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Atlantic Skilled Workder Criteria – Canada FSW Points system

The Atlantic Immigration Program has been created to attract a greater number of newcomers to the Atlantic Canada region, addressing the needs of local employers and communities. Its primary objectives are to enable designated local employers to recruit and retain international talent, support population growth, develop a skilled workforce, and increase employment rates in the region.

The AIP has been highly successful, benefiting immigrants, employers, and the Atlantic region as a whole. Each year, it grants permanent resident status to thousands of immigrants, fulfilling the demands of local employers and fostering population growth, labor force development, and economic expansion.

How it Works

The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven initiative that simplifies the hiring process for foreign nationals. To qualify for the program, principal applicants must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their families.

Once a designated employer identifies a suitable candidate who meets their employment requirements and the program criteria, the employer offers them a job. Notably, employers are exempt from obtaining a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Upon accepting the job offer, the candidate is connected with a designated settlement service provider organization. They undergo a needs assessment and develop a settlement plan, ensuring the new immigrant and their family, if applicable, receive support for their long-term integration into Canadian society and the achievement of their settlement plan goals upon arrival.

Employers with urgent job vacancies can access a temporary work permit, allowing the candidate and their family to come to Canada promptly. To obtain this work permit, candidates must meet the following requirements:

      • Possess a valid job offer.
      • Obtain a letter from the province.
      • Commit to applying for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.

Employer Designation

Employers interested in hiring skilled immigrants under the program must apply for designation from the province(s) where they operate. Employers with multiple locations in different provinces must seek separate designations for each province. To be designated, employers must fulfill specific requirements, including a commitment to supporting newcomers and their families during their integration into Atlantic Canada.

Learn more about AIP employer designation.

Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for the AIP, candidates must meet the following criteria:

      • Have qualifying work experience, unless they are international students who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
      • Meet the educational criteria.
      • Satisfy the language requirements.
      • Demonstrate sufficient settlement funds. Proof of settlement funds is not necessary for candidates already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit.

Candidates who meet all the above criteria can begin their job search with designated employers in Atlantic Canada.

Work Experience

Candidates must have accumulated a minimum of 1,560 hours of work within the past five years. The following guidelines apply when calculating work experience:

      • Include both full-time and part-time hours.
      • Count only paid hours; volunteer or unpaid hours should not be included.
      • Excluding self-employed work hours.
      • Count hours worked in Canada or abroad, as long as the candidate had legal authorization to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
      • Accumulated work hours must span at least 12 months.
      • Work experience gained while studying can be counted if it aligns with the conditions of the study permit.
      • The work experience should fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, 1, 2, or 3.

For international graduates:

International students who have graduated in Canada are exempt from the work experience requirements if they meet the following criteria:

      • Hold a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade/apprenticeship certification that required at least two years of study from a recognized post-secondary institution in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador.
      • Were full-time students throughout their studies.
      • Possessed the necessary visa or permit to work, study, or receive training while residing in Canada.
      • Lived in one of the Atlantic provinces for a minimum of 16 months during the last two years before graduating.

Educational Requirements

For job offers classified under NOC skill levels 0 or 1, candidates must have completed a one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or possess an equivalent qualification obtained outside of Canada. For job offers classified under NOC skill levels 2, 3, or 4, candidates must have a Canadian high school diploma, or an equivalent credential earned outside of Canada. If the candidate pursued their studies outside of Canada, they must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to confirm that their education meets the Canadian standards required for the job offer. The ECA report must be less than five years old at the time of application submission to IRCC.

Language Requirements

For job offers classified under NOC skill levels 0 or 1, candidates must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level of 5. For job offers classified under NOC skill levels 2, 3, or 4, candidates must attain a CLB or NCLC level of 4. Candidates must provide IRCC with test results from a designated language testing organization that are less than two years old at the time of application.