Nova Scotia (NS), New Brunswick (NB), Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) are the four provinces that make up Atlantic Canada.
In the past 15 years, “the share of immigrants settling in Atlantic Canada has [almost] tripled,” according to Canada’s most recent census. In reality, over the past 15 years or so, the proportion of Canadian immigrants who opted to call Atlantic Canada home increased from 1.2% (2006) to 3.5% (2021).
Following are a few potential immigration routes for those who are interested in moving to Atlantic Canada:
Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
On January 1st, 2022, the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) was formally launched.
Foreign nationals who already have a work offer in Atlantic Canada are excused from obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the AIP immigration program.
After the applicant accepts the position, the employer will put them in touch with a certified settlement service provider organization to determine their needs and create a settlement plan.
Employers will “help the long-term integration” of the immigrant and their family in Atlantic Canada in addition to giving them a place to start their career in Canada. This will make it easier for immigrants who enter the country under the AIP to go to their settlement when they get to their new residence.
You may find more information on the AIP and how to apply for immigration to Canada here.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
Except for Quebec and Nunavut, eleven of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories run a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that enables the province or territory to choose foreign nationals who may be most helpful in addressing provincial or territorial labor market needs.
These programs are offered in the four provinces that make up “Atlantic Canada”:
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
There are four categories under the NBPNP:
Express Entry Stream: For foreigners who are most qualified to assist the province in achieving its unique labor market and demographic needs/goals;
Skilled Workers Stream: Candidates for the skilled worker stream must have a full-time, long-term job offer;
Business Immigration Stream: applicants for the business immigration stream must intend to run and actively manage a business;
Strategic Initiative Stream: Particularly for immigrants of the French language, this stream accepts those who desire to live or work permanently in New Brunswick and who have the knowledge, training, and experience to offer to the region.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
There are 5 streams in the NLPNP:
Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker: For foreign skilled workers who have an Express Entry profile that is active in the Federal Pool of qualified applicants and who currently hold an employment offer;
Skilled Worker Category: For skilled employees who have a job offer, including those who are already in NL and have a valid work permit;
International Graduate Category: Applicants in the international graduate category must have both a job offer and a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP);
International Entrepreneur Category: Candidates who apply through this stream want to launch, manage, or buy a company in Newfoundland and Labrador after running a company for at least a year while holding a work permit there;
International Graduate Entrepreneur Category: Graduates of a post-secondary institution in NL who wish to start, co-own, or manage a business are eligible for this stream.
Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
Within the NSNP, there are nine distinct pathways:
Nova Scotia Experience (Express Entry): Express Entry stream for candidates with experience from Nova Scotia is only available to those who have an active Express Entry profile in the Federal Pool of qualified candidates;
Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Priorities in the Nova Scotia labor market for persons whose Express Entry profiles are current and valid. In this instance, candidates must also have a Letter of Interest on their Express Entry profile from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI);
Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians: Candidates in this stream must first secure “a job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority or IWK Health Centre as a general practitioner, family physician, or a specialist physician” in addition to possessing both an active and valid Express Entry profile and a Letter of Interest from NSOI.
The following six categories of people have separate NSNP streams defined for them:
- skilled employees between the ages of 21 and 55 who have received a genuine, full-time, and permanent employment contract from a provincial business (more details here)
- People in Nova Scotia who are employed in professions that are thought to be in high demand (list of occupations presently qualified for this stream)
- International graduates working in Nova Scotian occupations that are thought to be in high demand
- Entrepreneurs who “have a minimum of CAD 600,000 in Net Business and Personal Assets” and are at least 21 years old are eligible.
- Graduate entrepreneurs from abroad: Immigrants must have completed at least two years of full-time postsecondary study in Nova Scotia to be eligible for this stream. They must also have resided in Nova Scotia continuously throughout their studies.
- doctors who are general practitioners, family practitioners, or specialists. The Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre must have signed an approved opportunity with the applicant for them to be eligible to apply through this stream.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
The following three streams are included in the PEI PNP:
PEI PNP Express Entry: For foreign nationals who have a current Express Entry profile with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); PEI PNP Express Entry
Labour Impact Category: Dedicated streams for skilled workers, “Critical” workers, and international graduates are included in the category of labor impact;
Business Impact Category: A stream for overseas investors that want to fund a PEI-based company.