Immigration Option for Graduates in Atlantic Provinces: Eligibility and More

Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island targets international graduates of institutions in these provinces.

The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) provides a new route for international graduates from eligible institutions to apply for permanent resident status in Canada, where the most interesting features of this category is that international graduates do not require skilled work experience in order to be eligible.

Applicants require a job offer from a designated employer is required in order to apply under the AIGP. However, the employer does not have to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA process can be costly and time-consuming; the exemption from this process is expected to prove a strong motivator for employers in the region to seek out talented graduates for key skilled positions.

  • Further eligibility requirements for graduates

In order to be eligible to apply under the AIGP, international graduates are required to have obtained a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship credential from a study program of at least two years’ duration at a recognized publicly-funded institution in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island.

Applicants must have been a full-time student in Canada for at least two years, and are required to apply within 12 months of graduation. In addition, applicants must have lived in one of the Atlantic province for at least 16 months out of the two years before graduation.

Applicants are also required to demonstrate a language level in English or French at level four (Fluent Basic level) of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), and enough funds to support themselves and their family members.

  • Other ways to immigrate after graduation

Most provinces in Canada have at least one dedicated stream within their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that targets international students. The AIPP is not the only way to apply to immigrate permanently to Atlantic Provinces as an international graduate.

  • Nova Scotia

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) offers a unique opportunity for international graduates who have studied in Nova Scotia to start or purchase a business in the province, and pursue permanent residence.

Graduates who obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit and work full-time for at least 12 months in a skilled position in Nova Scotia may be eligible to apply for the NSNP Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry category.

  • New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) Express Entry Labour Market Stream prioritizes international graduates from New Brunswick institutions, who may obtain five eligibility points for their study program.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador

International graduates with a job or job offer from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer may pursue permanent resident status through the International Graduate Category of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP). Interestingly, graduates from institutions across Canada may be eligible under this category, although additional eligibility criteria may be applicable to graduates from institutions outside the province.

  • Prince Edward Island

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) Labour Impact Category: International Graduate is an employer-driven stream that enables employers in the province to hire recent graduates from universities and colleges in the province.


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