Prepared by Veronica Laurent; Shreeya A Pal; Edited by Peter Seeder on December 22, 2021

The honourable Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Sean Fraser has announced the launch of the Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program. This is a new permanent program that will officially open on January 1st, 2022. It intends to attract skilled newcomers to the Atlantic provinces. 

What is Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program?

The Atlantic Provinces of Canada comprise of four provinces located on the Atlantic coast – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – and the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Program intends to accelerate the growth of Canada’s economy by strengthening the demographics and economy of the Atlantic region. 

The Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program is a sequel to an earlier program launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). The Pilot program tested new approaches to attract and retain skilled immigrants in the region. It has by now brought over 10,000 new Permanent Residents to Atlantic Canada. Around 9,800 job offers have been made by participating employers. This includes jobs from key sectors such as health care, accommodation, food services, and manufacturing. This program has a higher retention rate than other programs; 90% of the applicants are still living in the region after a year.

The Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program retains 3 features that made the Pilot a success.

  • Focus on Employers
  • Enhanced settlement Support
  • Collaborative Approach across all Atlantic provinces

More about the Atlantic Immigration Program

There will be at least 6000 admissions spaces available every year in the Atlantic Immigration Program. This program will complement the Provincial Nominee Programs in each Atlantic province.

The Permanent program has been designed by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in collaboration with the Atlantic Provinces. Lessons and inputs from the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) have been taken into consideration while designing the program. There are a few key differences from the Pilot program. These include:

  • Clarifying roles between partners.
  • Increasing employer support: This is done by training and strengthening program requirements to ensure that the newcomers can successfully establish themselves in the region.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) works closely with employers and provincial governments to ensure a smooth transition from the Pilot program to the Permanent program. Candidates who have a valid endorsement can submit applications for Permanent Residence under the new program, from March 6th, 2022, onwards.



The Atlantic Provinces of Canada saw the highest population growth since the 1970s with immigration. The pilot program has been the main driver of this trend. The regulations for the Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program will come into force from the 1st of January 2022.

Here’s what the different Ministers of Canada have to say about the Program:

Over the past few years, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has made an incredible difference in communities across our region. It has brought us the resource we need most: more people. They’re skilled, they’re young and they’re staying. Now, we’re doubling down on what works by making it permanent, so we can continue attracting the best and brightest to our region and build a vibrant, prosperous future for Atlantic Canada.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Nova Scotia is preparing for its next chapter of strategic growth and our goal of reaching 2 million people by 2060. The Atlantic Immigration Program is one innovative option that will help us focus on our specific labour needs. We’re very glad that the Government of Canada is making sure the program is here to stay.

The Honourable Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia 

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot has been an important part of New Brunswick’s population growth strategy and integral to building more cohesive, diverse and inclusive communities in our province. We are delighted to see this highly successful pilot become a permanent program, and we look forward to partnering with our federal colleagues on this innovative initiative and being part of its continued success in Atlantic Canada.”

The Honourable Arlene Dunn, Minister of Immigration, New Brunswick

Without a doubt, the Atlantic Immigration Program contributes greatly to the overall growth and success of Prince Edward Island. For a province of our size, programs like this go a long way and make a big impact on the Island. We’re very pleased to know the AIP is here to stay, so we can continue to welcome more people to our province to live, work and stay.”

The Honourable Matthew MacKay, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture, Prince Edward Island

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot’s great success for Newfoundland and Labrador resulted from it being both flexible and precise in responding to our province’s challenges in attracting newcomers. 2021 will be the first year that targets were not only met but exceeded. This demonstrates that flexibility is crucial to resolving the unique challenges we face as a province, while also building on and maximizing the many strengths of the Federation. We will now make every effort to ensure our new Atlantic Immigration Program builds on work to accelerate the arrival of more newcomers to Newfoundland and Labrador than ever before, while also being responsive to the needs of employers to meet evolving labor demands.”

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, Newfoundland, and Labrador

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is a prime example of what we can achieve as governments when we work together. Immigration is key to Atlantic Canada’s long-term economic prosperity, and through sustained, ongoing federal-provincial collaboration, we can ensure that the now-permanent Atlantic Immigration Program remains a resounding success.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure, and Communities

Over the past few years, I have witnessed first-hand the impact that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has had on our region’s economy, and I am thrilled it is being made permanent. This important program will help our businesses attract the talent they need to succeed, and help our communities welcome the newcomers they need to thrive. I am excited to see the difference it will make in communities across Atlantic Canada for years to come.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn more about ways to find a new job in Canada, making your initial days in Canada stress-free and confident, etc.


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