New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot

Discover the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program—a groundbreaking initiative addressing vital labour shortages in the province. Learn how this program connects skilled workers with leading employers. Continue reading to explore eligibility criteria and program benefits.


The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot is one of the latest joint efforts between the federal government and the province of New Brunswick to alleviate labour shortages in key economic sectors across the province. Launched at the end of 2022 as a five-year pilot program, it aims to attract skilled workers to occupations that have historically faced recruitment challenges within this province.

Program Structure

The New Brunswick Critical Worker pilot operates under the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NB PNP) and is characterized as an employer-driven stream. This means eligible candidates must apply through participating employers actively hiring skilled international talent to fill specific roles critical to their operations.

Employer Involvement

Currently, the pilot program involves six employers spanning diverse industries within New Brunswick. These employers play a vital role in the program by identifying specific job vacancies that align with the program’s objectives and by sponsoring eligible candidates for nomination through the NB PNP.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidate Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program, candidates must meet specific criteria designed to ensure their commitment to residing in and contributing to the province. The eligibility requirements include several key aspects:

Intent to Reside

Candidates must demonstrate a genuine intention to reside permanently in New Brunswick. This requirement aligns with Section 87(2)(b) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act Regulations, which mandates that nominees intend to live in the province that nominated them. Evidence of intent may include:

  • Actions taken towards permanent settlement in New Brunswick.
  • Current employment within the province or details of an active job search.
  • Length and nature of past and present residence in New Brunswick.
  • Engagement in community activities.
  • Ability to financially support oneself in New Brunswick.
  • Connections to the province through work, study, family, or other relationships.
  • Completion of studies at a post-secondary institution in New Brunswick.
  • Professional affiliations and networks established in the province.
  • Residential arrangements such as lease agreements or property ownership.
  • Family ties and social connections within New Brunswick.
  • Previous visits to Canada and any ties to other Canadian jurisdictions.

Job Offer

Candidates must possess a valid job offer from an eligible employer in New Brunswick. The offer must include a wage that meets or exceeds the prevailing rates for similar occupations in the province. Specifically:

  • The offered wage should be comparable to what similarly experienced workers earn for equivalent roles in New Brunswick.
  • Compensation should align with the employer’s wage structure and exclude bonuses, commissions, housing allowances, and similar payments unless specified otherwise.

If the job offer was secured through a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the candidate’s current wage must meet or exceed the amount specified in the offer and the LMIA.

Remote Work Arrangements

Candidates may be considered under remote work arrangements, allowing them to perform job duties from an approved remote location, such as their home. To qualify:

  • The candidate must currently reside in New Brunswick and have lived in the province during the 12 months preceding the application.
  • They must be employed by an eligible New Brunswick employer with the appropriate authorization to work.

Regulated Occupations

For roles in regulated professions in New Brunswick, candidates must hold the necessary certification or licensure from the relevant provincial regulatory body. This requirement ensures compliance with occupational standards that safeguard public health, safety, and the environment. Foreign qualifications are evaluated to determine equivalency with Canadian standards.

PR Ready

Being “PR Ready” entails meeting all minimum eligibility requirements and selection factors for New Brunswick’s immigration streams or pilots. Candidates must have all necessary documents prepared and organized to submit a complete and accurate application to both the provincial government and the federal government. This readiness facilitates efficient processing and reduces delays in navigating the immigration process.

For detailed information on eligibility criteria and application procedures, candidates are advised to consult the First Steps resources available at

New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Selection Factors

To be considered for the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program, applicants must ensure they meet all eligibility criteria. Once eligibility is confirmed, candidates will be evaluated based on the following selection factors:


Applicants must be between 19 and 55 years of age at the time of submitting a complete application in response to an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Age is assessed based on the date of application submission, not registration.

Official Languages

Candidates must provide valid language test results from designated organizations to demonstrate proficiency in English or French at a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 4 across all four language abilities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Read more about Acceptable language tests.


Minimum educational requirements include a Canadian secondary (high school) diploma or its Canadian secondary education equivalency, verified through an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a recognized organization. Candidates with Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates do not require an ECA. The ECA report must be less than five years old at the time IRCC receives the PR application.

Work Experience

Applicants must demonstrate at least 1,560 hours of work experience over the past five years, equivalent to one year of full-time employment (based on 30 hours per week). This experience must be verifiable and not include unpaid work, internships, or study programs. The work experience should align with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) related to the job offer from a New Brunswick employer.

Under the terms of this immigration pilot project, if candidates do not meet specific criteria at the time of application (such as language proficiency, educational credentials, or work experience), their New Brunswick employer must provide a signed attestation letter as part of the nomination application.

Employer Eligibility Requirements

Participant employers in the pilot must meet strict criteria to ensure their commitment to compliance, integration, and support for the successful establishment of newcomers to the province.

Also, employers must have a proven capacity to offer increased assistance in newcomer settlement, skill enhancement, and language training for employees. The eligibility requirements for employers are as follows:

Compliance and Standing

  • Good Standing: Employers must maintain good standing with all provincial and federal government immigration programs, as well as comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
  • Employment Standards: Compliance with provincial and federal employment standards and occupational health and safety regulations, particularly those concerning Temporary Foreign Workers, is mandatory.

Recruitment and Performance

  • International Recruitment: Within the past two years, employers must have participated in an international recruitment mission facilitated by ONB Immigration, either in-person or remotely.
  • Immigration Performance: Employers must demonstrate satisfactory immigration performance over the previous three years, including regular recruitment of foreign nationals through the NBPNP or other provincial immigration streams.

Retention and Support

  • Retention Goals: Employers must strive for a one-year provincial newcomer retention rate of at least 85% annually throughout the pilot project, aligning with New Brunswick’s Population Growth Strategy objectives.
  • Settlement Programs: Employers are required to develop and maintain robust settlement plans for newcomers, collaborating with local settlement agencies as necessary to ensure their effectiveness and sustainability.

Human Resources and Reporting

  • Human Resource Capacity: Employers must have undergone a Human Resource Support Services (HRSS) assessment from Working NB within the past two years, or demonstrate internal capacity through a documented comprehensive human resources planning or strategy.
  • Reporting Requirements: Compliance with all reporting requirements throughout the pilot duration, including participation in employer follow-up surveys after the pilot concludes, is essential.

Additional Criteria for Workforce Expansion

  • Financial and Employment Criteria: Businesses leveraging immigration for workforce expansion must meet specific additional criteria, including an average annual revenue of $500,000 over the past two years and employing a minimum of three full-time Canadian citizens or permanent residents in New Brunswick.

Compliance and Misrepresentation

  • Federal Compliance Fee: Employers must pay a federal compliance fee and submit an offer of employment through the IRCC Employer Portal before applicants can proceed with their work permit applications.
  • Misrepresentation: Employers and their representatives must not misrepresent employment opportunities or provide false or misleading information to foreign workers regarding job details, wages, benefits, or terms of employment. Misrepresentation may result in exclusion from the program.

These eligibility requirements ensure that participating employers are committed to integrating newcomers into the workforce, complying with regulations, and supporting the long-term retention and settlement of skilled workers in New Brunswick. For detailed guidance on application procedures, employers should refer to the official resources and forms provided by the provincial government, including the Employer Information Form (NBCWP-004).

Partner Employers

The selection of participating employers in the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program is based on their outstanding performance within the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), their demonstrated commitment to effective immigrant recruitment practices, and their provision of comprehensive settlement services for new economic immigrants.

The program partners with the following reputable employers:

  • Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
  • Groupe Savoie Inc.
  • Groupe Westco
  • Imperial Manufacturing
  • J.D. Irving Ltd.
  • McCain Foods

These employers have been chosen for their proven track record in supporting immigrant integration into the workforce and community of New Brunswick. Their involvement underscores their dedication to fostering economic growth and diversity within the province.

While it may not be mandatory to engage a regulated Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer, their expertise can significantly enhance your application process for the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program. A knowledgeable professional can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring accuracy and completeness in your submission, navigating potential complexities, and maximizing your chances of success.

For personalized advice and assistance tailored to your immigration goals, contact Canadim to learn more about how we can support your journey through this program.

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