One reason Canada is a popular immigration destination for Nigerians is that the country has many immigration pathways.
However, immigrants usually go for the popular Canadian immigration programs like Express Entry. As a result, these programs are very competitive.
Interestingly, there are other less popular programs that you can use to make your Canadian dream a reality. One such program is the Atlantic Immigration Program.
Read on to find out how to apply for the Atlantic Immigration Program from Nigeria.
What is the Atlantic Immigration Program?
The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) opens the door to permanent residency to skilled foreign workers and international graduates from a Canadian institution who want to work and live in one of Canadia’s four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island).
To immigrate to Canada (and become a permanent resident) through this program, you must be one of:
- A skilled worker
- A recent graduate of a post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada
Thus, when applying to the Atlantic Immigration Program, you can be living in Nigeria or already be in Canada as a temporary resident.
However, the AIP is an employer-driven program. It is specifically designed to help employers in Atlantic Canada hire qualified candidates for jobs that they have been unable to fill locally. Thus, to immigrate to Canada through the program, you must receive a job offer from a designated employer in Atlantic Canada.
Applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program
Applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program requires the following steps:
1. Get a Job Offer
Since the Atlantic Immigration Program is employer-driven, the first step is to get a job offer from a designated employer in one of the four Atlantic provinces in Canada.
The requirements of the job offer include:
- It must be a full-time job
- It must be non-seasonal
- The skill level can be NOC 0, A, B, or C. But, for NOC 0, A, or B skill levels, the job must last more than a year, and for NOC C skill type, the job must not have an end date
- The skill level of the job must be equal to or higher than the work experience that qualified you for the job
When you get the job offer, the employer will give you an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National form. You need to sign the form and keep a copy for your records.
2. Prepare Your Documents
Like other immigration programs, the Atlantic Immigration Program has language, education, and other requirements. So, you need to prepare the documents to support your application. These include:
Skilled workers applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program will need to have worked a minimum of 1,560 hours in the past five years. The work experience must be in one of the following NOC (National Occupational Classification) skills levels:
- NOC Skill Type 0 – Management jobs such as restaurant managers, mine managers, etc
- NOC Skill Level A – Professional jobs that require a degree from a university, such as doctors, architects, etc.
- NOC Skill Level B – Technical jobs and skilled jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, chefs, etc.
- NOC Skill Level C – Intermediate jobs that require a high school certificate or job-specific training such as butchers, truck drivers, food and beverage servers, etc.
However, recent graduates applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program do not need to meet the work experience requirement and show supporting documents to this effect.
A language test is required for everyone applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program. Even if you studied in Canada, you must prove your language skills in English or French.
The program measures language abilities using:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English
- Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French
The minimum language requirements are based on the job offer skill level. You need CLB/ NCLC 5 for a job offer in skill levels NOC 0, A, and B, and CLB/ NCLC 4 for a job offer in skill level C.
The minimum educational requirement is also based on your job offer’s skill level.
- For a job offer in skill level NOC 0 or A, you need a Canadian one-year post-secondary education (or its equivalent from outside Canada)
- For a job offer in skill level NOC B or C, you need a Canadian high school diploma (or its equivalent from outside Canada)
If you studied outside Canada, you need an educational credential assessment (ECA), which confirms that your credential is equal to Canadian standards.
When applying for the Atlantic Immigration Program from Nigeria, you need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you get to Canada.
The amount of settlement funds required depends on the size of your family as follows:
|Number of family members (including those you support that are not immigrating with you)||Settlement funds (Canadian dollars)|
|For each additional family member||$890|
However, if you are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit, you will not need to show proof of funds.
Settlement Plan and Certificate of Endorsement
After getting a job offer, you need to contact a settlement service provider organization in the area where you’ll be working to get a settlement plan. The plan provides you with useful resources to help you settle in Canada. If you are in Nigeria, your designated employer in Canada can help with recommendations.
After getting a settlement plan, your employer will help you with the process of getting the province to endorse your job offer. If your job offer is endorsed, you’ll get a Certificate of Endorsement, which you will include in your application for permanent residence.
3. Apply for Permanent Residency
The actual application for the Atlantic Immigration Program involves the following steps:
- Use the checklist to ensure that you have all the required documents
- Download and fill out (on your computer) all required forms.
- Validate every form, by clicking the “validate” button at the top or bottom of the forms
- Print out the completed form, then sign and date them
- Pay the Atlantic Immigration Program application fees online. The fee is currently $1,365 ($850 processing fee and $515 right of permanent residence fee)
- Mail your complete application (including your supporting documents and fees receipt) to the address in the instruction guide
The Atlantic Immigration Program may not be as popular as the Express Entry Programs, but it is as effective in helping Nigerians immigrate to Canada. If you want to permanently reside in Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Immigration Program is for you.
If you are a skilled worker living in Nigeria, get a qualifying job offer in any of the four Canadian Atlantic provinces, prepare relevant documents, and apply for permanent residency through the Atlantic Immigration Program.
If you are a recent graduate from a post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada, you don’t even need to get a job offer. You can simply prepare your documents and apply for permanent residence.
Take the assessment test on our website Assessment Forms to find out what immigration program will be best for you and one of our specialists will call you shortly to further discuss your options.
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