Atlantic Immigration Program made permanent to attract workers


With at least 6,000 admission spaces available yearly, the Atlantic Immigration Program will complement the Provincial Nominee Programs in each Atlantic province

Ottawa—Immigration is vital to the future of Canada, and Atlantic Canada. Over the past few years, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has brought and retained thousands of newcomers in provinces like Nova Scotia,New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island.

Building on the success of the Atlantic Immigration pilot program, Canada recently has made the program permanent. This new permanent program will officially open on January 1, 2022, helping the Atlantic provinces attract the skilled newcomers they need to address economic and demographic challenges, such as the labour shortage in the region.

Originally launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has now brought over 10,000 new permanent residents to Atlantic Canada. Participating employers have made over 9,800 job offers in key sectors, including health care, accommodations, food services and manufacturing. Most significantly, over 90% of applicants were still living in the region after 1 year; a much higher retention rate than other programs.

The permanent program retains the 3 features that made the pilot such a success: a focus on employers, enhanced settlement support and a collaborative approach across all Atlantic provinces. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Atlantic provinces worked closely together to design the permanent program based on lessons learned and recommendations from the pilot evaluation.

The changes include clarifying roles between partners, increasing employer support through training and strengthening program requirements to ensure newcomers can successfully establish themselves in the region.

“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,” said 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,” informed Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia.