Recently, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward released a new immigration program that makes it easier for graduates to become Permanent Residents of Canada.
The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) allows international graduates from eligible institutions to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The most attractive feature of the program is that international graduates do not need to have a skilled work experience to be eligible to apply.
While it is a requirement that graduates have a job offer to be eligible for the program, the employment does not need to be related to their studies and does not need to be a highly-skilled job.
It can be difficult for students to find highly-skilled employment in their field of studies immediately after they graduate. The AIGP encourages students to start working and gaining experience and accepts their initial job may be at the entry-level and not in their field of study.
The AIGP makes it easier for students to be eligible to stay in Canada and to immediately apply for permanent residency.
Eligibility Requirements for Graduates.
To be eligible to apply under the AIGP, international graduates must have the following:
Earned a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship credential from a study program of at least 2 years’ duration at a recognized publicly-funded institution in the mentioned Provinces.
Applicants must have been a full-time student in Canada for at least 2 years, and are required to apply within not more than 12 months of their graduation.
Applicants must have lived in one of the Atlantic province for at least 16 months out of the two years before their graduation.
Study or training programs are not eligible if more than half of the program consisted of English or French second language courses, or distance learning courses.
Applicants are also have to prove 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.

As a result of the AIGP, enrollment in universities across the Atlantic provinces of P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick has increased significantly over the last ten years. The Provinces are popular with international students for its low tuition fees and living costs, good climate, and opportunities for permanent residency after graduation. Currently, many initiatives in the different provinces have been established to motivate graduates to settle permanently in the Atlantic provinces after graduation.
Moreover, even though Newfoundland and Labrador are not included in the definition of the Maritime provinces, institutions in the province have been increasing their internationalization efforts in recent years with positive results. Recently, approximately 13 percent of students at Memorial University of Newfoundland, are international students.

Other Ways to Obtain Permanent Residency in Canada After Graduating:
Most provinces have at least one dedicated stream within their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that targets international students.

Nova Scotia
The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) offers a great opportunity for international graduates who have studied in Nova Scotia to start or buy a business in the province, and pursue permanent immigration.
Graduates who have a Post-Graduation Work Permit and work full-time for at least 12 months in a skilled position in Nova Scotia are 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 has priority for international graduates from New Brunswick institutions, who may have 5 eligibility points for their study program.

Newfoundland and Labrador
International graduates with a job or job offer from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer may get a permanent resident status through the International Graduate Category of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP). 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.

At Beeton & Co we offer an Inclusive Package:
• Find the Best Canadian University or College
• Obtain your Canadian Study Permit
• Assist with Finding Employment After Graduation
• Obtain Permanent Residency
Please get in touch with us at to find out more.

Julie Beeton is a qualified Canadian Immigration Lawyer and the founder of Beeton & Co, Canadian Education and Immigration Consultants. Beeton & Co helps families and professionals around the world immigrate and study in Canada. This article does not constitute legal advice.


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