Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) programs: Assessing the application against selection criteria

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Applicants should be assessed against the pass and fail selection criteria below, based on the information and documents provided in the application. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be approved.

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Confirmation of provincial endorsement

Provinces can only endorse individuals in support of applications for permanent residence made through the paper-based (non-Express Entry) process.

An endorsement letter is issued by the province to persons who have been endorsed. Applicants should submit a copy of this letter with their permanent residence application.

Part of the completeness check includes verifying that the applicant who is applying for permanent residence under one of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs is listed on the encrypted monthly endorsement spreadsheet that CIO-Sydney receives electronically from the provinces.

The provincial endorsement is considered valid as long as the applicant submits a complete application for permanent residence on or before the expiry date of the endorsement. All endorsements are valid for six months after the date of issuance. Extensions are not permitted under these programs.

Note: IRCC is responsible for assessing the selection criteria and determining if the applicant meets all requirements of the program. Neither the provinces nor the employers will be performing any assessment or pre-screening of applicants against the selection criteria. Officers should not presume that an applicant meets all the requirements of the program based on the endorsement letter.

Education

Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP)

The applicant must demonstrate that they meet the following minimum education requirements:

  • obtained, as a full-time student, a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship credential following completion of a post-secondary education program of at least 2 years from a recognized, publicly funded institution in 1 of the 4 Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • lived in either New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador or Prince Edward Island for at least 16 months within the 24-month period before their credential was granted, and
  • had valid or legal temporary resident status throughout their stay in Canada and had authorization for any work, study or training they engaged in while in Canada.

Eligible educational credentials

Only certain educational credentials are eligible for the AIGP. An educational credential is not eligible if the credentials were obtained in a study or training program where:

  • the study of English or French as a second language was at least half of the program;
  • distance learning was at least half of the program; or
  • where a scholarship or fellowship stipulated that the recipient return to their home country to apply the knowledge and skills gained.
Note: The education credential must have been obtained within 24 months of the date on the application for permanent residence.

Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) and Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program (AISP)

Applicants must demonstrate they have the following:

Note: The assessment outcome stated in the ECA report is conclusive evidence that an applicant’s completed foreign educational credentials are equivalent to at least a completed Canadian secondary school educational credential.

Equivalency assessments will include an assessment by the designated organization of the authenticity of the applicant’s completed foreign educational credentials. This assessment provided by the designated organization is not conclusive evidence of the authenticity of the foreign educational credentials. If an officer has concerns about the authenticity of an applicant’s foreign educational credentials, they must communicate these concerns to the applicant, afford them an opportunity to respond to those concerns and provide additional information or documentation.

Official language proficiency

The applicant must provide:

  • an original language test approved by IRCC that shows the applicant meets the minimum language level of four (4) in the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens in French for each of the four language skill areas, and
  • the test results must be less than two years old on the date of application.

See the language requirements section for evidence of language proficiency.

Qualifying work experience

AIGP

Applicants do not require any work experience.

AHSP and AISP

Applicants must demonstrate 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
  • that was for paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count),
  • in an occupation with the following National Occupational Classification (NOC)
    • for the AHSP – at skill type 0, or skill levels A, or B.
    • for the AISP – at skill level C.

      Note: Applicants in the AISP stream can include work experience at skill level B acquired while working as a

      • registered nurse (NOC 3012)
      • registered psychiatric nurse (NOC 3012)
      • licensed practical nurse (NOC 3233)

      For this to apply, the applicant must have a job offer as a

      • nurse’s aide (NOC 3413)
      • orderly (NOC 3413)
      • patient services associate (NOC 3413)
      • home support worker (NOC 4412)
  • where they have carried out the activities listed in the lead statement of the NOC and a substantial number of the main duties, including all the duties that distinguish a particular occupation from other occupations
    • duties that begin with “may” in the NOC description are not usually considered essential duties
  • that was obtained overseas or in Canada

Note: Canadian experience must have been obtained while the foreign national was authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident.

Applicants do not have to be employed at the time they apply.

Work experience does not need to be continuous to qualify and can be accumulated within the last 3 years. When calculating the period of 12 months of required employment, it cannot include any extended breaks in employment, periods of unemployment, prolonged sick leave or parental leave. However, a reasonable period of vacation time will be counted towards meeting the work experience requirement (for example, a 2-week period of paid vacation leave within a given 52-week period in which the applicant was engaged in qualifying work).

Any periods of self-employment will not be included when calculating the period of qualifying work experience.

Work experience acquired during a period of study is allowed, as long as the work hours did not exceed what they were authorized to do.

Employment requirements

Applicants must demonstrate they meet the relevant employment requirements of the job they are being offered. Relevant employment requirements may include education, training or other qualifications listed in the NOC description, with the exception of Canadian licensing requirements in the case of regulated occupations.

Job Offer requirements

AIGP

Applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained a job offer that is:

  • from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador),
  • for full-time employment for at least one year,
  • non-seasonal,
  • for an occupation at skill type 0, or skill levels A, B or C 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.

AHSP

Applicants must demonstrate that they have a job offer that is:

  • from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador),
  • for full-time employment for at least one year,
  • non-seasonal,
  • for an occupation at skill type 0, or skill levels 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.

AISP

Applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained a job offer that is:

  • from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador),
  • for full-time and indeterminate employment,
  • non-seasonal,
  • for an occupation at skill type 0, or skill levels A, B or C 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.
Note: Applicants must demonstrate that they are able to perform and are likely to accept and carry out the employment and they meet the relevant employment requirements of the occupation as set out in the NOC. Failure to do so, may result in a refusal.

Settlement funds

If an applicant is not already working in Canada, they must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available for settlement in Canada at the time of application and when the application is finalized. The funds must be all of the following:

  • available and transferable
  • unencumbered by debts or other obligations
  • sufficient to support the initial establishment in Canada

Sufficient funds are determined according to the applicant’s family size (including both accompanying and non-accompanying dependants). The funds must be one eighth of the current low-income cutoff for urban areas with populations of 500,000 or more.

Humanitarian and compassionate requests to overcome requirements of Ministerial Instructions

IRCC does not process requests on the basis of humanitarian and compassionate grounds when all of the following are true:

  • The request was made from outside Canada.
  • The request is accompanied by a permanent residence application.
  • The request was not accepted under the Ministerial Instructions for the AIP programs.
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