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Atlantic High Skilled Program

Atlantic High Skilled Program

October 13, 2019

What is Atlantic High-skilled Program (AHSP)?

Atlantic High-Skilled Program is a part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program which allows applicants to apply for permanent residence in the Atlantic region. The applicants must have a job offer from an eligible employer from Atlantic provinces such as Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island

Table of content for the program

  1. Find out if the applicant is eligible for the program
  2. Having enough funds to meet the requirement of the IRCC 
  3. Get an endorsement letter
  4. Submit your application.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for Atlantic High-Skilled Program, candidates need to meet these requirements:

1. Job Offer

For the Atlantic High-Skilled Program, candidates need a job offer from specific regions in Canada which the job offer has to meet these criteria.

  • The job offer must be made using the Offer Form ( Employment to a Foreigner Nation)
  •  A job offer is from 4 designated regions in the  Atlantic provinces: Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
  • It is a full-time job offer with one year contract ( 30 paid hours per week)
  • The job offer must be a non-seasonal job which means that regular scheduled paid employment and consistency are requirements.
  • Candidates have to meet National Occupational Classification (NOC) of O, A or B. At least one year of the offer job-related experience is required for this program.
  • Endorsement letter must be made by the employer as evidence for the assessment process and a settlement plan has been done for the candidate and his or her family members.

2. Working Experience

To meet the requirement of this program, candidates must indicate that they have at least one year of experience in the same field with the job offer which is 1560 hours in total. It can be considered as a noncontinuous job, full-time or part-time with the same amount of time. Candidates’ working experience can be gained inside or outside Canada. The experience which the applicants had should be in the last three years. 

In addition, the working experience has to meet the requirements:

  • Must be a paid work ( For example, unpaid internship, volunteer work are not eligible for this program)
  • Work experience has to meet the standard level of NOC which is candidates must be in a technical/trades positions, managerial or professional level. 

Some added information need to be considered:

  • Applicants are not required to be employed at the time they are applying for the AHSP.
  • Candidates must be employed by an organization in the Atlantic regions, self-employed is not counted.
  • Activities that are listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) description must be achieved or carried out by the applicants.
  • Experience for working in Canada is considered to be obtained by candidates while authorities in Canada acknowledge the candidates as temporary residents.
  • During the period of study in Canada working experience in Canada is counted, as long as working hours are acceptable and did not exceed the number of working hours for the period of study.

3. Education

Having any criteria for education is a must-have for candidates when applying for AHSP: 

  • A completed foreign education credential or certificate is equal to the Canadian educational system.
  • A Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate.

For applicants who obtained education outside Canada must take the test from Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) as a shred of evidence that their educational system is comparable with the Canadian standard. The ECA must be completed no longer than five years at the date the AHSP application was submitted.

4. Language Proficiency

Language ability is considered an important key for the applicant to Atlantic High-Skilled Program therefore at least fluent basic level of English or French which is equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4). 

Besides, some other language tests that are also approved for Atlantic High-Skilled Program:

  • IELTS ( International English Language Testing System) – For the English language
  • CELPIP ( Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)- For the English language
  • TEF ( Test d’Evaluation de Français) – For the French language

Note: Those certificates should not be more than 2 years at the time candidates apply for the application.

5. Funding for Settlements

Settlement funds from the applicants are encouraged to be at least equal or greater than the funds required below:

Number of family members (including those supported by the applicant, even if they are not included in the application)

  • 1 member  – $3,167 (Fund required)
  • 2 members –  $3.943 (Fund required)
  • 3 members –  $4.847 (Fund required)
  • 4 members –  $5,885 (Fund required)
  • 5 members –  $6,675 (Fund required)
  • 6 members –  $7,528 (Fund required)
  • 7 members or more – $8,381 (Fund required)

Note: Those numbers will be updated by IRCC for every year

Applicants must show they have enough financial support for themselves and even their family members.

6. Provincial Endorsement Letter

To get accepted by IRCC applicants are encouraged to get an endorsement letter from a region in Atlantic province.

An endorsement letter is issued by the employers in the designed province. 

Applying for this program, applicants are required to submit a copy of the letter, not an original letter. The endorsement should be attached to the candidate’s application to IRCC.

To get more information about how to become endorsed by an Atlantic Province, applicants can visit those links below:

Note: Candidates should keep in mind that the endorsements are only valid within six months after the issue date; thus there are no extensions are allowed under this program. 


Procedure for application

All applicants must have a plan for their settlement, and also they will receive some support from settlement specialist organization. 

After this process is done the place where you will work assists some of your activities at the same time the candidate is encouraged to show his/her permanent residence application.

There are some steps that applicants have to follow to be well prepared for the application.

Step 1: Gather all the needed documents.

What documents that Atlantic High-skilled applicants will need?

  • General Application Form to Canada (IMM 0008) – completed and signed by the applicant.
  • Schedule A: Declaration/Background (IMM 5669) (must list all applicants’ detail from the last 10 years)
  • An offer of employment to a foreign national – Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (IMM 5650)
  • Economic Classes – Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (IMM 5501)
  • Additional Dependants/ Declaration (IMM 0008DEP) – If applicable
  • Supplementary Information – Travels (IMM 5562)
  • Additional Information about applicants’ family (IMM 5406)
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
  • Travel Documents and passports – only copies
  • Confirmation of Provincial Endorsement – only copy
  • Proof of Language Proficiency – original only
  • Proof of Education – only copy
  • Proof of previous work experience which is relevant for the job applicant applied ( Certificate of Employment, paystubs, etc…etc)
  • Document of applicants most recent work permit in Canada – only copy (if applicable)
  • Letter of reference from previous employers.
  • T4 tax information slips and Notice of Assessment – only copies ( if applicable)
  • Contract of working
  • Pay stubs
  • Proof of funds – only copy
  • Proof of a valid temporary resident status if applicants are applying from inside Canada – only copies
  • Identity and Civil Status Documents – only copies
  • Children’s information (if applicable) – copies
  • Criminal Record/ Police Certificates and Clearances – original only
  • Photo Requirements – original only
  • Fees receipt – copy only
  • Mail to the CIO in Sydney, Nova Scotia 

Step 2: Complete the Application

Applicants should follow the step-by-step of the instruction in the application forms. Below are the forms which need to fill in and submit.

For the Employer: Offer of Employment to a Foreign National under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (IMM 5650)

Note: in case the applicant’s job offer is permanent, the employer must enter “permanent” and the expected duration of employment to box 22 on the Employment Form (IMM5650)

For the Applicant:

Important Note: Please do not give any false or misleading information on these forms, it can lead to the rejection of your application or be subjected to verification.

Step 3: Fees

Paying the fee is the last step for the applicant’s application. Use all the numbers below to calculate how much you need to pay.

Recommended that applicants should pay the right of permanent residence fee ($490) before becoming a permanent resident to avoid delays.

  • Application in total 1040 $CAD (including processing fee ($550) and right of permanent residence fee ($490) )
  •  Applicants’ application (without right of permanent residence fee) $550
  • Include your spouse or partner ( will include a processing fee ($550) and right of permanent residence fee ($490) )
  • Spouse included or partner (without the right of permanent residence fee) $550
  • Include a dependent child $150 (per child)

Note: Dependent children don’t have to pay the Right of Permanent Residence fee.

  • Biometrics Fees 85 $CAD per person
  • Biometrics Fees for family members (Maximum total fee for families applying at the same time) $170

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a job?

Yes, to be accepted for the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) applicants must have a full-time offer of employment from a Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) employer. A minimum of 30 hours a week is considered full-time.

Where I can find a job?

Applicants can find jobs from different resources such as :

How much money should I bring when I arriving in Canada?

It is encouraged to have an equal to Can$10,000 or more or in different foreign currencies. However, applicants must report it on the CBSA Declaration Card on an Automated Border Clearance kiosk or a Primary Inspection Kiosk, or in the verbal declaration made to a border services officer. 

What jobs are in demand under the Atlantic High-Skilled Program?

There are some  in-demand sectors in the Atlantic province include:

  • Health Care
  • Technology
  • Aquaculture
  • Agriculture
  • Hospitality
Do I need work experience before?

Applicants must have worked for at least one year before applying for the program with the total working hours equal or exceed 1,560 hours total or 30 hours per week, within the last three years. Full-time, seasonal, or non- continuous or part-time work is acceptable as long as it adds up to 1560 hours. Also, applicants must meet the employment requirements of the occupation which applicants apply for. 

What is the Qualification Assessment and how I can assess it?

It is as advice on how qualifications from another country can compare to Canadian qualifications. Qualification assessment will help candidates with job searching easier. 

Find the link here to get assessed to your qualifications Foreign credentials referral office (PDF, 2.12MB).

How can I pay the fees for my application?

To pay the fee, candidates need to have a valid email address, the computer which can access to a printer, and a credit card or Canadian debit card.

Payment needs to follow the link below:

  • Online Payment.
  • Follow the online instructions on the page. After that, applicants need to print the receipt with a barcode from IRCC ( at least 2 copies).
  • Attach a copy of this receipt to the applicant’s completed application and the other copy can be kept for applicants’ records.

Important: Remember to print receipt as proof of payment! Do not exit without printing the receipt.



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