March 4, 2024 11:50 PM

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Atlantic Canada Emerges as a Favorite Immigration Destination for Long-Time Settlers

Atlantic Canada reported higher retention rates of immigrants, according to Statistics Canada.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) boosts retention rates of immigrants who prefer settling in the region longer. Settlement service providers ensure better support for immigrants to integrate and stay in Atlantic Canada after they arrive through Atlantic Immigration Program than other pathways. The collective efforts of the provincial government, communities, settlement agencies and employers result in better retention rates of immigrants in Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Immigration Program came into force as a pilot program in 2017 and soon became a permanent program because of its success in retaining immigrants. Over 90 percent of immigrants continued staying in the region a year later. The AIP started accepting applications for permanent residency after it became a permanent program on January 1, 2022.

Nova Scotia leads with the highest retention rates

Among all Atlantic Canada provinces, Nova Scotia registered the highest retention rates as 67.6 percent of immigrants arriving as skilled tradespersons and skilled workers stayed longer than a year. The retention rates in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador are also impressive.

Significance of the Atlantic Canada Immigration Program

The economy of Atlantic Canada is constantly under strain because of its dwindling workforce. The region has the distinction of having the oldest average population in Canada. The percentage population of adults over 85 years of age in Atlantic Canada provinces is:

  • New Brunswick – 8.8 percent
  • Nova Scotia – 8.7 percent
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 8.6 percent
  • Prince Edward Island – 8.1 percent

Highlights of AIP immigration

The Atlantic Immigration program is an employer-driven pathway to permanent residence for applicants having a valid job offer from an Atlantic Canada employer. The employer should support the immigrants for their settlement after acceptance of the job offer. The designated settlement service provides support to immigrants in association with employers.

The eligibility criteria mandate 1,560 hours of work experience during the past five years with relevant education as per the specific NOC TEER category:

  • NOC TEER category 0 or 1 – One-year post-secondary education
  • NOC TEER category 2, 3, or 4 – Canadian high-school diploma 

Candidates on a study permit in the post-secondary education institutions in Atlantic Canada institutions can apply through Atlantic International Graduate Program by securing a job offer for at least one year from an employer in Atlantic Canada.  

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