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Atlantic Immigration Program for Nigerians

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is an employer-led immigration programme that aims to bring skilled foreign workers and international graduates to Canada, to address the shortage in the country’s skilled labour market. You can apply for permanent residence in Canada via this programme.

For more information about the AIP, whether you are eligible, how you can apply, and to receive bespoke advice from a team of immigration lawyers, reach out to one of our legal advisers online today. Or call our Nigeria office on +23413438882 or London office on +44 (0) 331630092.

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    Need Help with Your AIP Application?

    If you’re considering working in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for the Atlantic Immigration Program. If you require guidance on how to get started, contact us for expert assistance. We have helped many skilled Nigerians in the past and can handle all the complexities and provide you with comprehensive support.

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    Overview of Atlantic Immigration Program for Nigerian Nationals

    AIP is a pathway for talented, skilled Nigerian workers and international graduates from a Canadian institution to immigrate to the country and seek permanent residence in any of its four Atlantic provinces, namely, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. These four provinces together are commonly referred to as Atlantic Canada.

    This employer-led immigration programme functions as a partnership between the country’s federal government and those four provincial governments. The aim is to help the employers in those provinces recruit foreign talent in the absence of skilled workers among Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Atlantic Canada region.

    The AIP was built on the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), which started in 2017 with the same goal of attracting talented, skilled foreign nationals to Atlantic Canada, to live and work there eventually as permanent residents.

    The AIPP was closed on 31 December 2021 and replaced by the AIP, which officially opened on 1 January 2022.

    Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Nigerian Workers and International Graduates

    To immigrate to Atlantic Canada via the AIP from Nigeria, you must be either a skilled worker or a recent graduate of a recognised post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada. Additionally, you must have received a job offer from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada to participate in this programme.

    To Qualify as a Skilled Foreign Worker

    • You must have worked for at least 1,560 hours in a paid employment situation in the past five years (self-employment hours cannot be counted)
    • You must have worked either overseas or in Canada (must have been legally authorised to work in Canada as a temporary resident)
    • You must have worked in a field that is covered under any of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories

    To Qualify as an International Graduate

    • You must have a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification that required studying for at least two years in a recognised post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
    • You must have been a full-time student for those entire two years of time you were studying
    • You must have lived in Atlantic Canada for at least 16 months during the last two years before graduation
    • You must have had a valid Canadian visa or permit for studying or getting trained in the country

    If you meet the eligibility criteria for either of the above categories, you would further need to meet the following educational and language requirements.

    Educational Requirements

    • You must have a Canadian one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or the equivalent from outside Canada, if you have received a job offer at the NOC 2021 TEER 0 or 1 category
    • You must have a Canadian high school diploma, or the equivalent from outside Canada, if you have received a job offer at the NOC 2021 TEER 2, 3 or 4 category
    • If you have studied outside Canada, you need an educational credential assessment (ECA) to confirm that your studies are equal to or higher than the required level of education for your job offer
    • Your ECA report must be less than five years old from the date of your immigration application

    Language Requirements

    • You must meet the minimum language requirements based on the NOC 2021 TEER category that applies to your job offer. This can either be the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)
    • The minimum language requirement for NOC 2021 TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 category is CLB/NCLC 5
    • The minimum language requirement for NOC 2021 TEER 4 category is CLB/NCLC 4
    • You must submit your results from a designated language testing organisation with your immigration application
    • These results must be less than two years old from the date of your application
    • These results are required even if you have studied in Canada

    Settlement Funds

    Along with the above requirements, you must have proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you get to Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family, which also includes anyone you support who isn’t immigrating with you.

    As of April 2023, you need at least CAD$13,757 to immigrate to Canada on your own. You would need at least CAD$17,127 if you are immigrating with your spouse. For a family of four people, the minimum amount would be CAD$25,564. The Government of Canada updates these figures yearly and posts them on their website.

    If you’re already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit, you don’t need to show proof of funds.

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    How Do I Apply for the Atlantic Immigration Program?

    If you meet the aforementioned eligibility criteria, you must start your application process with finding a job offer from a designated employer in any of the four provinces of Atlantic Canada.

    Job Offer from a Designated Employer

    Only a ‘designated’ employer can recruit a skilled foreign worker or an international graduate in Atlantic Canada under the AIP. The provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador) are responsible for designating employers, and each province has its own designation process.

    Please check the provincial government websites to identify the designated employers in any of these provinces.

    Settlement Plan and Endorsement

    Once you have accepted a job offer from a designated employer in any of these four provinces, the employer will connect you with a designated settlement service provider organisation.

    The settlement service provider will conduct a needs assessment and develop a customised settlement plan for you and your family (if applicable).

    Please send your settlement plan to your designated employer as soon as you receive it from the settlement service provider. Your employer will then send an application for endorsement to the concerned provincial government department.

    To have a job offer endorsed, a designated employer in Atlantic Canada will need to provide the provincial government with a valid, full-time, non-seasonal job offer co-signed by you as well as a settlement plan co-signed by you.

    The department will then assess your case and send you a provincial endorsement certificate.

    Start Your Immigration Application Process

    Once you have received your endorsement letter, submit the same to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) along with your completed permanent residency application and other supporting documents as required. We have provided a list of required documents in a later section of this article.

    In most cases, you will need to give biometrics information while applying online and filling out the necessary forms. Your employer will also need to fill up certain forms at this stage. You will also have to pay your application and biometrics fees.

    If your application is approved, you can travel to Atlantic Canada to live and work. If you have to start working immediately, you may apply for a work permit while your permanent resident application is being processed.

    You can start applying for immigration under the AIP from Nigeria as well as from Canada if you are already living in the country as a temporary resident.

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      Processing Time

      You will need to file your permanent residence application within six months of getting the endorsement certificate. The average processing time for immigration application under the AIP is five months as of June 2023.

      In case your permanent residence application is getting delayed, or your employer has the urgency to fill an immediate job vacancy, you will be granted a temporary work permit for a year, so that you can travel to Canada right away and start working for your employer while awaiting your permanent residence application to be processed.

      Fees

      Immigration application fee for Nigerian nationals applying under AIP is CAD$1,365 (processing fee of CAD$850 + right of permanent residence fee of CAD$515). You have to pay the same amount for your spouse as well. For your dependent children, you have to pay CAD$230 per child.

      Biometrics fee per person is CAD$85. The maximum biometrics fee payable for a family of two or more people applying at the same time and place is CAD$170.

      Required Documents for Atlantic Immigration Program

      The required documents for applying under the AIP typically include:

      • A valid passport
      • An employment letter from a designated employer
      • Proof of work experience (if applying as a skilled foreign worker)
      • Degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification documents (if applying as an international graduate)
      • Educational credentials from a Canadian institution or ECA report
      • Language test results
      • Police clearance certificate
      • Medical certificate
      • Proof of funds
      • Settlement plan
      • Certificate of Endorsement
      • Biometrics information
      • Proof of fee payment
      • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

      Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. You may have to submit other supporting documents as asked by IRCC.

      Getting Settled in Canada

      You will need to complete a settlement plan as part of your immigration application under the AIP as discussed earlier in this article. This plan will identify resources based on your needs and immigration scenario.

      There are free pre-arrival services to help you and your family prepare for and adjust to life in Canada. These services are offered both in-person and online. You can use them to know more about living and working in Atlantic Canada, learn the official languages (i.e. English and French), and connect with your new community in Atlantic Canada.

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        How Can IAS Help?

        Immigration application under the AIP is a fairly simple yet time-consuming process. However, please confirm your eligibility and arrange all necessary documentation before you proceed to apply.

        IAS is here to help. We have an office in Nigeria. To date, we have helped several Nigerians with their different types of Canadian visa application and immigration advice.

        Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers have the required expertise to assist you, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case.

        Whether you are looking for assistance with your immigration application under the AIP, unsure of whether you meet the eligibility requirements or how to proceed with the settlement plan and endorsement, seeking more advice on how to arrange for the necessary documents to support your permanent residence application, or trying to get overall advice regarding your immigration case, we are here to help you.

        To know more about the services we provide and how we can help you, please reach out to a member of our team today. Call us on on +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact our Nigeria office on +23413438882. Alternatively, you can leave an enquiry online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Technically, there is no age limit for the AIP. However, candidates between 18-35 years of age are typically more successful with their applications since they are considered the best for the available skilled jobs.

                  Spouses of AIP applicants are eligible to work in Canada. They get an open work permit while the AIP application is processed.

                  You will need a referral letter from the concerned Atlantic Canada province you have applied to work from as well as your letter of employment to apply for a temporary work permit in case your permanent residence application is getting delayed or your employer has the urgency to fill an immediate job vacancy.

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