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New Brunswick to welcome up to 10% of PNP candidates through Critical Worker Program

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June 8, 2023

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Ishita Soni

New Brunswick Critical workers program

New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Progam: A Pathway to Immigrate to Canada

Since its launch in November 2022, the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot program (NBCWP) has gathered significant interest among skilled newcomers seeking an immigration pathway to Canada. This joint initiative between the New Brunswick provincial government and the federal government aims to attract immigrants who can fill labour market gaps in the province. With the participation of six renowned employers spanning various industries, the program offers additional settlement support and a chance to thrive in New Brunswick’s welcoming communities.

What are the Unique Features of the NBCWP?

The NBCWP stands out from other programs by providing eligible candidates with enhanced settlement support. To ensure successful establishment in their new jobs and communities, participating employers must offer robust settlement plans, including housing and transportation assistance, and demonstrate a commitment to long-term retention. They are also required to develop comprehensive human resources strategies for recruiting and hiring international talent, along with provisions for on-the-job skills enhancement. Candidates may receive up to 200 hours of language training, if necessary, and guidance for pursuing Canadian secondary education equivalency.

Who is Eligible to apply ?

To be considered for nomination, candidates must hold a valid job offer from one of the program’s eligible employers and demonstrate their intent to reside in New Brunswick. The job offer should provide a competitive wage aligned with New Brunswick wage rates for the relevant occupation. The wage offered must be comparable to the rates paid to workers with similar experience and training for equivalent jobs in the province, while also adhering to the employer’s compensation structure.

Program Scope and Allocation

The pilot program, set to run for five years, has an allocation of up to a maximum of 10% of New Brunswick’s overall Provincial Nominee Program. Early indications suggest that nearly 300 nominees and their families may be supported through this pilot in 2023. However, it is still too early to provide concrete numbers, as the program is being closely monitored by the government. Currently, there are no plans to expand the program to include additional employers, as it remains limited in scope.

New Brunswick’s Immigration Success

New Brunswick has had a track record of successful immigration streams, such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the NB Strategic Initiative stream. The Critical Worker Pilot is seen as another opportunity to execute innovative approaches to economic immigration, monitor outcomes, make adjustments along the way, and build on the successes encountered. Immigration has been contributing to New Brunswick’s population growth, with a notable increase of 116.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association. Furthermore, the province recently received a 67% increase in immigration allocation from the federal government, resulting in 5,500 spots allocated for provincial economic immigration programs in 2023 under the NB PNP and the Atlantic Immigration Program.


The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot program offers skilled newcomers an attractive pathway to immigrate to Canada and contribute to the province’s labor force. With its focus on employer-driven immigration and additional settlement support, the program aims to ensure successful integration and long-term retention of skilled international talent. As New Brunswick continues to enhance its immigration initiatives, the Critical Worker Pilot demonstrates the province’s commitment to innovation and growth through economic immigration, paving the way for a prosperous future.


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