How to immigrate – Atlantic Immigration Pilot

See the entire process

To help you understand the entire process, see the infographic showing each step for you and the employer.

You can also see the process the employer must follow.

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

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot lets Atlantic employers hire qualified candidates for jobs that they haven’t been able to fill locally. You can be living abroad or be in Canada temporarily. You must have a job offer before you can apply.

You and the employer must meet requirements. If you and the employer meet the requirements, you’ll get permanent resident status. This means you can live and work in Canada.

These are the steps you need to follow:

It usually takes six months to process your permanent resident application.

1. Meet eligibility requirements

Employers can hire you through one of three programs in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot:

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

Each program has its own requirements. These requirements cover:

  • the job that you’ll have in the Atlantic province
  • your skills, experience and education
  • your ability to communicate in English or French
  • your ability to support yourself and your family in Canada
  • your intent to reside in the Atlantic province

If you are interested in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, see if you qualify for one or more of the programs.

Atlantic High-skilled Program

In general, you must:

  • have worked in a management, professional or technical/skilled job for at least a year
  • have at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent education
  • take a language test to show you can communicate in English or French
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

The employer must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the High-skilled Program.

Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program

In general, you must:

  • have worked in a job that requires a high school education and/or job-specific training for at least a year
  • have at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent education
  • take a language test to show you can communicate in English or French
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

The employer must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the Intermediate-skilled Program.

Atlantic International Graduate Program

In general, you must:

  • have a degree, diploma or other credential from a publicly-funded institution in an Atlantic province
  • have lived in an Atlantic province for at least 16 months in the 2 years before getting your degree, diploma or credential
  • take a language test to show you can communicate in English or French
  • show you can support yourself and your family when you come to Canada

The employer must also meet certain requirements.

Read the full requirements for the International Graduate Program.

You may be eligible for more than one program, but you can only apply through one program.

Get ready before your job offer

You must send documents with your application. You can get these documents before you have a job offer. Getting these documents can help let you apply faster when you have a job offer.

There are other documents you must include in your application. Each program has an application guide with a checklist of all the documents and forms you must submit. Use the checklist to make sure you have all of the documents:

2. Find a designated employer

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot doesn’t match you with open jobs. We don’t know which employers are looking for workers.

An employer has to offer you a job before you can apply.

If an employer wants to hire you, make sure they are designated by the province where you’ll be working. Ask to see the Confirmation of Designation from the province where you’ll be working.

3. Get a job offer

If an Atlantic employer offers you a job, make sure it meets the requirements of the program you qualify for.

The employer will give you an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National [IMM5650] (PDF, 1.54 MB) form. Sign it. Keep a copy of the form because you’ll need it for your settlement plan.

You must meet the employment requirements for the job you are offered. The requirements are listed in the National Occupational Classification. Your job offer doesn’t need to be in the same field as other jobs you’ve had.

Start your permanent resident application early

After a job offer, there are more steps before you can submit your permanent resident application. However, you can start filling in your application now.

4. Get a settlement plan

After you get a job offer from a designated employer, you and any family members who are aged 18 years and over and who will be living with you in Canada need to get a settlement plan. The plan will:

  • help you settle in Canada
  • give you resources and links related to you and your family’s needs
  • tell you where you can go in the community to get help

These plans are free.

You’ll work with a settlement service provider organization to make this plan. If you’re already in Canada, you must work with a settlement service provider organization in the region where you’ll be working. If you’re outside Canada, there are several settlement service provider organizations in Canada you can contact.

Find a settlement service provider organization and get a settlement plan.

Settlement service provider organizations don’t know which employers are looking for workers. Don’t contact them to find a job.

Once you have your settlement plan(s), give a copy of the plan(s) to your employer. Keep a copy for yourself. If you are not in Canada, bring the plan(s) with you when you move to Canada.

5. Get endorsed by an Atlantic province

After you have your settlement plan, the province must endorse the job offer. Your employer will handle this process. Don’t submit your permanent resident application until you have been endorsed.

If the province endorses your job offer, you’ll get a Certificate of Endorsement in the mail. Include your endorsement certificate with your permanent resident application.

The endorsement application

Your employer will fill out and submit an endorsement application to the province. This will include a copy of your settlement plan(s).

Each province has its own process. Your employer may need more documents from you. You may also have to sign some forms.

Since the provinces handle endorsement, send any questions to them. IRCC isn’t involved in this step.

6. Submit your permanent resident application

Choose the application package for the program you’ll be applying through:

The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out.

7. Optional: Temporary work permit

If you meet the requirements to apply for permanent resident status under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary work permit. You must have:

  • a job offer from a designated employer that meets the requirements of the program you’re applying under
  • a Referral Letter from the Atlantic province where you’ll be working

Your employer will ask for a Referral Letter at the same time they apply to have your job offer endorsed by the province.

The permit lets you begin work while your permanent resident application is being processed. The permit:

  • is only for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot
  • is valid for one year
  • only lets you work for the employer who offered you the job

You must send your permanent resident application within 90 days of submitting your temporary work permit application.

Getting a temporary work permit doesn’t automatically mean we’ll approve your permanent resident application.

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