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Immigration is part of the demographic, labour market and economic solution. Immigrants enrich the social, cultural and economic life of the region. Atlantic Canada has much to offer newcomers. Universities and colleges have had considerable success in attracting highly-talented international students to study in the region.

Although immigration is a shared federal-provincial responsibility, federal jurisdiction is paramount. All provincial and territorial immigration policies and programs must adhere to federal law – the Immigration Refugee and Protection Act (IRPA) and Regulations. Parliament sets the annual immigration levels, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) determines the annual Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allocation each province and territory receives.

The four Atlantic provinces have been working together for many years on growing the region, first under the Atlantic Population Table (APT) Memorandum of Understanding. When the APT MOU expired in 2012, the Atlantic immigration work was merged under the Atlantic Workforce Partnership, and the working group was renamed the Atlantic Attraction and Immigration Table (AAIT).

The objectives of the AAIT are to:

  • Promote Canada’s East Coast as an immigration destination of choice;
  • Attract and recruit more skilled workers, Francophone immigrants and business immigrants as well as secondary migrants;
  • Target temporary foreign workers and international students already in the region;
  • Help employers navigate and utilize the immigration system to recruit workers to meet their labour market needs;
  • Help business owners planning to retire to meet foreign nationals with business acumen planning to immigrate, who might be potential buyers;
  • Achieve Atlantic positions on immigration policy so that the four provinces can advocate for them at FPT tables and with the Government of Canada, including maximizing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program;
  • Communicate to Atlantic Canadians and to Atlantic business, labour and community leaders the economic, demographic, social and cultural benefits of immigration; and
  • Share best practices and identify innovative approaches to immigration recruitment and retention. 


The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program helps employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers who want to immigrate to the region and international graduates who want to stay in Atlantic Canada after they graduate. The pilot has three streams:

Atlantic International Graduate Program

Atlantic High-skilled Program

Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program


The Atlantic Canada Study and Stay™ program is for exceptional and motivated international students who are committed to living, working, and contributing to communities in Atlantic Canada. For more details, please click here.


For more information on the programs and services offered in Atlantic Canada to immigrate or hire foreign workers, please visit one of the following Atlantic Provinces' website: 

New Brunswick Immigration

Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration

Nova Scotia Immigration

Prince Edward Island Immigration