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Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a Canadian government program designed to support economic development of smaller communities across Canada by attracting skilled foreign workers to them. The program is open to international candidates who meet specific criteria, including work experience, education, and language ability.

If you are considering applying to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and need more information or assistance, call us on +1 844 290 6312 or reach out to us online.

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    Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program Overview

    The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP) is a government-sponsored program designed to help boost economic immigration in rural and northern communities.

    The RNIP is a community-driven immigration program. The community decides which candidates are best suited for their economic needs, offers them an employment opportunity, and recommends them to Immigration Canada for permanent residence.

    If successful, the applicant will be granted permanent residence and be offered settlement services and mentoring programs with established members to help them integrate into their new and welcoming community.

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    Communities That Are Part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program

    • Timmins, Ontario
    • North Bay, Ontario
    • Sudbury, 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), British Columbia

    Eligibility Requirements for the RNIP Canada

    To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Program, candidates must meet the following requirements:

    • Have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a post-secondary education institution in the designated community
    • Meet the minimum language requirements
    • Meet the education requirements of the community
    • Intend to live and work in the designated community
    • Meet the community-specific requirements
    • Have enough funds to support themselves and their family
    • Have a valid temporary resident status (if applying within Canada)

    Work Experience Requirements

    Candidates must have at least 1560 hours of qualifying work experience in the three years before applying. The work experience must be paid; it cannot be a volunteer or an unpaid internship. It could not be self-employed work unless it were as a medical practitioner.

    Candidates can add hours in different part-time and full-time positions, in one or more occupations, with one or more employers, and inside and outside Canada. If counting work hours in Canada, candidates must have been legally authorized to do so with a temporary work permit.

    Candidates must have performed all the essential duties listed in the National Occupational Classification for their profession.

    Eligible applicants must have a genuine job offer from a participating employer and fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A, B, C, or D.

    International Students

    The program is also open to international students who graduated from a designated Canadian post-secondary institution within 18 months of their permanent residency application.

    To be exempt from the work experience requirement, students must have studied full-time in a two-year post-secondary program and have been located within the community boundaries for at least 16 months. Or have a master’s degree or higher if the program is less than two years and have lived within the community boundaries for the length of their studies.

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      Education Requirements

      To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, candidates must have either a Canadian high school diploma or a post-secondary degree, certificate, or diploma.

      Candidates with foreign credentials will need to have an educational credential assessment to determine if they meet the educational requirements for the pilot program.

      Language Requirements

      All candidates must take a designated language test from an authorized provider and achieve minimum scores on all four test components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). The minimum score requirements vary depending on which occupation you are applying under.

      For NOC 0 and A occupations, candidates must meet Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) level 6.

      For NOC B occupations, candidates must meet a CLB or NCLC level 5.

      For NOC C and D occupations, candidates must meet CLB or NCLC level 4.

      Proof of language ability will be required when submitting your application.  Evidence must be obtained from a designated language testing organization and be under two years old.

      Financial Requirements

      All candidates must show that they have enough money to support themselves and their families, whether they are immigrating to Canada with them or not. The amount of money required varies depending on family size.

      Candidates living and working in Canada under a valid work permit do not need to provide proof of settlement funds.

      How to Get a Community Recommendation

      To apply for community recommendation under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, applicants must create an online profile through one of the participating communities’ websites.

      Once they have created a profile, they need to submit their application and all the required supporting documents.

      A committee in each participating community will review their application and decide whether they meet the community recommendation criteria.

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        How to Apply for Permanent Residence?

        If applicants are recommended by their chosen community, they can apply for permanent residence through IRCC (Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada).

        Applicants must submit an online application and all required supporting documents through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

        Applicants also need to fill out these forms online:

        • Application form
        • Additional Dependants/Declaration (if applicable)
        • Declaration of Minors (if applicable)
        • Background Declaration
        • Supplementary Information (your travels)
        • Document checklist
        • Schedule 1
        • Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (if applicable)
        • Use of a Representative (if applicable)

        The application must also include the following documents:

        • Valid passport
        • One recent photo
        • Job offer
        • Community recommendation
        • Proof of language proficiency
        • Proof of education
        • Proof of residence or intent to live in the selected province
        • Proof of previous work experience
        • Proof of funds
        • Proof of temporary work permit (if already in Canada)
        • Student visa (for international students)
        • Accompanying family information
        • Police certificate
        • Proof of payment

        There is a processing fee of $1,365 for the principal applicant, $1365 for the spouse, and an additional $230 for each child.

        Applicants may also have to pay an $85 ($270 for a family of 2 or more) biometrics fee if requested.

        The processing time for Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program applications is typically 12 to 18 months.

        Applying for a Temporary Work Permit (Optional)

        If the applicant is looking to work in Canada while their RNIP permanent residency application is being processed, they may be able to apply for a work permit.

        Applicants must meet education, language, and work experience requirements to qualify. They need a job offer from a designated employer and a recommendation from the participating community where they will be working.

        Applicants must also receive an acknowledgment of receipt from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

        This work permit only applies to the Rural and Northern Immigration Program, is valid for one year, and the applicant can only work for the employer that has made the job offer.

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          How can IAS Help?

          The Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot Program is an excellent opportunity for skilled workers who are looking to move to smaller communities in Canada.

          If you have any questions about the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program or need help with your application, don’t hesitate to contact us on +1 844 290 6312. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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