If you are abroad or living in Canada as a temporary resident, the Atlantic Immigration Program is one pathway towards getting a permanent residency. Initially, it was started as a pilot program, but IRCC permanentized this pilot program w.e.f. March 6, 2022.
First things first, where are the Canadian Atlantic provinces?
Canada’s Atlantic provinces are at the North-eastern part of Canada and they include Newfoundland and Labrador (north of Quebec), Prince Edward Islands, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (east of Montreal and Quebec City).
The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven program which means anyone interested in it should receive a job offer from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada to participate in the program.
Step 1: Entertain or be committed to the idea of moving to Atlantic Canada.
This is the most important decision before thinking of moving to Atlantic Canada. So, you will need to commit to moving permanent to one of the provinces in Atlantic Canada.
Step 2: Make sure this is an opportunity for you. To take part in this program you must be
a) either a recent graduate of a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada (no prior experience required), OR
b) have qualifying work experience of at least 1 year as a skilled worker (inside or outside Canada) in NOC O, A, B, and C skills in last 5 years.
Step 3: Check the rest of the eligibility criteria which will qualify you and which include
- Meeting or exceeding the educational requirements:
- NOC 0 or A skill type or level : Canadian one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or the equivalent outside Canada.
- NOC B or C skill level: Canadian high school diploma, or the equivalent outside Canada.
- Meeting or exceeding the language requirements.
- CLB/NCLC 5 for NOC 0, A and B.
- CLB/NCLC 4 for NOC C). Click here for language equivalency chart.
- Showing that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you move over. If you are already living and working in Canada, you don’t need to show proof of funds. Click here for proof of funds required.
Step 4: If eligible, you’ll need to seek job opportunities with designated employers.
Additionally, you need to make sure that the job offer
- is full time (30 hours per week),
- is non-seasonal,
- doesn’t come from a company where you (the applicant) or your spouse is a majority owner.
- is at the same skill level as, or higher level than, the work experience that qualified you for the job (if you are applying as a skilled worker). Refer to the NOC (National Occupation Classification) table for the specifics on this one.
Step 5: How to Apply?
Once all of the above is over and dealt with, you can start your application for permanent residency. Previously, Atlantic Immigration Program only accepted paper applications, but now you can apply online as well. Click here to get full details on “how to apply.”
Kamal Deep Singh, RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) licensed by CICC (formerly known as ICCRC) with member number R708618. He brings extensive knowledge of immigration law and new changes to rapidly evolving IRCC.