What is the AIPP (Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program)

November 28, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

With over 80 immigration and visa programs, Canada is becoming one of the best and most accessible places for immigrants. Atlantic Canada is one of the regions that has caught the attention of many immigrants looking to settle in the country.

To cater to this interest, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), one of the suitable pathways to get permanent residency in Atlantic Canada.

Are you among the many international immigrants with their sights on settling in Atlantic Canada? Peel back the layers of the AIPP to discover how you can make this goal a reality!

What is the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP)?

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) is an employer-driven Canadian immigration program designed to attract and retain skilled workers who want to gain Canadian permanent residency (PR) by settling in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, namely:

The program was launched in 2017 as a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the provincial governments of the Atlantic region.

Under the AIPP, employers in the Atlantic provinces can hire foreign workers to fill job vacancies that they have been unable to fill locally. The program aims to address the labor market needs of the region and support its economic growth.

How Does the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Work?

To set your immigration to Atlantic Canada via the AIPP in motion, you must obtain a job offer from a designated employer residing in Atlantic Canada. Furthermore, you must also be a graduate of a designated learning institution (DLI) in Atlantic Canada or a foreign skilled worker. The two major components of how the AIPP works include:

Obtaining a Provincial Endorsement

An endorsement primarily involves:

  • Receiving an offer of employment from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada,
  • Getting connected with settlement services so you can receive a settlement plan,
  • Sending the settlement plan you received to your Atlantic Canadian employer, who in turn will send an application for endorsement to the provincial immigration department,
  • Receiving a provincial endorsement certificate (if your application is successful), and
  • Obtaining a work permit support letter (if you require a Canada work permit).

The Immigration Application

The second stage of the AIPP works is the immigration application process. Below is an outline of the immigration application process.

  • Submitting your provincial endorsement certificate, Canadian permanent residence (Canada PR), and other supporting documents to IRCC,
  • Your Canada PR application is reviewed and processed by IRCC,
  • While your Canada PR application is being processed, you must apply for a Canada work permit,
  • If your application is successful, you can travel to live and work in Atlantic Canada,
  • You must receive support from your employer and a settlement service provider.

How Can I Apply for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program?

If you are interested in applying for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, follow these steps to increase your chances of success:

Step 1: Meet the AIPP Eligibility Requirements

Once you have a job offer, you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements of the AIPP. These requirements include:

Work Experience

Your qualifying work experience must have been obtained in the last 5 years and be a minimum of 1,560 hours in total. This is equal to one year's worth of working hours if you worked for 30 hours per week. Your qualifying work experience must be:

Exception for International Graduates

If you’re an international graduate, you must not fulfill the AIPP work experience eligibility requirements. To qualify for this exception as an international graduate, you must:

  • Have a degree, certificate, diploma, trade or apprenticeship certificate received from an Atlantic Canada DLI for a minimum of two years of full-time study,
  • Have lived in Atlantic Canada for a minimum of 16 months in the last two years before graduating,
  • Have the relevant Canada visa or permit (work, study, or travel permit) for your studies or training in Canada,


To satisfy the educational requirements for the AIPP, ensure you:

  • Have a minimum of one year Canadian post-secondary educational credential or higher if your job offer is for an occupation in TEER 0 or 1, or equal foreign qualification as per Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
  • Have a Canadian high school diploma if your job offer is for a job classified under TEER 2, 3, or 4,
  • Have an ECA report that is no older than 5 years before submitting your application, and
  • Have an educational credential that you received in the last 2 years before submitting your Canada PR application.

Language Requirements

The minimum language proficiency you must obtain to qualify for the AIPP corresponds to TEER categories and is assessed via Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) levels. This can be outlined as:

TEER Categories CLB/NCLC levels

Your English or French proficiency results must be obtained from a designated language testing organization such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’Evaluation de Français Canada (TEF Canada). Ensure these results are less than two years old by the time of submitting your application.

AIPP Settlement Funds

You must demonstrate your ability to financially support yourself and your family in Canada by having enough settlement funds when you arrive in the country. The amount of settlement funds you need depends on the size of your family as outlined below.

Size of Family Settlement Funds Required (CAD)
1 3,439
2 4,281
3 5,263
4 6,391
5 7,248
6 8,175
7 9,101

Please Note

If you are working and living as a temporary resident in Canada via a work permit, you are exempt from needing to show proof of sufficient settlement funds.

Step 2: Find a Job Offer in Atlantic Canada

After confirming your eligibility to apply, the second step in applying for the AIPP is to secure a job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces. This can be done through various channels, such as:

  • Online job boards like IndeedCanada, MonsterCanada, and Canada’s Job Bank,
  • Recruitment agencies,
  • Networking events, and
  • Employer referrals.

For your job offer to meet the eligibility requirements, it must be:

  • Full-time and non-seasonal,
  • For an occupation or job in TEER categories 0,1,2 or 3, the job offer must be for at least a year from the time you receive Canada PR,
  • For a job or occupation in TEER category 4, the job offer must be permanent, with no set duration or end date,
  • Not from a company that you, your spouse or common-law partner, or any family members own a majority shareholder stake,
  • For a job whose skill level is equal to or higher than the work experience that landed you the job offer, provided you are not an international graduate from a recognized tertiary institution in Canada

Other exceptions to this rule include:

  • If you have graduated from a tertiary institution in Atlantic Canada as an international student,
  • For specific health care jobs, specifically:
    • Practical Nurses (NOC 32101)
    • Registered Nurses (NOC 31301)
    • Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates (NOC 33102)
    • Home Health Care Workers (NOC 44101)

Step 3: Prepare the Necessary Documents

To apply for the AIPP, you will need to gather and prepare various documents, such as:

  • Languange test results, which include:
  • For English
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program(CELPIP),
    • General Training: International English Language Testing System(IELTS)
  • For French
    • Test d'evaluation de francais (TEF Canada)
    • Test de connaissance du francais(TCF Canada)
  • Educational Credential Assessment (if you have a foreign educational qualification),
  • Proof of funds via bank statements, salary/wage slips, income tax returns, etc.,
  • Other documents and forms such as the Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008), Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669), and Additional Family Information (IMM 5406).

Learn more about the documents you need via the Canadian Immigration Document Checklist.

Step 4: Pay Your Fees

As part of the AIPP application process, you will be required to pay certain fees. All relevant AIPP application fees are outlined below:

AIPP Application Types  Fees (CAD)
Your application (includes processing fee of 850 and right of permanent residence fee of 515) 1,365
Your application (without right of permanent residence fee) 850
Include your spouse or partner (includes processing fee of 850 and right of permanent residence fee of 515) 1,365
Include your spouse or partner (without right of permanent residence fee) 850
Include a dependent child (per child) 230
Biometrics (per person) 85.00
Biometrics (per family member: 2 or more people) 170.00
Biometrics (per group: 3 or more performing artists) 255

Step 5: Apply for Canada PR

Once you have completed the previous steps, you can submit your application for permanent residence in Canada through the AIPP. You must apply online using your IRCC permanent residence online application portal account.

The application will be assessed by IRCC, which will determine your eligibility for immigration under the AIPP. If your application is approved, you and your family will be granted permanent resident status in Canada.

Please Note

You can apply using a Canadian Immigration Representative such as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) by obtaining and completing the use of a Representative [IMM 5476] form.

With your newfound understanding of what the AIPP is and how you can apply for it, you can now begin to chart your path toward gaining permanent residency in Canada.


Do You Need Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to Apply to the AIPP?

No. In most cases, the applicant must obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to get a Canadian job offer valid for immigration purposes. However, through the AIP, LMIA is not required. Instead, your job offer must be from a designated Canadian employer.

Can I Work in Canada While my Canada AIPP is Processed?

Yes. At the same time, you apply for your AIP, you can also apply for a temporary work permit. The process for getting a temporary work permit is the same as using the AIP, and it allows you to start working while your AIP application is processed.