New Brunswick Immigration Boom Means More Students In Province’s Schools

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New Brunswick Immigration Boom Means More Students In Province’s Schools
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New Brunswick immigration is putting a strain on its schools which are constantly adding classrooms and staff to handle that population growth.

It’s an unusual challenge for the Atlantic Canadian province which had for decades been experiencing population declines until the COVID-19 pandemic and its handling of it prompted many Canadians to move there.

“Not long ago, we were closing schools, and now we’re keeping some open even that we announced we would be closing,’” Ryan Donaghy, the province’s deputy minister of education for the anglophone sector, reportedly told the standing committee on public accounts.

“It’s a lot better to be managing growth than decline, but it doesn’t come without its difficulties.”

The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals New Brunswick welcomed 11,455 new permanent residents last year.


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That level of immigration is about 10 per cent higher than the 10,235 new permanent residents to the province in 2022.

Last year, New Brunswick welcomed 2,000 new permanent workers through worker programs, including 1,155 through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), 275 through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and 570 through the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in New Brunswick helped another 6,660 foreign nationals become permanent residents, while 620 new permanent residents immigrated to the province through family sponsorships and 1,275 arrived as refugees or protected persons.

With that growth in the student population of the province, New Brunswick’s department of education has had to add 37 education support teachers since 2021 to work with students for whom English is a second language and invest $3 million in tutoring these students in the past fiscal year.

Under the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), the province targets qualified candidates who meet specific economic and labor market needs.

Candidates can qualify through one of five categories, the:

  • New Brunswick Express Entry stream;
  • New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream;
  • New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream for Truck Drivers;
  • New Brunswick Entrepreneurial stream, and;
  • New Brunswick Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial stream.

The New Brunswick Express Entry stream targets candidates with profiles in the federal Express Entry pool who have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the provincial economy.

Those profiles in the Express Entry pool are assessed and scored on six factors:

  • age;
  • education,
  • language skills;
  • work experience;
  • job offer, and;
  • adaptability.

Skilled Worker stream helps foreign nationals with jobs in New Brunswick immigrate to Canada

The New Brunswick Skilled Worker Stream is for those between 19 and 55 years of age with a permanent, full-time job offer from a New Brunswick employer and who intend to live in the province.

The New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream for Truck Drivers is geared to truckers. It was launched in 2020 to deal with an acute labour shortage.

Important eligibility requirements include two years of work experience in the last five, with nine months in New Brunswick, plus a full-time, permanent trucking job. Candidates must also have a valid New Brunswick Class 1 Driving License and intend to live in the province.

Entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to New Brunswick can do so through the NB PNP Entrepreneurial Stream.

It’s for those aged between 22 and 55 with an eligible connection to New Brunswick and a minimum two-year, post-secondary education degree or diploma who score at least level 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark exam for speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French.

These entrepreneurs have to be ready to invest $250,000 of their $600,000 or more net worth in a New Brunswick business and take ownership of at least 33 percent of it. These experienced entrepreneurs or managers also have to ink a Business Performance Agreement with the province and pay a deposit of $100,000.


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The first step for these entrepreneurs is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and wait to be sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) after which they will have 90 days to submit an immigration application to the New Brunswick immigration department.

Approved candidates receive a letter with instructions for submitting a signed and dated Business Performance Agreement and the deposit of $100,000 to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. This must be done within 60 days of receiving the letter.

The last stream, the New Brunswick Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream, is for international graduates from recognized New Brunswick universities or community colleges who are aged 22 to 40 years old.

They need to have started or acquired a New Brunswick business and operated it for at least one year, while holding a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Then, there is the Atlantic Immigration Program, which operates as a partnership between Canada’s federal government and the four provinces in the region.

Atlantic Immigration Program Requirements

1. Work Experience

In the last five years, candidates must have worked at least 1,560 hours, equivalent to 30 hours per week for one year, in an occupation under National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4.

2. International Graduates

Candidates do not need to meet the work experience requirements if they are an international graduate who:

  • has a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification requiring at least two years of studies in a recognized institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces.
  • was a full-time student for the entire time they were studying.
  • lived in one of the four provinces for at least 16 months.

3. Education

  • Candidates with a job offer in NOC TEER 0 or 1 must have at least a Canadian one-year post-secondary educational credential or equivalent from outside Canada.
  • Candidates with a job offer in NOC TEER 2, 3 or 4 must have a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent from outside Canada.

4. Language

  • Level 5 in English or French for TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3
  • Level 4 in English or French for TEER 4
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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.