Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the participating communities.

About the process:

There are 4 steps to applying for permanent residence under this pilot.
1. Check that you meet both
a. IRCC eligibility requirements and
b. the community-specific requirements.
2. Find an eligible job with an employer in one of the participating communities.
3. Once you have a job offer, submit your application for recommendation to the community.
4. If a community recommends you, apply for permanent residence.

Each community will also have its own;

  • additional eligibility requirements
  • job search process
  • community recommendation application process

Participating communities: The pilot will launch in participating communities at different times. If a website is listed as “coming soon,” the pilot hasn’t launched in that community.

Community Community website
North Bay, ON Coming soon
Sudbury, ON https://investsudbury.ca
Timmins, ON www.timminsedc.com
Sault Ste. Marie, ON www.welcometossm.com
Thunder Bay, ON www.gotothunderbay.com
Brandon, MB www.economicdevelopmentbrandon.com
Altona/Rhineland, MB www.seedrgpa.com
Moose Jaw, SK Coming soon
Claresholm, AB www.claresholm.ca
Vernon, BC https://rnip-vernon.ca
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC https://wk-rnip.ca/

What you can expect from a community;
This pilot is community-driven, meaning the communities will

  • assess prospective candidates who
  • best fit the economic needs of these community
  • have a genuine employment opportunity that meets their community requirements
  • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • connect newcomers with settlement services and mentoring opportunities with established members of the community

Who can apply:
To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, you must meet all IRCC eligibility requirements. You must

If you meet all of the requirements, you can start to look for an eligible job in the community.

1. Work experience

You need 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years.
To calculate your hours of work experience

  • count the hours worked in part-time and full-time jobs
  • The hours must be in 1 occupation, but they can be with different employers.
  • The hours must be over a period of at least 12 months.
  • These working hours can be inside or outside Canada.
  • If you worked in Canada, you must have been allowed to work in Canada.
  • don’t count hours you weren’t paid for (volunteering or unpaid internships don’t count)
  • don’t count hours when you were self-employed
  • Your work experience must include
  • most of the main duties and all the essential duties listed in your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  • the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC

You can see which duties are involved by searching your job title on the NOC web page.

International students
You’re exempt from the work experience criteria above if you’re an international student who graduated with
1. A credential from a post-secondary program of 2 years or longer and you
a. were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of the 2+ years
b. received the credential no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence
c. were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying to get your credential
or
2. A master’s degree or higher and you
a. were studying as a full-time student for the duration of your degree
b. got your degree no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence
c. were in the community for the length of your studies
You cannot apply as an international student if your credentials are from a program in which

  • studying English or French made up more than half of the program
  • distance learning made up more than half of the program
  • a scholarship or fellowship was awarded that requires you to return to your home country to apply what you learned

What is a credential?
Credential here means a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship from a Canadian publicly funded institution in the community recommending you. You must also have had valid temporary resident status for the duration of your studies.

2. Language requirements
You must meet the minimum language requirements based on the NOC category that applies to the job offer in the community. This can either be the

  • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or
  • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)

The minimum language requirements for each NOC category are

  • NOC 0 and A: CLB/NCLC 6
  • NOC B: CLB/NCLC 5
  • NOC C and D: CLB/NCLC 4

You must submit your results from a designated language test. These results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.

Educational requirements;
You must have one of the following:

  • a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma, or
  • a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • aneducational credential assessment (ECA) report, from a designated organization or professional body, showing that you completed a foreign credential that’s equal to a Canadian secondary school (high school) or post secondary certificate, diploma or degree

3. Settlement funds
Unless you’re already working legally in Canada when you apply, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself and any family members while you get settled in your community.
You must prove you have enough money to support any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.
Find out more about settlement funds.

4. Intend to live in the community :
To participate in the pilot, you must plan to live in the community.

5. Community-specific requirements
Each community will have additional requirements for applicants. Visit their websites to learn about their community-specific requirements.