Province Focus Series – Overview of New Brunswick’s Economy, Education, Lifestyle, and Provincial Nomination Options for Immigrants
One of the four provinces included in the Atlantic Pilot Program, New Brunswick Canada is the best symbol of the challenges that Canada wants to solve through skilled immigration. Whether Canada will utilize its potential to the fullest in the coming decades depends largely on how provinces like New Brunswick resolve their economic and demographic challenges.
Read ahead for ImmigCanada’s third post in the series of Province Focus for more information on immigration, education, economy and jobs, and society and lifestyle in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Economy of New Brunswick
With immense forests, reasonable mining reserves, fertile soil, and a vibrant seafood industry due to its location on the coast, New Brunswick certainly has the potential for steady economic growth.
Beautiful locales and the advantage of subarctic and mild coastal climate within the same province makes it an attractive tourist destination as well. Yet, economic growth has lagged, which is primarily due to the province’s ability to negate the demographic disadvantage of stagnant population growth.
Economic growth in New Brunswick over the past ten years has been less than a third of the national growth rate. In contrast, the neighboring province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) has surpassed Canada’s economic growth rate.
PEI did this through aggressive measures to attract foreign skilled talent into its economy, and New Brunswick too is well on the path to boost its economy through targeted immigration strategies.
More than 80 percent of the province is forested, which means agriculture and forestry are significant contributes to the provincial GDP. Other major sectors/industries include seafood products and tourism.
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Studying in New Brunswick
Anybody who’s planning on studying or working or settling here must note that New Brunswick, Canada is the only official bilingual province in Canada. This means improving your proficiency in French can be a very smart and strategic decision for your future.
The province has four public universities—the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, St. Thomas University, and the French-language university of Université de Moncton.
There are many other private universities and colleges, although foreign students tend to stick to the public universities.
While the province may lag behind other bigger provinces in terms of size and resources, the quality of education is at par with the generally-high standards across the country.
Of course, the difference in size and student intake means there will be less competition for somebody who has found the right course suited to his/her long-term career plans in the province.
Further, French proficiency will be as good as additional course on your resume because this will open up career options that don’t exist in other provinces.
Immigrating to New Brunswick, Canada
The decision to study abroad must always be taken after considering post-study work opportunities. While the province may not boast of very high economic growth, there certainly is enough potential for you consider the long-term benefits of a strategic choice.
Of course, there’s no dearth of immigration streams—for Express Entry applicants as well as those who don’t yet qualify for one of the three Federal immigration schemes covered by it.
The Express Entry skilled worker stream is for NOC 0, A, and B workers with full-time experience of at least one year. Language proficiency must be CLB 7 or higher and you must either be working in the province on a valid work permit or must be a full-time student here.
The Skilled Worker stream expands the list of eligible occupations to include NOC D and reduces minimum language proficiency to CLB 4 or higher. Work experience requirement remains the same provided it was within the past five years and a job offer from an employer in the province is mandatory to secure nomination.
Learning French is a smart idea because New Brunswick has an independent stream aimed at Francophones. Those with French proficiency of NCLC 5 or higher and work experience in NOC 0, A, B, C or D occupation can qualify for nomination even without a job offer in the province.
A job offer simplifies the nomination process but making an exploratory visit and submitting a detailed settlement plan can help you secure PR as long as you meet the Low-Income Cut Off requirements to prove that you can sustain yourself and your family.
The fourth stream is the Business Immigration stream that’s open to entrepreneurs with verifiable net worth of CAN$500,000, minimum 1/3 rd business ownership with an investment of at least CAN$150,000 and experience as a business owner or NOC 0 business manager for three out of the past five years.
Living in New Brunswick
The three urban areas are concentrated towards the south of the province and have been setup around the three biggest urban centers—capital city of Fredericton, the largest city of Moncton, and the city of Saint John.
The coastal region has relatively moderate climate although the elevated northern region can give you the experience of a typical subarctic Canadian winter experience.
Irrespective of where you choose to live, you can look forward to affordable housing, very reasonable cost of living, and facilities like free universal healthcare. In contrast to unaffordable rentals in Vancouver, new immigrants often find it easy to buy a new home due to low property prices in the region.
Two official languages means there are different cultures and lifestyles to explore and the overall society is, as is the case across Canada, warm, friendly, and very welcoming.
New Brunswick was probably the only province that chose not to utilize its federal immigration quota in a bid to reduce job losses. However, it’s clear the PEI’s immigrant-friendly approach is the way ahead.
This means choosing to study here or securing a job offer in New Brunswick can help you ride the inevitable growth wave that will happen as the province resolves its demographic disadvantage and brings in young skilled workers to boost economic growth.
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