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Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot gives skilled foreign workers the opportunity to live and work in participating small communities across Canada.

For more information about the program, your options to work in Canada, or how to become a permanent resident, contact one of our immigration advisors today on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

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    Overview of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

    The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program that allows skilled foreign workers the chance to obtain permanent residency in Canada.

    Each participating community that accepts candidates will have their own specific eligibility requirements that must be followed. In addition to this, communities will only accept candidates who:

    • Best fit the economic needs of the community
    • Have a genuine employment opportunity that meets their community requirements
    • Have the intention of staying in the community

    The final decision on who gets accepted into the program will be made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    Successful candidates will also be referred to settlement services and mentoring opportunities with established members of the community when they start living and working there.

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    What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

    In order to be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, 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
    • Have temporary resident status (if you’re in Canada when you apply)

    If you meet all of the requirements, you can start to look and apply for local job vacancies in the community. After you obtain a job offer, you will apply for community recommendation, and then finally for permanent residence.

    Which Communities Are Part of the Scheme?

    Below is a list of all of the participating communities in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, along with their websites.

    CommunityCommunity website
    North Bay, ONwww.northbayrnip.ca
    Sudbury, ONwww.investsudbury.ca/why-sudbury/move-to-sudbury/rnip/
    Timmins, ONwww.timminsedc.com
    Sault Ste. Marie, ONwww.welcometossm.com
    Thunder Bay, ONwww.gotothunderbay.ca
    Brandon, MBwww.economicdevelopmentbrandon.com
    Altona/Rhineland, MBwww.seedrgpa.com
    Moose Jaw, SKwww.moosejawrnip.ca
    Claresholm, ABwww.claresholm.ca
    Vernon, BCwww.rnip-vernon-northok.ca
    West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BCwww.wk-rnip.ca

    What Are the Work Experience Requirements for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

    Overview of Work Experience Requirements

    In order to be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must have accumulated at least one year’s worth of work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past three years.

    Previously, this work experience must have been over a single continuous and unbroken period. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has removed the requirement to accumulate work experience over a continuous period.

    This means that you can now accumulate work experience of at least one year in the last three years regardless of whether that work experience was continuous or not.

    This exemption applies to any work interruptions in the three years before you submit your permanent residence application. It also doesn’t need to be because of COVID-19-related reasons.

    In order to calculate your hours of work experience, you must:

    • Count the hours worked in part-time and full-time jobs:
      • The hours can be in more than one occupation and with different employers
      • The hours must be over a period of at least 12 months
      • The hours can be inside or outside Canada
        • If you worked in Canada, you must have been allowed to work in Canada.
    • Not count hours you weren’t paid for (such as volunteering or unpaid internships)
    • Not count hours when you were self-employed

    If You Work in Multiple Occupations or for Multiple Employers

    If you work in more than one occupation or for more than one employer, your work experience must meet the skill level requirement of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) provided in the job offer:

    • NOC 0 job offer: your work experience must be in NOC 0 or A
    • NOC A job offer: your work experience must be in NOC 0, A or B
    • NOC B job offer: your work experience must be in NOC A, B or C
    • NOC C job offer: your work experience must be in NOC B or C
    • NOC D job offer: your work experience must be in NOC D

    Your work experience must include:

    • most of the main duties and all the essential duties listed in your NOC
    • the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC

    You can read which duties are involved by searching your job title on the National Occupational Classification web page.

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      What Are the Requirements for International Students?

      If you’re an international student wishing to apply for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you will be exempt from the work experience criteria listed above if you meet the following criteria instead.

      To be eligible, you must have graduated with:

      • A credential from a post-secondary program of two years or longer and you:
        • Were studying as a full-time student in the community for the full duration of the two or more years
        • Received the credential no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence
        • Were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying to get your credential

      Or,

      • A master’s degree or higher and you:
        • Were studying as a full-time student for the duration of your degree
        • Got your degree no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence
        • Were in the community for the length of your studies

      You will not be able to apply as an international student to the RNIP if your credentials are from a program where:

      • Studying English or French made up for for more than half 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 Are the Language Requirements for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

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

      • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)
      • 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 two years old when you apply.

      What Are the Education Requirements for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

      In order to be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must have one of the following:

      • A Canadian educational credential, such as a:
        • Canadian high school diploma
        • Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

      Or,

      • An educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body that:
        • Is less than 5 years old on the date you apply
        • Shows you completed a foreign credential equal to either a
          • Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma, or
          • Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

      What Are the Financial Requirements for the RNIP?

      Unless you’re already working in Canada with a valid work permit, you must show proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and any family members you have, even if they won’t be coming to Canada with you.

      Proof of funds can be provided using any one of the following:

      • Bank account statements
      • Documents that show real property or other investments (such as stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, etc.)
      • Documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you (such as banker’s drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders)

      If your spouse is coming with you, you can count money you have together in a joint account. You may be able to count money in an account under their name only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

      The money must be available to both of you when you apply and when you’re issued with a permanent resident visa (if your application is approved).

      You must prove to an immigration officer that you can legally access the money to use here when you arrive.

      What Are the Requirements for Finding a Job?

      As a candidate for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must have a genuine job offer to work in one of the participating communities.

      The job you’re offered must meet all of the following requirements:

      • It must be full-time (meaning that you work at least 30 paid hours per week)
      • It must be non-seasonal (generally meaning you have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year)
      • Your employment is permanent (i.e. with no set end date)
      • The wage must meet or exceed the Job Bank’s minimum wage for your job offer’s National Occupational Classification (NOC)
      • Your experience must show that you can perform the duties of the job offered

      In addition to these, you must adhere to the individual requirements and processes of the community you wish to join.

      Your job offer must also be at the same skill level, or one level above or below the National Occupation Classification (NOC) that matches your work experience.

      For example, if your job offer is at NOC A, then your work experience must be in NOC 0, A or B.

      The exception to this is if your work experience is in NOC Skill Level  D, in which case your job offer must be in the same occupation.

      Once you have a job offer, and meet all the requirements, you can then apply for a community recommendation.

      How to Apply for Community Recommendation

      You will need to apply for a community recommendation in order to become eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

      Each community will have their own recommendation process as displayed on its website. They will also tell you how the application process works, and what documents you need to apply for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

      Note that you should only provide copies of your documents when applying for community recommendation, and not the originals.

      For all community recommendation applications, you must:

      • Prove that you meet all the requirements for the pilot
      • Have an eligible job offer

      If you successfully receive a community recommendation, you may then apply for permanent residence.

      How to Apply for Canada Permanent Residence

      You can apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot either online or on paper.

      It’s recommended that you use the Document Checklist form to check that you include all of the documents and forms you need to apply.

      The forms you will need to fill out include the following:

      • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
      • Additional Dependants/Declaration, if applicable
      • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
      • Schedule 1 – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 5911)
      • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
      • Supplementary Information – Your travels (IMM 5562)
      • Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada (IMM 5604), if applicable
      • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409), if applicable
      • Document Checklist (IMM 5987)
      • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if applicable

      In addition, your new employer must fill in the Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 5984) form and give it to you to include in your application.

      The Economic Development Organization of the community that is recommending you must also fill in the ‘Recommendation from the designated Economic Development Organization – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 0112)’ form and give it to you to include in your application.

      After completing the relevant documents, you will have to pay the fees for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and submit your application either by post or online.

      What Supporting Documents Do I Need to Submit?

      You will need to submit the following supporting documents with your Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot application:

      • A copy of your passport, showing:
        •  the passport number,
        •  date of issue and expiry,
        •  the photo, name, date and place of birth,
        • pages showing any amendments in name, date of birth, expiration, etc
      • Proof of language proficiency
      • Proof of education
      • Proof of previous work experience, such as:
        • A copy of your most recent Canadian work permit (if applicable)
        • Employer reference letters for the periods of work experience identified in your application
        • Copies of your T4 tax information slips and your Notice of Assessment (if applicable)
        • Work contracts
        • Pay stubs
      • Proof of settlement funds

      For more information about how to put together your application for the RNIP and the documents you need to supply, speak to one of our immigration lawyers. Contact us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

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        What Are the Fees and Processing Times for the RNIP?

        Below are the fees for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

        Fees$CAN
        Your application, including processing fee ($850) and right of permanent residence fee ($515)1,365
        Spouse or partner’s application, including processing fee ($850) and right of permanent residence fee ($515)1,365
        Dependent Child230 (per child)

        You may also have to pay a biometrics fee of CAN$85 per person, or CAN$170 per family of two or more people.

        RNIP applications generally take around 12 to 18 months to process.

        What Happens After I Apply for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

        Once you have submitted your application, IRCC will check to make sure that all required forms and documents have been submitted, as well as making sure that all the relevant fees have been paid.

        If your application is missing any of the requested documents, it will be returned to you.

        After you apply, you and the family members who are coming with you may also have to give your biometrics as part of your application, and attend a medical exam. You will generally need to give biometrics if you haven’t done so in the past 10 years when applying for any other scheme or program with IRCC.

        You will be contacted with further information on how to give biometrics and attend a medical exam after you submit your application.

        After your application is processed by IRCC, you will be contacted with further information about the next steps to take.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot offers a unique opportunity for those who wish to live and work in small communities in Canada, while also offering several economic immigration benefits for those communities.

        If you’re considering applying to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Total Law can help.

        We are expert Canadian immigration lawyers who can provide a wide range of assistance with your RNIP application. We can help establish your eligibility for the program, taking into account your work and education history, and help you determine which community would be the best fit for your skills and lifestyle.

        We can also assist you in assembling your application package and supporting documents, ensuring that you have every chance of having your application for permanent residency accepted.

        For more information about the services we offer and what we can do for you, get in touch with us today on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  If you’re applying for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot as an international student, you will need to ensure that you have a valid credential that complies with the eligibility requirements.

                  In this context, a credential 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 a valid temporary resident status for the duration of your studies.

                  You and your family members must attend a medical exam in order to become a permanent resident. This is to establish that you or your family do not have a condition that either:

                  • Is a danger to public health or safety
                  • Would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada

                  Examples of “excessive demand” include ongoing hospitalization or institutional care for a physical or mental illness.

                  Information on how to take a medical exam will be provided to you by IRCC after you submit your application.

                  Medical results are valid for twelve months from the date of the exam. If your application is not finalized during this time, you may be required to do another medical exam.

                  Below is a sample table of the figures you will need in order to meet the financial requirements. Note that as the specific figures are changed and updated every year, this should be taken as a guide only. You should always double-check what the most up-to-date requirements are when you apply to the scheme.

                  Number of family members (including those you support who aren’t immigrating with you)Funds needed

                  (in CAN$)

                  19,096
                  211,323
                  313,920
                  416,902
                  519,169
                  621,621
                  724,071
                  For each additional family member2,450