Atlantic Canada is experiencing an immigration revolution

Between 2011 and 2016, Atlantic Canada experienced the weakest population growth in the country. This was due in part to the region’s low intake of immigrants. 

Population growth is important to promoting the economic growth that is necessary for maintaining high living standards in Atlantic Canada. Recognizing this, the four Atlantic provinces — Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — are making significant efforts to welcome and retain more newcomers.

These efforts are already bearing fruit as the region has recently enjoyed much-needed population growth thanks to higher immigration levels.

Tracking toward 6.5 per cent of Canada’s immigrants

Atlantic Canada comprises 6.5 per cent of Canada’s population but has struggled to attract its proportionate share of the country’s newcomers. In the early 2000s, the region was only able to attract one per cent of newcomers.

This is improving, however, and the region is currently on track to increase its newcomer share to five per cent in 2019. (See Chart 1). It is now welcoming more than 14,000 newcomers annually compared with just 3,000 two decades ago.

This growth should be celebrated, but more work remains. With the exception of PEI, the other three Atlantic provinces still lag behind the national per capita newcomer intake. (See Table 2).

Nevertheless, the current trends suggest the region could welcome its proportionate share of Canada’s newcomers sometime in the 2020s.

Chart 1: Immigrant arrivals by Atlantic Province (L) and as a percentage share of total immigration to Canada (R), 1999 to 2019

AIP & PNP have fueled immigration growth

Just like in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Atlantic Canada has depended on the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to fuel its rising immigration levels.

The PNP was launched in 1999 to help smaller provinces and territories attract more newcomers. New Brunswick was the first province in Canada’s Atlantic region to adopt the PNP, doing so the same year it launched and Newfoundland and Labrador followed shortly after (See Table 2). PEI and Nova Scotia were the next to join, in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

In 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) was introduced to give the region an extra tool for attracting more economic class newcomers. Since then, nearly 4,200 newcomers have gained permanent residence through the AIP.

Federal and provincial/territorial immigration agreements


Date Agreement Signed

Start of provincial/territorial
Economic Class selection program

Quebec February 20, 1978 1978
Manitoba June 28, 1998 1999
New Brunswick February 22, 1999 1999
Newfoundland and Labrador September 1, 1999 1999
Saskatchewan March 16, 1998 2001
Prince Edward Island March 29, 2001 2001
British Columbia April 19, 1998 2001
Alberta March 2, 2002 2002
Yukon April 1, 2001 2002
Nova Scotia August 27, 2002 2003
Ontario November 21, 2005 2007
Northwest Territories August 7, 2009 2009

Newfoundland and Labrador: Poised to surpass 2022 target this year

Newfoundland and Labrador has already welcomed more newcomers under the AIP this year than in 2018. (See Chart 2).

Combined with the PNP, Newfoundland and Labrador is on track this year to “substantially” surpass the immigration target that it had established for 2022.

Both the AIP and PNP now account for the majority of all immigrants arriving in the province. This underscores just how important the programs are in supporting Newfoundland and Labrador’s efforts to promote economic development through immigration.

Chart 2: Newfoundland and Labrador’s AIP and PNP intake (L) and AIP/PNP share of newcomers (R)

PEI: Dip in PNP arrivals being offset by AIP

In recent years, the PNP has accounted for around 90 per cent of all new immigrants to PEI. The province’s PNP intake decreased in 2018 and preliminary 2019 data suggests it will not recover to 2017 levels.

This dip, however, is being partially offset by the AIP (See Chart 3).

The pilot was used to bring 235 new immigrants to PEI in the first nine months of 2019, compared with 200 newcomers in all of 2018.

All in all, Canada’s smallest province has the country’s highest population growth rate thanks to it enjoying Canada’s highest per capita intake of newcomers.

Chart 3: PEI’s AIP and PNP intake (L) and AIP/PNP’s share of newcomers (R)

Nova Scotia: Set to welcome 6,000 newcomers in 2019

Nova Scotia’s AIP intake is surging, with the province welcoming nearly 1,000 newcomers through the program in the first nine months of 2019. (See Chart 4).

This almost triples the 375 newcomers that it welcomed through the pilot in all of 2018.

Thanks to its increased AIP and PNP intake, Nova Scotia has set a number of newcomer records in recent years: it surpassed 5,000 immigrants for the first time in 2016, and the AIP helped Nova Scotia reach nearly 6,000 newcomers in 2018—a threshold it looks poised to surpass in 2019.

Chart 4: Nova Scotia’s AIP and PNP intake (L) and its AIP/PNP percentage share of newcomers (R)

New Brunswick: More than 5,000 newcomers in 2019?

New Brunswick is currently the leading destination for AIP arrivals, welcoming nearly 1,200 newcomers through the program in 2019. (See Chart 5).

The AIP is also helping New Brunswick set new immigration records: the province welcomed a record 4,600 newcomers last year and is on track to surpass the 5,000 newcomer barrier in 2019.

Chart 5: New Brunswick’s AIP and PNP intake (L) and its AIP/PNP percentage share of newcomers (R)

When will we know Atlantic Canada has succeeded?

The above data tells us the region is in the midst of an immigration revolution with the AIP and PNP paving the way.

In order to completely reverse its immigration fortunes, Atlantic Canada will need to consistently welcome more than 20,000 newcomers each year.

Another benchmark for success will be higher newcomer retention levels. While the region has Canada’s lowest retention rates, recent evidence shows that retention is on the rise.

Retention is critical to achieving a positive cycle of economic growth — attracting and retaining more newcomers will attract and retain more Canadians as well as investment from the public and private sectors.

It is fair to expect retention will continue to improve in the region since the AIP and PNP aim to match newcomers with job opportunities, and both programs are also geared towards facilitating transitions to permanent residence for international students and foreign workers already in the region.

Atlantic Canada’s growing newcomer levels are a function of factors beyond the AIP and PNP. The unemployment rate is low in the region’s largest cities. The three levels of government, as well as employers, post-secondary institutions, and immigrant-serving organizations, are working in lock-step to promote the region as a destination of choice. This is the same approach that Saskatchewan and Manitoba successfully employed to boost their newcomer levels.

Today, immigration stakeholders across Canada admire Saskatchewan and Manitoba for turning their fortunes around within a decade of implementing the PNP.

If all goes according to plan, we will also soon view Atlantic Canada’s immigration revolution with the same admiration.

Québec invites 444 people to submit an application for permanent selection

Le gouvernement du Québec a invité 444 personnes à présenter une demande de sélection dans le cadre d’une ronde d’invitations le 19 août.  

La ronde d’invitations visait les candidats du Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés du Québec ayant une déclaration d’intérêt (DI) dans le système Arrima dont la demande précédente avait été annulée en vertu des réformes de l’immigration adoptées en juin 2019.

Les candidats et les candidates devaient répondre aux critères suivants pour recevoir une invitation le 19 août :

  • leur demande de sélection présentée dans le cadre du Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés a pris fin en vertu de l’article 28 de la Loi ; et
  • ils ou elles ont déposé une DI auprès du ministre avant le 17 décembre 2019 ; et
  • ils ou elles se trouvaient dans l’une des situations suivantes :
      • leur demande ayant pris fin en vertu de la Loi a été présentée au ministre en application de l’article 5.01 du Règlement sur la sélection des ressortissants étrangers ; ou
      • ils ou elles séjournaient au Québec le 16 juin 2019 alors qu’ils ou elles étaient titulaires d’un permis d’études ou de travail délivré en vertu du Règlement sur l’immigration et la protection des réfugiés.

Arrima a été introduit l’an dernier pour recevoir les DI du Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés du Québec et gérer sa banque de candidats et candidates.

Une DI n’est pas une demande, mais plutôt un moyen pour les candidats et les candidates d’aviser le ministère de l’Immigration du Québec qu’ils ou elles aimeraient être considérés pour un Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).

Un CSQ permet à un candidat de présenter une demande de résidence permanente au Québec.

Le système en ligne fondé sur l’appel à candidatures a remplacé l’ancien système du premier arrivé, premier servi pour l’acceptation des demandes au Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés du Québec.

Dans le cadre du système de DI, les candidats ou les candidates créent un profil dans Arrima et obtiennent une note basée sur des facteurs tels que leur âge, leur niveau d’éducation, leur domaine de formation, leur expérience professionnelle et leur maîtrise du français.

Les candidats et les candidates sont invité(e)s à présenter une demande de CSQ en fonction de leurs résultats ou d’autres facteurs, comme les pénuries de main-d’œuvre dans les régions éloignées de la province.

Les personnes qui demandent et reçoivent un CSQ présentent ensuite une demande de résidence permanente au ministère fédéral de l’Immigration du Canada qui vérifie l’admissibilité médicale et criminelle.

Si vous recevez une invitation à postuler pour un certificat de sélection du Québec, vous pouvez envoyer un courriel à pour connaître les prochaines étapes concernant votre demande.

Skilled immigrants: Canada is making progress toward gender equality

More and more women are finding themselves as the principal applicants in Canada’s Express Entry immigration process.

Prospective immigrants to Canada are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score to help the federal government assess and rank candidate profiles in the Express Entry pool.

Figures provided in the 2018 Express Entry year-end report reveal that the CRS scores of women are on par or even surpassing those of men.

Though there are still more male candidate profiles in the Express Entry pool, a growing percentage of women are getting scores above 350 and the number of women with CRS scores above 400 has increased 56 per cent since 2017.

Since January 3, 2019, 75 per cent of the 39,273 female applicants fell in the CRS range between 350 and 449, compared to 71 per cent of the 55,690 male applicants. There were more individual male applicants in the 350-449 range, but four per cent more of women who did apply achieved this score.

Last year, in 2018, 70 per cent of women in the Express Entry pool got over 400 CRS points, compared to 67 per cent of male applicants. In the previous year, 2017, 62 per cent of women in the Express Entry pool reached scores over 400.

Similarly, more women than men had CRS scores of 950 and above, a total of 65 women to 55 men.

This was an improvement over the composition of the pool at the start of 2018, which had 70 men with scores of 950 or above compared to 42 women.

Women who submitted profiles to the Express Entry pool in 2018 also claimed more additional points in the French-language proficiency category than men.

Percentage increase in ITA’s issued to women in economic immigration programs

Another key indicator of the increase in female representation is the growing number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence that are being issued to women.

Women received 37,322 invitations, or roughly 42 per cent of the 89,800 ITAs, that were issued in 2018.

While low, it was essentially proportional to the fact women accounted for 41 per cent of all eligible profiles submitted in 2018.

In terms of admissions of Express Entry candidates as new Canadian permanent resident, the report showed an increasing number of women being admitted to Canada as principal applicants through the Express Entry system.

Similarly notable is the fact that women from at least five of the listed countries of citizenship represented a greater proportion of principal applicant admissions than men.

It also appears that women from certain countries represent a greater proportion of principal applicant admissions than men.

The gender difference was most significant in applications from Jamaica where 67 per cent of the principal applicants were women.  The Philippines followed with 61 per cent.

Women from China (55 per cent), Russia (53 per cent) and Korea (51 per cent) also represented a greater proportion of Express Entry principal applicant admissions than men.

The eligibility rate of skilled immigrant women on the rise

In order to be considered for Canadian immigration through the Express Entry system, candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the following economic immigration categories:

Eligible candidates are assigned a CRS score based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, among others.

A set number of candidates with the highest scores receive an ITA through regular draws from the pool.

On the whole, men continue to outnumber women in the Express Entry pool. Nearly 280,000 Express Entry profiles were submitted in 2018, of which just over 109,000 were submitted by women.

However, more women candidates created a profile in the Express Entry pool in 2018 than the year before and 74 per cent were found to be eligible for at least one of the three Federal High Skilled immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system — up from 70 per cent in 2017.

The eligibility rate for women in 2018 was six per cent greater than the eligibility rate for men, of whom 68 per cent were found to be eligible.

Overall, women accounted for 41 per cent of the 195,636 eligible profiles entered into the Express Entry pool in 2018. The number of eligible candidates in the pool has been rising by about 1 per cent annually, since 2016.

These various advancements by women in the Express Entry pool reflect recent data provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that show the percentage of women admitted to Canada has been rising by one per cent every year, since 2015, and now stands at 47 per cent.

Quebec reduces deadline for applications for Quebec Selection Certificate to 60 days

Applicants from the Quebec Skilled Worker Program who receive an invitation to apply for a Quebec Certificate of Selection will only have 60 days to submit a complete application, the provincial government announced on June 26. 

The new deadline reduces the previous 90-day period by 30 days.

A similar reduction was introduced last year for the Federal Express Entry System .

Reducing the deadline for submitting applications is one of three new measures that come into effect immediately.

Quebec has also announced that the declarations of interest currently in the Québec Skilled Worker applicants bank will remain valid for an additional six months.

The extension applies to all expressions of interest that are currently in the program’s applicant bank.

The third measure provides that the expression of interest profiles of candidates who refuse an invitation to submit an application for a Québec selection certificate (CSQ) will remain in the candidate bank for the entire period of validity.

What to expect when adjusting to student life in Canada

What to expect when adjusting to student life in Canada 


While choosing Canada as a destination to complete your international studies in is exciting, it presents a variety of challenges you must learn to adjust to. Depending where you’re travelling from, Canada’s culture may be quite different from your own. These differences can range from cultural and social, to academic differences. It’s important to remember adjusting to a new culture is a very gradual process, and is something each student experiences. You’ll find Canada has different values, beliefs, traditions and customs than those in your home country. The buildings may look different, people may act and dress differently, no one speaks your language, the list goes on. Adjusting to the way of life in Canada will take some time, however embrace the ups and downs in the process. You will learn a lot about yourself and your new home.

This blog post is intended to help you understand what to expect when adjusting to student life in Canada.


Canadian Culture

Let’s quickly start by defining culture. As defined by Cristina De Rossi in Live Science, “culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we greet visitors, and a million other things.”

All this being said, Canada is a wonderful country to study in with diversity playing a large role in its history. Though there are two official languages including French and English, the country boasts itself for its mosaic of people who come from different backgrounds, creating one of the most multicultural countries in the world. The wonderful thing is, Canada encourages all people living in the country to embrace their backgrounds, traditions and culture, as it aims to protect multiculturalism. Canada features a variety of values including diversity, inclusion and fairness amongst many others. The country is recognized as one that offers a warm welcome to all visitors and new permanent residents, and as a land of opportunity.


Stages of transition

You will go through a number of stages before you’re comfortably settled into your new home. Keep in mind that you are not alone in this. It’s very normal to experience a variety of emotions, such as the ones listed below. However, do your best to stay open-minded, positive, strong and curious — this will help you transition.


The very first stage in your transition period, the honeymoon stage, may last for a few weeks or a few months. Everything is new and you feel a sense of excitement mixed in with some nervousness and anticipation. Even before your flight, adrenaline rushes through your body and you have no time to feel your nerves. The good part is, you don’t necessarily feel the initial “shock” period of change because of this. The locals are friendly and keen on assisting you with your transition.


Once the adrenaline wears off, you begin to experience some hostility. You realize you’re in a different country trying to adapt the new culture. Perhaps you’re having difficulties communicating with others or you’re frustrated with setting up your new phone services. You miss the ease of being at home, but remember, these feelings will wear off quickly. It’s something you must experience as you transition into your new environment.


At this time, you begin to accept your situation and realize what a wonderful opportunity it is. Despite challenges, you begin to accept certain situations and no longer experience hostility and frustration, but rather appreciation. You release the feeling of wanting to return home, and begin to enjoy your time as you adjust.


You begin to feel comfortable and more “at home” in your new environment. Things feel natural, and you both understand and enjoy the processes in the country you’re in.


Canadian Climate

This may be your first time experiencing diverse weather. Perhaps you’re from Brazil or India where it’s constantly hot, in which case surely you’ve never seen snow. It’s exciting to see the changes in weather throughout the year however you must be sure to pack accordingly. It also is a big adjustment! Here’s some information about the different seasons you’ll experience while studying in Canada.

Fall Season


At the start of September, the cool air starts to move in and the warm summer weather starts to move out. Perhaps the most colourful season of the year, leaves begin to change different colours from green to bright orange, fiery red and golden yellow. You can get by with a light jacket or vest, but this won’t last too long as the nights begin to get colder. This is the ideal season to go on hikes, canoe trips, bike rides and road trips.



Winter Season


The coldest season, especially in Canada. Winter begins in December and can last through to March. The season isn’t consistent every year, but you’re sure to experience a snowfall at least once. During this time, many Canadians bundle up in their winter gear and skate, toboggan, ski and snowboard outdoors. For many Canadians, this is also the time of year to cheer on our favourite ice hockey teams.




Spring Season


It may be a bit rainy, but spring is the season we finally begin to get over the cold winter weather. The snow begins to melt in April and May, the grass starts to regain its bright green colour and the trees and flowers blossom.




Summer Season


June, July and August tend to be sunny, hot and in some cities, humid. Many like the chance to get away from the city and sit by the lake up north or on a beach. Others partake in water sports such as kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding and more.



University Resources

Each school has different resources available to their student body. From assisting student transitions, offering guidance for particular courses and navigating student jobs – universities cater to all students’ needs. Be sure to visit your host school’s website to learn more about this.


Adjusting to a new culture will be the most interesting, challenging and exciting time of your life. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. Be curious, positive, open-minded, humorous and strong. You’ll want to embrace every minute of it.