Canada Announces to Expand Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Immigration Minister of Canada, Sean Fraser recently announced the expansion of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) at a press conference. It is an immigration pathway that works with select communities in rural Canada to invite global talent and fulfill the gaps in local labour markets. The expansion measure includes the following:

  • Increasing the geographic boundaries of the participating communities, to invite more communities: North Bay (Ont.), Sudbury (Ont.), Timmins (Ont.), Thunder Bay (Ont.), Moose Jaw (Sask.), West Kootenay (BC) and Vernon (BC)
  • To fill the labour market requirements in the health care and trades sectors, by increasing the number of job offers
  • Permitting communities to participate for a longer period, until August 2024, when the pilot comes to an end
  • Reducing the amount of settlement funds

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also highlighted encouraging French-speaking immigrants to move to rural Canadian communities, outside of Quebec. It is favourable to make sure a smooth settlement process for Francophone immigrants and to take required measures to increase the number of immigrants as well as efforts to retain them.

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Participating Communities

There are in total 11 Canadian communities that actively participate in the RNIP across Northern Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.

  • North Bay, Ontario
  • Sudbury, Ontario
  • Timmins, Ontario
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Brandon, Manitoba
  • Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Claresholm, Alberta
  • Vernon, British Columbia
  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia

Every community can welcome up to 125 applicants every year, or a program total capacity of 2750. On June 30, IRCC states that 1130 newcomers have landed in Canada under the RNIP. They have assisted to fulfill gaps in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing and transportation, retail, and hospitality.

What is the need for RNIP?

Majorly, all the newcomers choose big urban areas to settle in and this leads to some areas of Canada that do not enjoy the perks of immigration. In a recent announcement, Immigration Minister quoted, “Rural and northern communities are facing unique economic and demographic challenges and the expansion of RNIP will make it easier for communities to meet their labour market needs. The expansion will also help employers in remote areas to support the economic development and growth across Canada.”

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Immigration programs such as RNIP target to incentivize rural communities and prospective newcomers to work in tandem to strengthen local economies while they adapt to life in Canada. The RNIP is based on the accomplishment of the Atlantic Immigration Program, which is an employer-centric program that enables the hiring of international talent in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, and Labrador. This pathway has welcomed over 167 new permanent residents since the launch of the program in 2022. IRCC believes RNIP expansion can also experience similar success.

How to Immigrate through Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Immigrating through RNIP concludes meeting certain requirements. One must have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a public-funded post-secondary institution in the recommended community. Also, one must own 1560 hours of work experience in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill code occupation, garnered within three years before applying.

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There is also language and educational requirement, as well as applicant, needs to prove that they have enough funds to support themselves while settling in. Moreover, one must be able to prove that one intends to live in a community while meeting the community-specific requirements. These requirements vary in each community. Once all the eligibility criteria are met, one can start looking for a suitable job in the community.

After you have received the job offer, submit your application for recommendation to the community. If the community approves you, you can move ahead to apply for permanent residence.

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