IRCC Announces Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Expansion

Program changes to meet labor market needs in rural areas by expanding the geographic boundaries of communities.

(RNIP) at a news conference in Timmins on August 26. RNIP is an immigration pathway that works directly with select communities in rural Canada to attract global talent and fill gaps. local labor market.

The extension includes measures such as:

  • More employers are therefore able to participate, expanding the geographic boundaries of the following participating communities: North Bay (Ont.), Sudbury (Ont.), Timmins (Ont.), Thunder Bay (Ont.), Moose Jaw (Sask.), West Kootenay (BC) and Vernon (BC)
  • Making it easier to meet labor market needs in the healthcare and business sectors, by expanding the range of job offers available to candidates with specific work experience
  • Allows communities to participate longer, until August 2024, when the pilot ends
  • Reducing the amount of settlement funds required of participants.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also focused on encouraging Francophone immigrants to rural Canadian communities outside Quebec. It is promising measures to ensure a smooth settlement process for French-speaking immigrants and to increase the number of francophones as well as try to retain them.

Participating Communities

There are 11 Canadian communities participating in the RNIP throughout northern Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

  • North Bay, Ontario
  • Sudbury, Ontario
  • Timmins, Ontario
  • Salt Ste. Mary, Ontario
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Brandon, Manitoba
  • Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Clarsholm, Alberta
  • Vernon, British Columbia
  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia
  • Each community has the capacity to invite 125 candidates each year, or a program’s total capacity of 2,750. As of June 30, the IRCC reports that there have been 1,130 new people to Canada under the RNIP. They have helped fill gaps in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing and transportation, retail and hospitality.

Why does RNIP exist?

Most newcomers to Canada choose to settle in large urban centers, which means that some areas of Canada do not enjoy the benefits of immigration.

“Rural and northern communities face unique economic and demographic challenges, and the expansion of the RNIP announced today makes it easier for communities to meet their critical labor market needs,” says Fraser. “They also expand community boundaries so that employers in remote areas can access the program to help support economic growth and development in small communities across the country.”

Programs such as RNIP aim to encourage rural communities and potential newcomers to work together to strengthen local economies and support newcomers while adapting to life in Canada.

The RNIP builds on the success of the Atlantic Immigration Program, an employer-run program that facilitates the hiring of foreign nationals in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The program has successfully welcomed 167 new permanent residents since the program began in 2022. The IRCC says it believes they can have the same success with the expansion of the RNIP.

How to Immigrate Through RNIP?

Immigration through RNIP means meeting certain requirements. To begin, you must have qualified work experience or graduate from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in a recommended community. You must have 1,560 hours of work experience in your National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill code occupation obtained within the three years prior to applying.

There are also language and educational requirements and being able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself while you settle down. On top of that, you must be able to prove that you intend to be in the community.

You must also meet community-specific requirements. These requirements vary from community to community, so you’ll need to refer to the official city website of the community you wish to reside in. If you meet all the requirements, you can start looking for a qualified job in the community.

Once you have a job offer, you can submit your application for recommendation to the community. If a community recommends you, you can apply for permanent residency. A community recommendation usually comes from a designated community economic development organization.

Find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada

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