Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Author: Best Migration Canada |

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) 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. The COVID-19 health crisis has caused some of these communities to limit applications to candidates who are already living in the region.

The pilot will launch in participating communities at different times.

  • North Bay, ON
  • Sudbury, ON
  • Timmins, ON
  • Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  • Thunder Bay, ON
  • Brandon, MB
  • Altona/Rhineland, MB
  • Moose Jaw, SK
  • Claresholm, AB
  • Vernon, BC
  • West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC

Canada Immigration

Who can apply

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

  • Have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommending community
  • Meet or exceed the language requirements
  • Meet or exceed the educational requirements
  • Prove you have enough money to support your transition into the community
  • Intend to live in the community
  • Meet community-specific requirements

Work experience

You can now accumulate qualifying work experience of at least 1 year of full-time work (or an equal amount in part-time) within the last 3 years, whether that work experience is continuous or not.

All other requirements for work experience and eligibility criteria must be met. You need 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years. (See exemption above.)

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
    1. Were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of the 2+ years
    2. Received the credential no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence
    3. Were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying to get your credential

  2. A master’s degree or higher and you
    1. were studying as a full-time student for the duration of your degree
    2. got your degree no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence were in the community for the length of your studies

Canada Immigration

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

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 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.

Find out more about language testing.

Educational requirements

You must have one of the following:

  • Aa Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma, or
  • A Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • An educational 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 (your ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application).

If you are unsure about whether you can qualify under any of these programs, just complete this contact form to speak to an immigration Consultant. They will answer any questions you have about the application process and how to move forward with your application.