Changes to Atlantic Immigration Pilot will help restaurateurs attract workers

Published May 27, 2019

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Restaurants Canada and other industry allies, changes to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot are coming that will make it easier for restaurateurs to find staff.

As of June 1, the pilot program will give spouses of intermediate-skill level workers, including servers, the ability to apply for an open work permit (a type of work permit which is not specific to a certain job).

Originally, only spouses of workers classified as highly-skilled, such as managers, medical doctors and architects, were able to apply for work permits. After feedback from organizations such as Restaurants Canada, government recognized the importance of spouses having the ability to immediately access the labour market in the Atlantic Canada region.

Other recent changes to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot was created to address labour shortages in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The pilot allows designated employers in these provinces to hire eligible foreign skilled workers and international graduates of universities and colleges in the Atlantic Canada region.

The pilot was originally scheduled to run for three years, but was recently extended until the end of 2021.

In addition to extending the pilot program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has also introduced a number of strategic reforms welcomed by Restaurants Canada, which will continue to bring skilled, educated and experienced newcomers to fill the significant labour gaps in the foodservice sector.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 5000.

Restaurants Canada Digital

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