Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a Canadian immigration program designed to address demographic challenges and labor market needs in smaller communities across the country. Launched in 2019, the pilot aims to attract skilled foreign workers to rural and northern areas, promoting economic growth and community development. Participating communities collaborate with the Canadian government to select eligible candidates who possess the skills required by local employers.

The program offers a pathway to permanent residency for immigrants who settle in these designated regions, contributing to the overall vitality and sustainability of smaller communities in Canada. The RNIP reflects Canada’s commitment to fostering inclusive economic development and ensuring that the benefits of immigration extend beyond major urban centers.

For eligibility in the pilot, communities must fulfill one of the following criteria:

  1. Have a population of 50,000 or fewer residents and be situated at a distance of at least 75km from the core of a Census Metropolitan Area, OR
  2. Have a population of up to 200,000 individuals and be classified as remote based on the Statistics Canada Remoteness Index, indicating isolation from other larger cities

Participating communities

CommunityCommunity Website
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

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Eligibility Requirements

1) Work Experience/International Student

Work Experience

Eligible candidates for the pilot program must meet specific criteria related to work experience or educational background in the recommending community. Regarding work experience:

  1. Candidates should possess a minimum of one year (1,560 hours) of full or part-time work experience within the past three years.
  2. The work experience need not be continuous but must be accumulated within the specified three-year period.
  3. Candidates are permitted to have work experience in more than one occupation and with different employers.
  4. The work experience should encompass most of the primary and essential duties outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  5. Unpaid and self-employed hours will not be considered as part of the qualifying work experience.

International Students

International students meeting these requirements are exempt from needing work experience for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

Scenario 11. Graduated from a minimum two-year-long post-secondary program in the recommended community.
2. Studied as a full-time student for the entire two or more years.
3. Received the credential no more than 18 months before the PR application date.
4. Resided in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying for the credential.
Scenario 21. Graduated with a master’s degree or higher.
2. Studied as a full-time student for the duration of the degree in the recommended community.
3. Received the degree no more than 18 months before applying for permanent residence.
4. Resided in the community for the entire duration of their studies.

2. Community Recommendation

A community endorsement is determined by the candidate’s:

  1. Intent to reside in the specified community.
  2. Job offer alignment with the economic requirements of the community.
  3. Relevance of work experience and skills to the community’s needs.
  4. Established ties to the community.

These recommendations are officially endorsed by a designated community economic development organization

3. Language Requirements

The prescribed language proficiency standards are contingent upon the NOC TEER category corresponding to the candidate’s job offer. The minimum language requirements for each NOC TEER category are outlined below, with “CLB” denoting the Canadian Language Benchmark:

  • NOC TEER category 0 and 1: A minimum language score of CLB 6 is necessary.
  • NOC TEER category 2 and 3: A minimum language score of CLB 5 is required.
  • NOC TEER Category 4 and 5: A minimum language score of CLB 4 is necessary.

4. Education Requirements

Applicants should possess either a Canadian high school diploma or an equivalent foreign credential, supported by an accredited Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report

  • Graduates from a community-recommended post-secondary program are exempt from the work experience requirement if they obtained a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade/apprenticeship credential from a program lasting two years or more.
    • The exemption applies if the graduate was a full-time student for the entire duration of the two or more years of study.
    • The credential must have been acquired within 18 months before the application for permanent residence.
    • Additionally, the graduate must have resided in the community for at least 16 months within the last 24 months of their study period.

For Master’s Degree or PhD Applicants:

  • Completed a master’s degree or a PhD.
  • Maintained full-time student status throughout the entire degree program.
  • Obtained the academic credential within 18 months before the application for permanent residence.
  • Resided in the community for the entire duration of the degree.

Exclusions for International Student Status: Individuals ineligible to apply as international students include those who:

  • Studied at a distance for more than half the program.
  • Devoted more than half of the program to studying English or French.
  • Received a scholarship or fellowship requiring a return to their home country to apply their studies.

5. Settlement Funds

Candidates are required to demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves and their family members during the settlement period in their community, even for family members not relocating to Canada. Individuals who are already employed legally in Canada are exempt from the settlement fund requirements.

Accepted Proof of Funds Documents:

  • Bank account statements.
  • Documentation indicating real property or other investments (e.g., stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, etc.).
  • Documents ensuring payment of a specified amount, payable to the individual (e.g., banker’s drafts, cheques, traveler’s cheques, or money orders).

Minimum Required Amount:

Number of family membersFunds you need (in Canadian dollars)
7 or more$6,265

6. Intention To Reside in Canada

To join the pilot, you must have an intention to reside in the designated community.

7. Job Offer

Job Offer Criteria:

  1. Candidates need a valid, full-time, and permanent job offer in a participating community.
  2. The offered wage should meet the minimum wage specified for the relevant NOC in the Canada Job Bank.
  3. Previous experience of candidates must demonstrate their ability to perform the duties outlined in the job offer.

Government-defined Genuine Job Offer:

  • The job offer must align with the employer’s needs.
  • The employer must actively operate in the business for which the offer is made.
  • The employer should be capable of fulfilling the terms of the offer.
  • Compliance with all employment laws and rules in the past is essential.

Additional Conditions:

  • The job offer should be of the TEER category or one skill level above or below the candidate’s applicable NOC.
  • Candidates in NOC TEER category 5 must have a job offer in the same occupation

Step-by-Step Guide to Permanent Residence in Canada through the RNIP

  1. Communities Selection: Identification of communities participating in the RNIP.
  2. Candidate-Community Connection: Interaction between the community/employer and the candidate, either initiated by the community/employer or the candidate.
  3. Application for Community Recommendation: The candidate submits an application seeking community recommendation.
  4. Candidate Selection by the Community: The community receives and reviews applications, selecting candidates deemed the “best fit.”
  5. Community Recommendation Issued: The community recommends the candidate, enabling them to apply to IRCC for Canada PR.
  6. Submission of PR Application: The candidate submits their application for Canadian permanent residence to IRCC.
  7. IRCC Criteria Assessment: The candidate undergoes assessment against IRCC RNIP criteria and other federal admissibility requirements.
  8. Attainment of Permanent Residence: Successful attainment of Canadian permanent residence by the candidate.
  9. Community Welcome and Support: The community extends a welcome to the candidate and family, providing services to support settlement and integration into the community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is eligible for RNIP?

Applicant must havea job offer in one of the participating communities and fulfill eligibility requirements to be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).

Which provinces are included in RNIP?

These are the communities included in North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Brandon, Altona/Rhineland, Moose Jaw, Claresholm, Vernon, West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson).

Is ielts score required for RNIP?

Yes, you are required to have at least, NOC TEER categories 0 and 1 require CLB 6, categories 2 and 3 need CLB 5, and categories 4 and 5 demand CLB 4.

What are the fees for RNIP?

The fees for RNIP vary by community, it could be anywhere from $500 to $1000 depending on the community.


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