Atlantic High-Skilled Program (AHSP)

What is AHSP?

The Atlantic High-Skilled Program, or AHSP, is a category of immigration for eligible foreign workers who have a job offer from an employer in one of the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland & Labrador). This program is part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, which is aimed at helping employers in these provinces hire qualified staff for jobs that they have been unable to fill locally.

Applicants applying for permanent residence under AHSP have to fulfill eligibility requirements in the following arenas:

  • Job offer
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Settlement funds
  • Provincial endorsement

The Job Offer


AHSP is an employer-driven program that requires applicants to obtain a job offer as a condition of eligibility. The job offer has to meet the following conditions:

Eligibility for the express entry pool is based on a number of factors, including the following:

  • It must come from a designated employer in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland & Labrador
  • It must be for full-time employment that lasts for at least one year, that is not seasonal in nature
  • It must be for an eligible managerial, professional or technical/trades position
  • It must be accompanied by a provincial certificate of endorsement stating that the job offer is valid and supported by a needs assessment and resettlement plan for the applicant

Work Experience


Applicants must provide proof of at least one year of relevant work experience during the three-year period prior to applying. This must be experience for which the applicant was paid – volunteer work, unpaid internships and periods of self-employment are not included when calculating work experience.

Other requirements relating to work experience include the following:

  • The experience must have been obtained in a managerial, professional or technical/trades position classified as 0, A or B on the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  • Applicants must have performed the activities listed in the lead statement of the NOC description, and a majority of the main duties
  • Canadian work experience will not be included unless it was obtained while the applicant was authorized to work in Canada
  • Work experience acquired during study will not be included if it exceeds the number of work hours for which the applicant was authorized
  • The applicant does not have to be employed at the time of application, but he or she must be in possession of a valid job offer


Applicants must be in possession of a secondary or post-secondary certificate, degree or diploma from a Canadian educational institution, or from an accredited foreign educational institution. For education completed outside of Canada, the applicant must submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), which will demonstrate that the education obtained meets minimum Canadian standards. The ECA must be completed within the five-year period prior to applying.

Language Ability

Similar to most immigration classes, applicants to AHSP must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French, the corresponds with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CBL) score of 4 or above. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes several language tests, including the following:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) — general test
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) — general test
  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)

The language test results must be less than two years old at the time of application.

Settlement Funds

Applicants must prove the ability to support themselves and any accompanying family members, unless they are already working in Canada under a valid work permit. The proof cannot be in the form of funds borrowed from another individual.

Provincial Endorsement

Applications must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement issued by the government of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland & Labrador. Provincial endorsement letters are valid for a period of six months. It is important that you submit your application for permanent residence prior to the expiry date of the letter.

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