The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot or RNIP was introduced to attract more skilled immigrants to the smaller communities in Canada. It allows certain rural communities to offer convenient pathways to permanent residency so that skilled workers have an advantage. The communities enrolled in the program can set their eligibility requirements on the basis of their regional labor market deficits.
The following communities are participating in the pilot as of now:
- North Bay, Ontario;
- Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba;
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario;
- Sudbury, Ontario;
- Vernon, British Columbia;
- West Kootenay, British Columbia.
- Thunder Bay, Ontario;
- Brandon, Manitoba;
- Timmins, Ontario;
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan;
- Claresholm, Alberta;
On December 14, Marco Mendicino, the Canadian immigration minister, made a few changes to the eligibility requirements of the RNIP.
IRCC will now allow RNIP applicants to submit their application for a work permit without having to give a penalty while they are waiting for IRCC to pass a decision on their permanent residence application. The pandemic has forced many delays in application processing and so IRCC has decided to take this temporary measure.
Moreover, it will not be mandatory for applicants to have work experience spanning a continuous time period. Canada will take any work experience into account that was completed in the last three years before the application. Having breaks in employment will no longer render someone ineligible for the program as long as they have one year of eligible professional experience.
Applicants who are interested in immigrating to Canada through this pilot should be careful about meeting all the program admissibility requirements. IRCC recently announced the first permanent residents to be admitted under the RNIP.