Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Permanent resident applications

We’ll begin accepting applications from eligible candidates in the fall of 2019. The community application period is now closed.

About the pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in 1 of the participating communities.

We’re partnering with these communities to test new approaches to:

  • use immigration to help meet local labour market needs and support regional economic development
  • create welcoming environments to support new immigrants staying in rural communities

This pilot will help increase long-term retention of skilled newcomers to rural areas by working with:

  • community-based partners
  • other federal government partners
  • provincial and territorial governments

About the process

Skilled workers

As a candidate, you need to find a job with an employer in 1 of the participating communities.

If a community recommends you and you’re successful in applying for permanent residence, you’ll then move there to work and live.

The application process for eligible candidates will begin as early as fall 2019. We’ll provide more information at that time, including:

  • details about who can apply
  • what documents you need for your application

View the step-by-step guide (PDF, 1.2 MB) that shows how the complete application process will work. Final details will be provided in fall 2019.

Communities

The community application period is now closed. The deadline for eligible communities – archived to apply to participate in the pilot was March 11, 2019.

We received a strong response to the pilot from communities. The pilot will allow us to establish best practices that can be applied more broadly in the future.

Pilot communities were selected based on:

  • their economic need for immigration
  • the resources and community partners in place to administer the pilot and
  • whether the federal government has existing newcomer settlement partners and resources in the community

Participating Communities

As a candidate, you need to find a job with an employer in 1 of the participating communities.

If a community endorses you and you’re successful in applying for permanent residence, you’ll then move there to work and live.

The communities participating in the pilot are:

  • 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

We’ll be working with these communities to help them recruit candidates later this year.

Participating Communities had to meet specific application criteria – archived.

How to apply to a community

Details on how to apply to a community will be available later in 2019.

For now, you can research the different communities and find out more about them.

What you can expect from a community

This pilot is community-driven, meaning the communities will:

  • promote the pilot and their community to prospective candidates
  • identify job opportunities in the local economy and work to match applicants to jobs
  • assess prospective candidates who:
    • best fit the economic needs of the community
    • have a genuine employment opportunity
    • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • provide a welcoming community for immigrants
  • connect immigrants to established members of the community and settlement services
  • report on the results of the pilot

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, you must meet all these requirements. You must

Recommendation from a designated community

You must get a recommendation from 1 of the communities participating in the pilot.

They decide who to recommend based on

  • your intent to live in the community
  • your job offer in the community and the economic needs of the community
  • your work experience and skill set
  • your ties to the community

When communities are ready to begin recruiting and recommending candidates, more information will be available.

Work experience

You need 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years.

To calculate your hours of work experience

  • Count the hours worked in part-time and full-time jobs
    • the hours must be in 1 occupation, but they can be with different employers
    • the hours must be over a period of at least 12 months
    • these working hours can be inside or outside Canada
      • if you worked in Canada, you must have been a temporary resident with authorization to work in Canada
  • Don’t count hours you weren’t paid for; volunteering or unpaid internships don’t count
  • Don’t count hours when you were self-employed

Your work experience must include

  • a substantial number of the main duties and all the essential duties listed in your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  • the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC

You can see what duties are involved by searching your job title on the NOC web page.

Job offer

You must have a genuine job offer to work in 1 of the participating communities.

The job you’re offered must meet all of these requirements

    • this means mean you work at least 30 paid hours per week
    • in general, this means you have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year
  • Your employment is permanent
    • this means that there is no set end date
  • The wage must meet or exceed the Job Bank’s minimum wage for your job offer’s NOC
  • Your experience must demonstrate that you can perform the duties of the job offered

Skill level

Your job offer must be at the same skill level, 1 level above or 1 level below the NOC that applies to your work experience.

However, if your experience is in NOC skill level D, then the job you’re being offered must be in the same occupation.

For example

  • NOC 0 job offer: work experience in NOC 0 or A
  • NOC A job offer: work experience in NOC 0, A or B
  • NOC B job offer: work experience in NOC A, B or C
  • NOC C job offer: work experience in NOC B or C
  • NOC D job offer: work experience in the same occupation

We’ll review the main duties of your job offer to confirm that it meets the NOC skill level.

International students

You’re exempt from the work experience criteria above if you’re an international student who graduated with

  1. credential from a 2+ year-long post-secondary program and you
    1. were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of the 2+ years
    2. received the credential within 18 months before your application for permanent residence
    3. were in the community for at least 16 months of the last 24 months spent studying to obtain your credential

or

  1. A master’s degree or higher and you
    1. were studying as a full-time student for the duration of your degree
    2. obtained your degree within 18 months before your application
    3. were in the community for the length of your studies

You cannot apply as an international student if your credentials are from a program in which

  • studying English or French made up more than half of 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 is a credential?

Credential here 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 valid temporary resident status for the duration of your studies.

Language requirements

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

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

Find out more about language testing.

Educational requirements

You must have

  • A Canadian high school diploma or
  • An educational credential assessment (ECA) report, from a designated organization or professional body, showing that you completed a foreign credential that’s equal to Canadian secondary school (high school)
    • the ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application
    • the original ECA report must have been issued on or after the date the organization was designated

Settlement funds

Unless you’re already working legally in Canada when you apply, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself and any family members while you get settled in your community.

You must prove you have enough money to support any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.

Find out more about settlement funds.

Intend to live in the community

To participate in the pilot, you must plan to live in the community.

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