Canadian Immigration News

Getting to Know the 11 Communities Participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

6 minute read
"Canada has many beautiful, growing cities and regions that offer exciting job opportunities for foreign nationals. Thousands of foreign nationals immigrate to different Canadian cities every year. There are specific pilot programs to encourage economic immigration to certain regions like the Atlantic Provinces with the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 28, 2021
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Canada has many beautiful, growing cities and regions that offer exciting job opportunities for foreign nationals. Thousands of foreign nationals immigrate to different Canadian cities every year. 

There are specific pilot programs to encourage economic immigration to certain regions like the Atlantic Provinces with the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). The RINP is specially designed to encourage economic immigration to the rural and northern communities across Canada. 

Currently, 11 communities across 5 provinces from the west coast of British Columbia, throughout the Prairie Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and bookended by Ontario are participating in this pilot. This program is not part of these provinces’ individual Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The pilot program is another option for immigrating to these regions.

You will require a valid job offer and a recommendation from the community within the province that you want to reside in to apply for permanent residency through this program. The communities participating in this program have altered their immigration program to suit their economic needs and support their labor markets.

A Brief Overview of the 11 Communities Participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Based on which province you want to settle in and experience, you can choose from the following communities:

Vernon, British Columbia: 

With a population of more than 60,000, Vernon is located in the North Okanagan Regional District. It is one of the most popular places in North America to retire and settle down.

Vernon has a diverse economy with major industries like agriculture, forestry, tourism, technology, manufacturing and service sectors. 

To qualify, you must meet the eligibility criteria set by the community and the federal government. You will require a full-time job offer from a local employer.

West Kootenay, British Columbia: 

West Kootenay has a population of over 30,000. It has abundant natural beauty with mountains, wildlife, lakes and rivers over the western region. West Kootenay is made up of 3 individual communities:

  • Trail, Rossland and surrounding area
  • Castlegar and surrounding area
  • Nelson and surrounding area

Applicants wanting to immigrate to West Kootenay must demonstrate strong ties to the community. They must also intend to live in the community after gaining permanent residency. 

Claresholm, Alberta: 

Claresholm is participating in the RNIP to support their economic development by promoting the economic immigration of skilled workers. 

Claresholm has a population of over 3,780 people according to the 2016 census. 

Applicants can work with any employer in Claresholm and within 25 kilometers of Claresholm. 

Employers will also be required to meet certain eligibility criteria. The job offer must be for a valid, full-time position for an in-demand occupation. 

To qualify for permanent residency, you will require a community recommendation from the Claresholm Economic Development Committee.

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan: 

Moose Jaw is known as an industrial center and an important transportation hub for agricultural products. Moose Jaw will start accepting applications for the RNIP early in 2021. 

According to a 2016 census, Moose Jaw has a population of 33,890 people. 

To be eligible for a community recommendation, applicants must have a valid job offer for a full-time position from a designated employer in the province. 

Applicants will also be required to meet the eligibility requirements set by the federal government along with community criteria. 

Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, Manitoba: 

The Altona/Rhineland area is located in southern Manitoba. Historically, this region has been known for accepting immigrants and refugees. 

Altona/Rhineland participates in the RNIP to provide local businesses with a skilled workforce to contribute to economic growth. 

Combined the three territories have a population of 8,953 residents.

You must have an “Intention to Reside” in the region to gain a community recommendation for permanent residence. Intention to reside means that you must reside within the boundaries of the Town of Altona or Municipality of Rhineland.

Brandon, Manitoba: 

Brandon offers a safe community with low crime rates, a diversified economy, low housing prices and a sophisticated education system. It is an ideal place to settle and raise a family. The city is family-oriented, offers a high standard of life and abundant recreational activities. 

Currently, Brandon, Manitoba has a population of over 48,859 people. 

Many foreign nationals move to Brandon, Manitoba to work for food processing companies such as Maple Leaf Foods. It is becoming a popular destination for immigrants who work in the food-related sector.    

Thunder Bay, Ontario: 

Thunder Bay is situated on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior. It is also known for being the sunniest city in Canada. It is the perfect gateway to settle in northwest Ontario. 

The city has a population of over 93,952 residents. 

Thunder Bay hosts a hub of industries including transportation, manufacturing, education, mining and forestry.

The city offers a host of opportunities for international entrepreneurs and investors looking to establish a low-cost business. 

It is a destination for foreign workers who are looking for a stable lifestyle surrounded by natural beauty. 

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: 

With a population of 73,000, Sault Ste. Marie offers a mix of urban and natural landscapes with an affordable cost of living. 

Sault Ste. Marie is part of the RNIP to strengthen its local businesses by providing them with a skilled workforce. 

The RNIP for Sault Ste. Marie is managed by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, FutureSSM, the Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership and the Sault Community Career Centre.

The community offers a growing job market due to the high rate of retiring population and recent economic growth. The unemployment rate of Sault Ste. Marie has consistently been lower than the national average. 

The community requires foreign workers in the skilled trades, Information Technology (IT), forestry, aviation, healthcare, accounting, social services, engineering sectors and more.

Sudbury, Ontario: 

Sudbury is known as the rock mining capital of the world with 9 operating mines, 2 mills and a nickel refinery. Sudbury also hosts the 3rd largest and oldest crater on Earth. 

Sudbury has a population of over 88,054 people. 

The city has a unique urban lifestyle and a high standard of living. The major population resides in the urban areas with small communities located among 300 lakes. 

Sudbury is the financial and business center of Ontario and provides a host of job opportunities. The unemployment rate is less than 5.3%.

It is considered 1 of the greenest cities in the world. It is a perfect place to find a job and settle down. You can apply through the RNIP to immigrate to this community.

Timmins, Ontario: 

The RNIP is jointly operated by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation and the numerous partners involved in the Timmins Employer Council.

According to the 2016 census, Timmins, Ontario has a population of over 41,788 residents. 

Timmins is known for its gold mining history and its welcoming residents. It is also considered one of the best places to live in Canada with growing job opportunities, and an abundance of natural beauty 

North Bay, Ontario: 

North Bay is one of the safest communities to reside in Canada. It has a great outdoors culture with all the urban facilities. 

North Bay has a population of 51,553 according to the 2016 census. 

North Bay maintains a small-town sense of community. North Bay had a quota of inviting 100 applicants through community recommendations for permanent residency in the 1st year of the RNIP.

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