New Brunswick | Immigration Pilot Program | International Graduates

The goal of this pilot project is to provide permanent residence to foreign students who have completed one of 19 eligible study programs.

New Brunswick has launched a new pilot immigration program for international students and graduates who are graduating from the particular four private colleges for having careers in this particular province.

From April 1, 2022, international students graduating from Atlantic College College, Eastern College, McKenzie College, or Oulton College and who have studied in one of 19 targeted occupations will be able to apply to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for New Brunswick.

PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to identify eligible immigrant applicants who can meet their local economic criteria and needs. Many PNP flows are targeted at foreign students, some are specifically tailored to them.

Concrete details and requirements for the new pilot project will not be available until autumn. However, the government indicated in a press release that the pilot project is aimed at recently graduated students of certain educational institutions who do not currently qualify for the federal Postgraduate Work Permit program. In addition, participation in this pilot program will be limited to certain educational institutions in New Brunswick that have this label for at least five years and offer eligible study programs in the following areas:

  1. Social and Community Service Workers
  2. Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
  3. Educational Assistants
  4. Health-Care Aides
  5. Home Support Workers
  6. Licensed Practical Nurses
  7. Paramedics and Related Occupations
  8. Medical Laboratory Technologists
  9. Medical Laboratory Technicians and Pathologists’ Assistants
  10. Medical Administrative Assistants
  11. Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  12. Web Designers and Developers
  13. Computer Network Technicians
  14. User Support Technicians
  15. Accounting Technicians and Bookkeepers
  16. Payroll Clerks
  17. Shippers and Receivers
  18. Supply Chain and Logistics Supervisors
  19. Production Logistics Co-ordinators

The new pilot program is a collaboration between Opportunities NB (ONB), a leading business development corporation in New Brunswick, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“We are excited to be able to help retain more foreign students by opening an innovative path that is made for New Brunswick,” Arlene Dunn, the minister responsible for Opportunities NB, said in a statement.

"With rapidly increasing competition for a skilled professional workforce, the potential for the transition of international students and graduates to permanent residency is of paramount importance."

This new initiative for a new immigration pathway is in lieu of the priorities set by business groups and organizations in the province. Just last week, the New Brunswick Federation of Business Organizations presented a series of political priorities for the upcoming federal election in Canada.

The group made up of the New Brunswick Business Council, trade committees, the Saint John Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Canadian manufacturers and exporters have identified three priority areas where federal government action is needed, including immigration.

Among the priorities, the group called on the federal government to allocate more space to immigrants to reach the target of 10,000 immigrants by 2024, with 30 percent speaking French; speed up and simplify the entire immigration process, especially for foreign students; and increase investment in settlement services as well.

According to Treasury Minister for Postgraduate Education, Training and Labour, “newcomers are key to meeting the challenges of the New Brunswick labour market, and by providing this additional immigration flow, the government is empowering more of the higher education institutions to develop skilled workers and professionals for New Brunswick needs. "

Over the next decade, the province is predicting that about 120,000 New Brunswickers to leave the workforce or the labour market.

Prior to the pandemic, immigration was one of the main drivers of population and labor growth in New Brunswick. In 2019, the province welcomed a record 6,000 permanent residents. By 2020, that number had dropped to 2,740, and between January and June 2021, 1,470 new permanent residents arrived. This reduction is mainly attributed to travel restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and processing delays by the IRCC.

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