Permits for Spouses or Common-law Partners

Your spouse or common-law partner has the option to apply for an open work permit.

How to Apply for the Work Permit:

You must complete your work permit application online. If this is your first application under the Atlantic Immigration Program, your application should include the following:

A job offer number (available in the Employer Portal, with the employer indicating a duration of 2 years for the work permit when completing the Offer of Employment).

Your referral letter from the Atlantic province where you will work.

Your signed IMM 0156 form (Undertaking for an application for a work permit exempted from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as part of the Atlantic Immigration Program).

Language test results.

Educational credentials.

Proof of work experience.

The specific application forms and procedures you need to follow may vary depending on your location. If you are in Canada as a visitor without a study or work permit, you can find information on how to apply for a work permit from within Canada.


Post Application Process

When an applicant's submission is under review for permanent residence, the Canadian immigration authorities follow a structured process:

Application Review and Verification

The authorities examine the application meticulously to ensure it has been accurately and comprehensively filled out, and all requisite documents are included.

Verification includes confirming the payment of the processing fee and assessing whether the applicant meets the program's requirements.

The immigration office initiates contact with the applicant for various purposes, such as collecting biometrics (fingerprints and photo), confirming the application review, requesting additional documents if necessary, and scheduling interviews when required.

If applicable, the applicant is informed of the obligation to pay the right of permanent residence fee.

Keeping Information Updated

To facilitate a smooth processing experience, it is vital for applicants to maintain current contact details and application information. Any changes in personal information, such as marital status, the birth or adoption of a child, the demise of an applicant or dependent, or updates to contact information (email, phone number, and mailing address), should be promptly reported to the immigration authorities through the provided web form.

Biometrics Requirement

Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 may be requested to provide their biometrics. Payment of the biometric fee is mandatory upon application submission to prevent potential processing delays. It is essential to make this payment promptly upon receiving the letter instructing you to provide your biometrics.

The applicant is allotted 30 days from the date on the letter to complete this biometric process.

Information regarding who is required to provide biometrics, how to undergo this procedure, and the designated locations for biometric submission is provided in relevant resources.

Temporary Measures for Biometrics

To mitigate any processing delays, applicants are advised to schedule their biometrics appointment as soon as possible. Temporary measures may be in place to assist those who are unable to book an appointment within the deadline specified in their biometrics instruction letter.

Application Processing

Once biometrics are collected, the immigration office commences the processing of the application. If additional information is needed, the applicant will be contacted accordingly.

Mandatory Medical Examination

Before finalizing settlement plans in Canada, the applicant and their family members (even if they are not accompanying the applicant) must undergo mandatory medical examinations. The immigration authorities specify when to submit these medical documents.

It is important to note that the application will not be accepted if the applicant's health poses a risk to Canada's public health or safety, or if it would place an excessive demand on Canada's healthcare or social services.

Verification of Information

If the applicant is found to be untruthful in their permanent residence application, the authorities may take actions such as refusing the application, declaring the applicant inadmissible, or imposing a five-year ban on applying to come to Canada for any reason.

Decision on the Application

The decision regarding the application is based on the following key factors:

Whether the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for the program.

The applicant's admissibility to Canada, which is determined based on the results of the medical examination and background checks.

The authorities will notify the applicant when a decision has been made on their application.

Application Refusal and Reconsideration

If the application is refused, the applicant will receive a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal. To seek reconsideration, the applicant will need to complete and submit a new application, ensuring that they still meet the eligibility criteria and are found admissible to Canada.

If Your Application Receives Approval

Upon the approval of your application, the Canadian immigration authorities will issue the following documents:

Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR): This document contains essential information about your identity and includes your photograph. It is crucial to verify that the information on your COPR aligns with the details in your passport. If you identify any errors, promptly contact the authorities for rectification. Keep in mind that COPRs cannot be extended, so ensure you utilize it before it expires.

Permanent Resident Visa: If you originate from a country that necessitates a visa for entry into Canada, you will receive a permanent resident visa alongside your COPR.

If you are already in Canada:

  • Maintaining Updated Information: It is important to maintain accurate and current contact information. Utilize the web form to update your contact details or report changes in your family situation, such as marriage, birth, divorce, or death.
  • Confirmation of Permanent Resident Status Virtually: In most cases, the confirmation of permanent resident (PR) status is confirmed without in-person interviews, via a secure online portal. Applicants are notified when they need to confirm their PR status using the email or phone number they provided during the application process.
  • Confirmation through the Permanent Residence Portal: Applicants receive emails from an official mailbox ending in cic.gc.ca, asking them to validate their email address and confirm their physical presence in Canada. The Permanent Residence Portal is separate from your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada secure account, and creating an account in the portal should be avoided, as it may cause delays. Instead, the authorities will establish an account for you, following their instructions.
  • Departure Notification: It is imperative to inform the authorities if you leave Canada before being granted PR status.

If you are outside Canada:

Arrival in Canada: Upon arriving in Canada, you must have the following documents:

A valid passport and/or travel documents (regular, private citizen passport; diplomatic, government service, or public affairs passports are not accepted).

Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).

A permanent resident visa (if issued) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) electronically linked to your passport (if required for citizens of visa-exempt countries).

Proof of funds demonstrating your ability to support yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada.

Identity Verification Upon Arrival: When you arrive in Canada, you will encounter an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who will:

Ensure you are entering Canada before or on the expiry date indicated on your COPR.

Verify your identity, which may include using your biometrics.

Examine your passport and travel documents.

Ask you questions to confirm that you still meet the eligibility criteria to enter Canada, similar to the questions answered during the application process.

If you provide false or incomplete information or fail to convince the officer of your eligibility, you may be denied entry into Canada. In the case of air travel, you will be required to take a return flight to your point of origin. If you are deemed admissible, the officer will:

Allow you to enter Canada as a permanent resident.

Confirm your Canadian mailing address, where your permanent resident card will be sent. Should you change your address within 180 days of arrival, you must notify the authorities using the provided Web form.

Children's Entry Requirements: Children under 18 must meet the same entry requirements as adults. The border services officer may request additional documents based on whether a minor child is traveling alone or with an adult.

Settlement Services: As part of your application, you have completed a settlement plan that identifies settlement resources tailored to your needs and the community in which you plan to reside. These free settlement services can assist you and your family in various ways, including learning about life in Atlantic Canada, language learning (English and French), and connecting with your new community. If you are settling in a Francophone community, you can access settlement services in French before your arrival to prepare for life in such a community.

Permanent Resident Cards: Following your approval as a permanent resident, an e-COPR will be made available to you in the portal to serve as proof of your new status in Canada. Additionally, you will be requested to provide a photo in the portal to initiate the process of issuing your first PR card. There is no need to apply separately for your first PR card. While awaiting your PR card, you can use your signed COPR as proof of your permanent resident status in Canada, allowing you to apply for government benefits and services, including obtaining a social insurance number for employment purposes.



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