An increase in New Brunswick’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) spaces and a boost to the number of immigrants it can welcome under the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) could see immigration rise by 67 per cent in 2023.
The bilingual province in Atlantic Canada enjoyed a boost of 1,084 spaces under its New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), bringing that total for 2023 to 5,500. Ottawa also granted the province an increase of 1,116 allocations under the AIP.
New Brunswick immigration officials are expecting additional increases in allocations next year and in 2025.
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Under a deal with Ottawa, the Canada-New Brunswick Immigration Agreement, the province is allowed to nominate qualified candidates for permanent residence in New Brunswick and can better recruit highly-skilled immigrants for accelerated processing by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
“The Canada-New Brunswick Immigration Agreement is important for addressing on-going immigration issues such as slow population growth and labour market demands,” said Immigration Minister Sean
“It also demonstrates our commitment to supporting francophone immigration outside Quebec by increasing the target for admissions of French-speaking immigrants to the province and ensuring that they have the opportunities and resources they need to settle and contribute to the vibrant francophone communities in the province.”
Provincial Immigration Minister Arlene Dun says the boost in the province’s allocation will help support economic and demographic growth in the province which has an aging population.
“Immigrants help build stronger, diverse and vibrant communities which is why we are thrilled with this increase,” she said.
“With immigration being a shared jurisdiction, a strong partnership with the federal government is critical to our continued success on this file.”
A Third Of New Brunswick Nominations To Go To French-Speaking Candidates
The provincial immigration minister said the streams offered to candidates for immigration in New Brunswick provide the foundation to meet the province’s social, cultural, demographic, and economic objectives.
“As a leader in francophone immigration across the country, the province has set a target of 32 per cent of provincial nominations in 2023 being awarded to French-speaking immigration candidates,” she said.
New Brunswick is bullish on immigration and has made attracting and retaining skilled newcomers a priority under the Connect, Grow, Prosper, Strategic Plan 2022-27 of Opportunities NB, the crown corporation and lead economic development agency for the province.
Last year, New Brunswick almost doubled its level of immigration, jumping from 5,310 new permanent residents in 2021 to 10,205 in 2022.
Immigration to the small province was 2.3 per cent of the national total despite it only having under 2.1 per cent of the country’s total population.
Although New Brunswick does not release the results of each one of its PNP draws, it does publish the results of the total number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) it sends out every month.
In February, it issued 144 ITAs, including 93 for those seeking permanent residence in the province and 51 for those hoping to get Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP).
The latest monthly results reveal New Brunswick issued 86 ITAs through its Express Entry Occupations In Demand Connection (OIDC) program and another seven ITAs through its New Brunswick Employment Connection (EC) program last month.
The province also issued ITAs for PGWPs through its New Brunswick Student Connection (SC) program.
Employment Connection Immigration Candidates Need To Pass A Language Test
Applicants under the EC must meet the minimum work experience, language proficiency, and educational requirements and demonstrate proof of sufficient funds.
Under that program, the work requirement is at least one year of full-time paid work (1,560 hours total) or an equal amount of part-time work. That work experience must be in the NOC TEER categories 0, 1, 2 or 3 and must be in the same type of job as indicated on the immigration application.
All applicants submitting an application through that NB Express Entry stream must also have a valid language test in English or French, administered by an agency designated by IRCC.
That language test must be less than 18 months old at the time the application is submitted to the province of New Brunswick and the applicant must have obtained a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 for French.
Applicants who have not graduated from a Canadian educational institution must also provide a copy of an Educational Credential Assessment completed by a designated organization.
Settlement funds are not required for open work permit holders with a minimum of one-year work experience in TEER 0,1, 2, or 3 occupations in Canada.
Through the OIDC program, applicants are issued a Letter of Interest (LOI) from the federal Express Entry system and must have a valid Express Entry profile.
Upon receiving that LOI, the applicant can create an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the INB Portal, the province’s immigration portal, and has 45 days from the date of receiving the LOI to do that.
The minimum work experience required under the OIDC is at least one year of full-time paid work (1,560 hours total) or an equal amount of part-time work in occupations with NOC codes in the 0,1,2, or 3 categories.
PGWP Can Be Issued Even If the Applicant Does Not Yet Have A Job Offer
That work experience can be in Canada or abroad but must be paid work and in the same occupation as used on the immigration application.
Since this is an NB Express Entry stream application, it must also meet the language and educational requirements and the applicant must demonstrate that he or she intends to live in New Brunswick and have sufficient funds to do so.
Settlement funds are not required for open work permit holders with a minimum of one-year work experience in Canada.
Those applying for a PGWP through the NB Student Connection program do not need to have a job offer but must have completed their studies within the last six months, be living in the province, and actively looking for work.
Graduate students in thesis-based programs can apply once that school work has been officially submitted for evaluation.
The grads applying through this program must also meet the same work experience and language proficiency requirements as for the other two programs and intend to live in New Brunswick.
NB Student Connection Applicants Must Demonstrate Proof Of Funds
They do not, however, have to demonstrate proof of funds provided they are already open work permit holders and have the required work experience.
Applicants under this program provide a copy of at least two of the following documents showing successful completion of a PGWP-eligible program of study in New Brunswick within the past six months:
- final transcripts;
- diploma or certificate, or
- a letter of completion from the institution.
Those who have completed their education in Canada do not need to provide Educational Credential Assessments (ECA) but post-grads applying at the point of the submission of their thesis do need to provide such an ECA by a designated organization.