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New Brunswick is set to introduce up to 10% of (PNP) candidates through the implementation of Critical Worker Program.

Ever since its launch in November 2022, the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot program (NBCWP) has garnered significant attention from skilled immigrants looking for a pathway to migrate to Canada.

This initiative is a collaborative endeavor between the provincial government of New Brunswick and the federal government, aimed at attracting newcomers who possess the necessary skills to address labor shortages in the province. The program operates as an employer-driven stream within the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NB PNP), featuring six participating employers situated across various industries and sectors throughout the province. These employers include:

  1. Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
  2. Groupe Savoie Inc.
  3. Groupe Westco
  4. Imperial Manufacturing
  5. J.D. Irving Ltd.
  6. McCain Foods


Upon the program’s announcement, the New Brunswick government emphasized that these selected employers were chosen due to their exceptional track record in recruiting immigrants and their existing settlement programs.

The pilot program is set to run for a duration of five years, with regular evaluations conducted to assess its effectiveness and impact.

How does it differ from other programs?

While targeting economic immigrants through the NB PNP, the NBCWP provides additional settlement support to eligible candidates. To ensure candidates receive this support, participating employers must demonstrate the following:

  1. Robust settlement plans encompassing housing and transportation, aimed at facilitating the successful integration of candidates into their new jobs and communities, with a focus on long-term retention.
  2. Comprehensive human resources planning for the recruitment and hiring of skilled international talent, as well as on-the-job skills enhancement.
  3. Provision of up to 200 hours of language training, if necessary, to candidates.
  4. Guidance and support for candidates interested in pursuing Canadian secondary education equivalency.

Who is eligible to apply?

Candidates interested in the program must possess a valid job offer from an eligible employer to be considered for nomination and must demonstrate their intention to reside in the province.

The job offer must offer a wage that is competitive with the wage rates in New Brunswick for the relevant occupation. The government specifies that the wage mentioned in the offer of employment should:

  1. Be comparable to the remuneration received by workers with similar levels of experience and training in equivalent positions within New Brunswick.
  2. Align with the wage compensation structure of the employer.

Rather than applying directly to the provincial government, program participants submit their applications directly to one of the program employers.

Program Size:

The pilot program has an allocation of up to a maximum of 10% of New Brunswick’s overall Provincial Nominee Program. A spokesperson from Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) recently mentioned the program’s early success, suggesting that nearly 300 nominees and their families could be supported through this pilot in 2023.

ONB acknowledges that the program is still in its early stages, and representative numbers cannot be provided at this time. Expansion of the program to include additional employers is not expected for now, as it remains limited in scope and not open to broader participation.

New Brunswick Immigration:

ONB maintains an optimistic outlook, anticipating that the pilot program will continue to attract skilled immigrants to settle in the province. The success of previous immigration streams, such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the NB Strategic Initiative stream, has bolstered confidence in the effectiveness of the Critical Worker Pilot.

In recent years, New Brunswick has witnessed population growth driven by immigration. Data from the Canadian Real Estate Association reveals that in the fourth quarter of 2022, immigration contributed 4,219 individuals to New Brunswick’s population, marking a 116.8% increase from the same period in 2021.

Furthermore, the province announced an increased immigration allocation from the federal government, amounting to a 67% boost. As a result, the province has been granted 5,500 spots for provincial economic immigration programs in 2023 under the NB PNP and the Atlantic Immigration Program.


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