Hire a skilled worker or graduate – Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces:

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

It helps Atlantic employers hire qualified candidates for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally. These candidates can be overseas or living in Canada temporarily.

Before you make a job offer, you must be designated by the provincial government of the Atlantic province where the candidate will be working.

There are three programs you can use to hire someone:

  • Atlantic High-skilled Program
  • Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program
  • Atlantic International Graduate Program

Each program has requirements that you and the candidate must meet. Once you make a job offer, you and the candidate will work through several steps. If you and the candidate meet all the requirements, the candidate gets permanent resident status in Canada.

These are the steps you need to take as an employer.

Get designated

  1. Work with a settlement service provider organization
  2. Apply to the province to become designated

When you find a candidate

  1. Make sure the job and the candidate meet the requirements
  2. Make a job offer
  3. Submit an endorsement application to the province
  4. Optional: Letter of Support for a temporary work permit

Get designated

Being designated means you can offer jobs under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. The provinces handle designation.

To be designated, your organization must:

  • be in good standing
  • have been operating in the Atlantic region for at least two years
  • work with a settlement service provider organization to help your candidates get settlement services

If you meet these criteria, you can apply to the province to become designated.

Good standing

Definitions of “good standing” are found in the federal-provincial agreements for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot:

1. Work with a settlement service provider organization

Before you apply to become designated, you must work with a settlement service provider organization. This organization must be located in the community where your candidate will be working. It will help your candidate adjust to life in Canada and make sure your workplace is ready to welcome newcomers.

List of settlement service provider organizations in the Atlantic region

Your application must show that you are in contact with a settlement service provider organization. The application package for getting designated will explain how to show this.

2. Apply to the province to become designated

Each province has its own application process. There isn’t a cost to become designated. You can find applications to become designated on the provinces’ websites:

The provinces handle designation. Send any questions about designation to them. We aren’t involved in the designation process.

You only have to apply once to be designated by a province. You don’t need to apply for each candidate.

You can apply for designation even before you find a candidate.

You must be designated in the province where the candidate will be working. If the candidate will be working in several provinces, you must be designated in all those provinces.

You can’t hire someone under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot if they won’t be working in an Atlantic province.

When you are designated, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Designation from the province.

When you find a candidate

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot doesn’t match candidates with jobs. You may find a candidate on your own or a candidate may approach you.

When you are designated and find a candidate you want to hire, follow these steps.

3. Make sure the job and the candidate meet requirements

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot has three programs for hiring candidates. Each has its own requirements.

The three programs are:

Atlantic High-skilled Program

The job must:

  • last at least one year from the date the candidate gets permanent resident status
  • be a management, professional (usually needing a university degree), or technical/skilled (usually needing a college diploma or training as an apprentice) job
  • be full-time
  • be non-seasonal

The candidate must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the High-skilled Program.

Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program

The job must:

  • be permanent
  • be a management, professional (usually needing a university degree), technical/skilled (usually needing a college diploma or training as an apprentice) or intermediate (usually needing high school and/or job-specific training) job
  • be full-time
  • be non-seasonal

The candidate must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the Intermediate-skilled Program.

Atlantic International Graduate Program

The job must:

  • last at least one year from the date the candidate gets permanent resident status
  • be a management, professional (usually needing a university degree), technical/skilled (usually needing a college diploma or training as an apprentice) or intermediate (usually needing high school and/or job-specific training) job.
  • be full-time
  • be non-seasonal

The candidate must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the International Graduate Program.

Let the candidate know which program you want to use to hire them. Ask them to make sure they meet all the program’s requirements.

Encourage candidates to get their documents

Candidates need to send documents with their application. Encourage your candidate to get these documents before you make the job offer:

If they have these documents, they can send their application more quickly after you make the job offer.

4. Make a job offer

When you have a candidate and a job that meet a program’s requirements, offer the candidate the job using the form: Offer of Employment to a Foreign National [IMM5650] (PDF 817.97 KB).

Give a filled in copy to your candidate. They must sign it.

The candidate will need a copy of the form and a copy of your Confirmation of Designation to get a settlement plan.

Getting a settlement plan

At this step, the candidate will work with a settlement service provider organization to create a settlement plan. The organization can be the one you worked with to get designated or the candidate can chose a different one.

The organization will create a settlement plan for the candidate and their family members aged 18 years and over who will be living with them in Canada. The plan tells them about the community where they will be living and where they can go in the community to get help.

The candidate will give you a copy of the plan(s). You’ll need the plan(s) to get endorsed.

5. Submit an endorsement application to the province

The province must endorse your job offer before the candidate can apply for permanent resident status.

The provinces handle endorsement. Send any questions about endorsement to them. We aren’t involved in the endorsement process.

Visit the province’s website to get their endorsement application:

The endorsement applications will ask you to:

  • Show that you haven’t been able to fill the job with someone locally. You don’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • Show the job offer meets the requirements of one of the three programs in step 3
  • Send the completed and signed Offer of Employment to a Foreign National [IMM5650] (PDF 817.97 KB)
  • Send the settlement plans for the candidate and their family members coming to Canada with them

The provincial forms will tell you how to do this. They may also ask for additional documentation. The candidate may need to send you more documents or sign the province’s forms.

If the province endorses the job offer, they will send a Certificate of Endorsement to the candidate. Once your candidate gets the endorsement certificate, they can apply for permanent resident status.

6. Optional: Letter of Support for temporary work permit

Candidates who meet the requirements to apply for permanent resident status may be eligible to apply for a temporary work permit. This permit lets the candidate begin work while their permanent resident application is being processed. The permit:

  • is only for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot
  • is valid for one year
  • only lets the candidate work for you

The candidate must send their permanent resident application within 90 days of submitting the temporary work permit application.

In order for the candidate to apply for a work permit, you must request a Referral Letter from the provincial government when you apply for endorsement. When the candidate applies for a temporary work permit, they must include the Referral letter with their application, and you must complete some more steps.

Getting a temporary work permit doesn’t guarantee we’ll approve the permanent resident application.

Learn how candidates for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot can apply for a temporary work permit.

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