The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot pilot is created to attract skilled foreign workers to smaller communities in several participating provinces and provide them with an opportunity to become permanent residents of Canada. The pilot was designed to boost the economic development of rural and remote communities and encourage newcomers to settle there.
This initiative allows the communities to assess candidates and choose the perfect fit for their economic needs. They also determine whether the foreign skilled workers’ job offers are authentic and meet their specific requirements, as well as whether the newcomers are planning to stay and live in the community. The participating communities will have the right to recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC and will provide settlement services to the newcomers once they are granted the PR status.
To qualify for this pilot, you will need to:
- Meet the eligibility criteria established by the IRCC and the community of your choice
- Find a job in a participating community that satisfies the pilot requirements
- Apply for recommendation to the community
- Apply for permanent residence to IRCC
Participating communities include the following:
- Thunder Bay, Sault-Ste-Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay (Ontario)
- Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, Brandon (Manitoba)
- Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)
- Claresholm (Alberta)
- West Kootenay, Vernon (British Columbia)
IRCC eligibility criteria
To be able to apply for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, you need to meet the following requirements set by IRCC:
- appropriate work experience (you can be exempt from this requirement if you have studied in the community you’re applying to)
- language requirements
- educational requirements
- sufficient funds
- intention to live in the chosen community
- requirements established by the chosen community
Once you make sure you meet all the requirements listed above, you can start looking for a job in the community that qualifies for the pilot.
To qualify for the pilot, you will need to demonstrate the minimum of one year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) within the last three years.
The work can be part-time and full-time. The work must be in the same occupation but can be with different employers, and hours can be inside and/or outside of Canada. We cannot include volunteer work or self-employment as work experience.
Your work experience must contain all essential duties and most of the main duties under your National Occupational Classification (NOC), as well as all the activities described in the lead statement of your NOC. Please refer to the official NOC website to obtain more information about your occupation.
You won’t have to meet the work experience criteria if you are an international student who graduated from a post-secondary program of two years or longer or obtained a master’s degree or higher. You must also meet the following criteria:
- You studied full-time for the entire duration of your program/degree.
- You completed your program or received your degree no more than 18 months before you applied for permanent residence.
- You were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying for your credential (for a 2+ year program) or the entire length of your studies (for a degree program).
You would not qualify as an international student:
- If you were studying English or French for more than half of your program
- If more than half of your program was delivered through distance learning
- If you received a scholarship or fellowship and you need to go back to your home country to apply the knowledge you have obtained
The language requirements are set according to the NOC category that applies to the position stated in the candidate’s job offer. The required language ability is equivalent to a certain CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) or NCLC (Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadiens) score.
The minimum scores for each NOC category are as follows:
- NOC 0 and A: CLB/NCLC 6
- NOC B: CLB/NCLC 5
- NOC C and D: CLB/NCLC 4
To demonstrate your language ability, you will need to submit the results from any designated language test, given that they are less than two years old.
To be eligible for the pilot, you need to have a Canadian high school diploma or an educational credential assessment report proving that your foreign credential is equal to the Canadian high school level.
If you’re providing the ECA report, make sure it is less than five years old at the time of your application and that it was issued by a designated organization or professional body.
Proof of funds
If, at the moment of your application, you’re not already legally working in Canada, you must submit proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your family to settle in the new community.
You can provide bank statements, documents that show you have property or other investments.
Intention to stay in the community.
You need to demonstrate that you plan to stay and live in the community once you obtain the permanent residence.
You have to ensure that you are aware of the particular requirements and needs of the community of your choice. Also, pay attention to the specifics of their application process and the documents you need to submit with your application.
Follow the instructions for the job search process described on each community website.
To qualify under the pilot, you need to have a valid and genuine job offer in the community you plan to stay. The job offer must meet several requirements.
- The job in the community should be full-time, meaning that you should be able to work at least 30 hours per week.
- The job you find can’t be a seasonal one. You will need to have continuous and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year.
- Your employment should be permanent and should not have any set end date.
- The wage should be equal to or more than the minimum wage established for your NOC.
- Your work experience should qualify you to perform the duties of the job you’re offered. The job must be at the same skill level or at one level above/below the NOC that applies to your work experience. If your experience NOC is D, the job offer should only be D as well.