The Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP) is part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), a new Canadian immigration venture for 2017 and beyond.
Through this program, eligible foreign workers with a job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada can submit an application for Canadian permanent residence.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) aims to process 80 percent of applications within six months.
The Job Offer
The AHSP is an employer-driven program, and therefore all applicants are required to obtain a valid job offer.
Applicants to the AHSP must demonstrate that they have a job offer that is:
- from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces;
- for full-time employment for at least one year;
- skilled (i.e. in a managerial, professional, or technical/trades position at skill type 0, A or, B of the National Occupational Classification [NOC]); and
- supported by a provincial certificate of endorsement from the province that indicates that the job offer is genuine and that a needs assessment has been completed and a settlement plan is in place for the applicant and each member of the family.
Employers in the Atlantic region can review designation requirements on our AIPP Employer Designation page.
Applicants to the AHSP must demonstrate that they have obtained work experience for at least one year (1,560 hours total/30 hours per week), non-continuous, full-time or an equal amount in part-time, within the last three years. This work experience must be:
- paid work (i.e. volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count); and
- in a managerial, professional, or technical/trades position (NOC 0, A, or B).
Additional notes on work experience:
- Applicants must have carried out the activities listed in the lead statement of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) description and a substantial number of the main duties.
- Canadian experience must have been obtained while the foreign national was authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident.
- Applicants do not have to be employed at the time they apply.
- Periods of self-employment will not be included when calculating the period of qualifying work experience.
- Work experience acquired during a period of study is allowed, as long as the work hours did not exceed what the applicant was authorized to do for that period.
Applicants to AHSP must demonstrate they have one of the following:
- a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree; or
- a completed foreign educational credential.
For applicants with an education completed outside Canada, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required in order to prove that the level of education is commensurate with Canadian standards. The ECA must be less than five years old the time the application is submitted.
Applicants to the AHSP must prove language ability of at least fluent basic level in either English or French in order to apply to the program. This is equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. To find out how this corresponds with the standardized language tests recognized by IRCC for this program, use the Canada Immigration Language Converter.
The following language tests are approved for the AHSP:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) — General test only.
- CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) — General test only.
- TEF (Test d’évaluation de français).
Potential applicants may note that the language threshold for this program is lower than for many other Canadian economic immigration programs, including the programs managed under the Express Entry system. Moreover, because there is no points system for the AHSP, once a potential applicant has proven the required language ability, there is no additional incentive — with respect to applying to the AHSP, at least — in re-taking a language test.
Language test results must be less than two years old at the time the application is submitted.
The required settlement funds must be equal to or greater than the sums listed below for each family size.
|Number of family members (including those supported by the applicant, even if they are not included on the application)||Funds required|
|7 or more||$8,138|
Applicants must show that they have enough money to support themselves and their family member, if applicable, after landing in Canada unless they are working in Canada under a valid work permit.
These funds cannot be borrowed from another person.
Applicants must be endorsed by an Atlantic province in order for the application to be complete and accepted by IRCC.
An endorsement letter is issued by the province to persons who have been endorsed. Applicants should submit a copy of this letter with their application for permanent residence submitted to IRCC.
All endorsements are valid for six months after the date of issuance, and extensions are not permitted under these programs. The application for permanent residence must be submitted before the expiry date of the endorsement letter.