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Immigration Pilot Programs

Updated: December 18th, 2022

Immigration Pilots

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

This is a community-driven pilot aimed at bringing the economic benefits of immigration directly to smaller cities and towns. Skilled foreigners who want to live and work in one of the participating communities can now take a quicker route to permanent residency in Canada.


Atlantic Immigration Pilot

If you are considering immigrating to one of the four participating Atlantic provinces, this pilot is designed to help employers recruit skilled foreign workers and international graduates who wish to settle permanently in Atlantic Canada.


Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

This industry-specific pilot will address shortages in the agri-food sector, targeting semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the meat, greenhouse, and animal production industries. Eligible jobs for the pilot include butchers, farm workers, harvesting labourers, and farm supervisors.


Home Care Provider Pilots

The New Home Care Provider Pilots replaces the Live-In Caregiver Program, allowing both Home Support Workers and Home Child Care Provider to live and work in Canada. These pilots make it more accessible for foreign caregivers to immigrate to Canada and gain permanent residency.

Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers 

Immigration pilots are designed for skilled foreign nationals in certain industries and occupations who want to gain permanent residence in Canada. Additionally, pilots are limited-term programs introduced to address the labour force needs and shortfall of skills within specific Canadian provinces or regions.

Let's find out how you can maximize your chances of immigrating through the Canada immigration pilot programs.

What Are Immigration Pilots?

Immigration pilots are limited-term programs specifically designed to address the needs of particular areas and communities in Canada. These pilot programs target unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled foreigners to address the labour market needs and shortages. The idea is to create a path to permanent residence for those who want to live and work permanently in Canada.

A good example of a pilot program is the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), which later became an actual program known as the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP). Because the pilot did exceptionally well bridging the worker-to-retiree ratio, adding value to the Canadian economy, it later transitioned into a permanent program.

An Introduction to the Various Pilots

For you to gain a better understanding of the different pilots, we will dive into each pilot and the requirements thereof. These are as follows below:

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

This pilot is geared toward individual towns and communities to address shortages in their labour market. It is similar to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in that if you can get a job offer from a participating business within the community, you will receive a nomination from the local government for permanent residency. There is no skill level required; all occupation levels are eligible.

Employers in participating communities will have the opportunity to post employment opportunities. Skilled foreigners looking to live and work in Canada can apply for these positions. If you succeed, the community can recommend you to the government for permanent residence.

Eligibility Factors

You must ensure that you are eligible before applying. To be considered for the RNIP program, you need to meet the following criteria:

For work experience, you must:

  • You must have at least one year of accumulative work experience in the last three years. This experience can be accumulated by more than one occupation and different Canadian employers.
  • The hours you worked as a volunteer or intern will not be recognized.
  • The hours as a self-employed person will not be recognized unless you acquired experience as a medical practitioner under the jurisdiction's laws.
  • You must include the main duties listed in your National Occupational Classification (NOC) and the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC.

For International students, you must:

  • International students will be expected to meet the requirements stipulated under work experience. However, you must have graduated with a credential from a post-secondary program of two years or longer.
  • Under this program, you must have studied as a full-time student and completed the full duration of the two years.
  • You must have received the credential no more than 18 months before your application to apply for permanent residence.
  • You must have been in the community for at least 16 months of the last 24 months you spent studying to obtain your credential.
  • You must meet or exceed the language requirements in either English or French. Find out more about the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test requirements when applying for permanent residence.
  • You must provide all the necessary documentation, including your qualifications.
  • If you are not working legally in Canada by the time you apply, you must prove that you have sufficient funds to take care of yourself.

Or, you can still be exempted from the work experience requirements if:

  • You have a master's degree or higher, which you did in less than two years while studying as a full-time student.
  • Obtain your degree more than 18 months before applying for permanent residence.
  • If you were in the community for the duration of your studies.

You cannot apply as an international student if:

  • Your course consists of studying English or French, making up more than half of the program.
  • If most of your course consisted of distance learning, it made up more than half of the program.
  • If you studied on a scholarship or fellowship, it requires you to return to your home country.

Note that different communities in Canada may be subject to different requirements. For community-specific requirements, visit the official Canadian Government website.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

If you are a skilled foreign worker with a valid job offer or a foreign graduate from a publicly funded post-secondary school institution in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador, or you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the AIP.. With the region's labour force still contracting, this year is a great time to secure permanent residency in Canada through this pathway.

Eligibility Factors

For work experience, you must:

  • Have worked in the last five years, accumulating to at least 1,560 hours, which is the hours accumulated in one year (30 hours per week).
  • Hours in part-time and full-time jobs will be recognized.
  • The hours counted must be paid work.
  • Hours accumulated while self-employed will not be recognized.
  • You can count hours while working inside or outside Canada legally.
  • Hours accumulated over or at least 12 months will count.
  • If you worked while studying, these hours can be added but should amount to the authorized hours stipulated.
  • The work performed should fall within the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories.

Here is a brief breakdown of the TEER levels:

  • TEER 0: management jobs
  • TEER 1: professional jobs that require a degree from a university.
  • TEER 2: Technical jobs and skilled trades that require at least two years of college or apprenticeship or occupations that include supervisory or safety responsibilities, such as police officers and firefighters.
  • TEER 3: Technical jobs and skilled trades requiring less than two years of college or apprenticeship. Alternatively, you can still apply under this if you have more than six months of practical experience.
  • TEER 4: Refers to intermediate jobs that require high school and/or weeks of job-specific training. Examples are industrial butchers, long-haul truck drivers, or food and beverage servers.

For your interest, learn more about the TEER levels here.

Note: In your work experience, you must include the actions in the description of your NOC and the main duties or roles of your NOC.

Requirements for international graduates:

  • You are not subject to the work experience requirements if you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification of two years. Your credentials must be obtained from a recognized post-secondary institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces.
  • You should be a full-time student for the program duration while studying.
  • You must have lived in one of the Atlantic provinces for at least 16 months in the last two years before you graduated.
  • You must have had the visa or permit required to work, study or get training while you were residing in Canada.

Educational requirements, one of these is relevant:

  • You must secure a job offer at the NOC 2021 TEER 0 or 1 category.
  • You must have a one-year post-secondary credential or higher or the equivalent of a Canadian credential from outside Canada.
  • Job offers at the NOC 2021 TEER 2, 3 or 4 category require a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent from outside Canada.
  • International students who study outside require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), confirming that their studies are equivalent or higher for your job offer.
  • Your ECA report must be less than five years old when the application is received.

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot

This pilot opens the door for unskilled and semi-skilled workers who may have struggled to find pathways to permanent residency. Canada has a significant shortage in the food production industry and has thus created this avenue to address the problem. Canadian immigration will process several permanent resident applications annually for foreign farm labourers, farm supervisors, harvesters, butchers, and food processing labourers. The program works on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to get in early.

To apply for this pilot, you must have a valid job offer and show that you are an experienced worker in one of the specified occupations within the meat production and agricultural sector. Below, we highlight the requirements.

Eligibility Factors

For work experience, you must:

  • Have a minimum of one year of the non-seasonal hour which should be full-time work in the past three years.
  • If you apply through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, these hours can be in one or more of the listed eligible occupations.
  • You will require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with a minimum 12-month duration, which your employer will submit.
  • The hours you worked in full-time jobs will count.
  • These hours are not subject to one eligible occupation but can be in various eligible occupations with different employers.
  • The hours must be accumulated over at least 12 months.
  • Volunteering or unpaid internships will not count.
  • Hours you accumulated as a self-employed person will not be recognized.
  • Hours you accumulated in part-time or seasonal positions will not be recognized.
  • If your hours were not authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), they would not count.

Requirements for a Job offer:

  • You must secure a valid job offer.
  • The job offer must be a full-time permanent offer in an eligible occupation listed under one of the eligible industries.
  • A full-time job offer will demonstrate at least 30 paid hours per week.
  • The job must be non-seasonal, which should who that you have regular paid employment throughout the year.

Note: According to the official Canadian Government website, wages for unionized positions must be determined by the collective agreement. In contrast, wages for non-unionized positions must meet or exceed the Job Bank's (median) wage for the occupation listed on your job offer. In addition, the job offer must be in Canada, outside Quebec.

Care Provider Pilots

Replacing the old caregiver program are two new pilots. The Home Child Care Provider Pilot offers foreign workers an offer to take care of minors such as nannies and au pairs. The Home Support Worker Pilot provides foreign workers with employment offers for the care of elderly, disabled or otherwise incapacitated persons. Employers do not require Labour Market Impact Assessments to hire foreign workers, and two years of work experience in Canada is required to become a permanent resident.

Canada has introduced these two pilots to help home support providers immigrate to Canada. They serve as replacements for the LCP (Live-in Caregiver Program), which is closed to new applicants simultaneously. But fear not, under the new home care provider pilots, you will be able to apply for permanent residence if you have a valid job offer or already have work experience in Canada as a caregiver and meet the eligibility requirements.

These are two separate programs, and applications must be made under the specific program your offer and skills are suited to. Applying to the wrong program could see your application for permanent residence denied.

Both five-year pilots are aimed at helping foreign skilled and experienced home child care providers, and home support workers relocate to Canada and gain permanent residency. Let's take a closer look at the requirements to determine whether you can apply for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot.

Job Titles for the Home child care providers

Home childcare providers help parents look after children and may be required to help with household duties. Care can be provided either in their own homes or in their employer's homes which is different from the Live-in Caregiver Program, which requires caregivers to live in their employer's home.

This program is open to applicants with the following job titles:

  • Babysitter.
  • Au pair.
  • Child care live-in-caregiver.
  • Child care provider - private home.
  • Nanny.
  • Parent's helper.
  • Foster parent.
  • Babysitter - fitness center.
  • Babysitter - shopping center.

Eligibility Factors for the Child Care Provider Pilot

  • You must have worked full-time for at least 30 hours of paid work weekly.
  • You must have the right work experience in the stipulated occupation listed in the NOC.
  • You must show that you have the work experience required to work as a home childcare provider, based on the NOC 4411.
  • You must show that you have experience in providing in-home care to children under the age of 18 in their own home or the employee's or child's home.

Note: Foster parents cannot apply under the Home Child Care Provider Pilot.

Eligibility Factors for the Home Support Worker Pilot

Candidates must show they have the right work experience as home support workers and related occupations under NOC 4412. For further guidance, speak to our knowledgeable immigration experts today.

Below are the standard requirements for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot:

  • Language proficiency: Minimum scores of CLB 5 in English or NLCL 5 in French.
  • You must have a post-secondary education credential of at least one year.
  • You must have a valid job offer, which must be made using an IMM 5983 document.
  • You must demonstrate your ability to work through your experience or training and ensure you are fit to do the work described in the job description.
  • A medical exam is required, and an approved panel physician must do it in your country.
  • A police clearance will be required for all countries you have lived in for six months or longer.

Job Titles for the Home child care providers

Home support workers help seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals in rehabilitation by providing personal care and companionship during recovery, incapacitation, and family disruption. Duties include but are not limited to preparing meals, feeding, bathing, changing dressings, administering medications, and other routine housekeeping duties. Care is in their employer's or client's homes, where the home support worker may be required to live. Home support workers may also care for children; however, it must not be their primary responsibility.

This program is open to applicants with the following job titles:

  • Attendant for persons with disabilities - home care.
  • Family caregiver.
  • Home support worker.
  • Housekeeper.
  • Live-in caregiver - seniors.
  • Personal aide - home support.
  • Personal care attendant - home care.
  • Respite worker - home support.
  • Home visitor - infant care.

The most beneficial factor between these programs and the LCP is that it enables you to change employers if desired and allow your family members to join you in Canada.

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)

Applicants with two years of work experience can apply for permanent residence under this program, and they should still be working in Canada with an LCP work permit.

Eligibility factors for LCP:

  • You must show that you have full-time valid live-in employment of 24 months.
  • Alternatively, you must show that you have 3,900 hours of authorized full-time employment. These hours can be completed within a minimum of 22 months, and overtime hours will also be applicable.
  • Your work experience must have been obtained within four years of your arrival in Canada.

Note: If you don't meet the above requirements, don't despair. An immigration expert can assist in finding a suitable program for you and your family. Find out why the assistance of an immigration expert is important here.

Apply for Permanent Residence

While the steps to apply may vary, depending on the individual's situation and circumstances, we have given you a break of the steps below to apply for permanent residence through the pilot programs:

Step 1: Ensure Eligibility

Always ensure eligibility and meet the program criteria and job offer requirements before applying.

Step 2: Get the Instruction Guide or Contact an Immigration Expert

The instruction guide contains all relevant information and the necessary digital forms for the program. Alternatively, an immigration expert can assist you with the necessary forms required.

Step 3: Get Your Biometrics in Order

Your fingerprints and photo are your biometrics. Find out about biometric fees here.

Step 4: Pay Your Fees and Submit Your Application

Depending on the fee type and the country you are applying from, you can pay in different ways.

First, you must ensure you answered all questions correctly and have the necessary documents. An incomplete application will cause a delay in processing times, and your application will be returned to you.

Immigrate Through Canada Immigration Pilot Programs

We have provided you with the necessary ins and outs, and we hope you found this article useful. For more information on how to immigrate through the relevant pilots, contact our immigration experts, who specialize in assisting international clients with their visas and applications.

Get in touch today.


Can You Change Jobs In Canada?

Caregivers develop personal relationships with those they're looking after, but this will eventually end, and the caregiver must move onto a different caregiver job. Because of this, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have granted care providers a special open work permit, enabling them to change to a different job if they are not happy with their current situation.

Can You Become a Caregiver Without Post-Secondary Education?

Yes, you can. With the right experience or training as a caregiver, you may be considered. Of course, having the right qualifications will put you at an advantage. However, you may still be required to complete one year of post-secondary education in Canada to start working officially.

How Much is the Salary of a Caregiver in Canada?

According to Canada Job Bank, home support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations (NOC 4412) could earn between $13.46 per hour and $23.08 per hour in Canada.

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