Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Eases Eligibility Requirements!

The positive steps towards immigration from the Canadian government just keep coming. Honourable Marco Mendicino, Canadian minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship, welcomed the first two practical nurses to become permanent residents under the new pilot which opened early last year.

He was able to do this because of a recent relaxation in one of the eligibility requirements affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A requirement to become a permanent resident under the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is that applicants must accumulate at least one year of continuous work experience with the same employer within the community. The amendment allows applicants that have accumulated 1,560 hours (equivalent to one year full-time) within the last three years, even with breaks in their employment to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

The RNIP is a community-driven program designed to bring the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities throughout Canada. It helps these communities to attract the workers they need by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers. The relaxation of this requirement means workers who suffer breaks in their employment can continue to be eligible for permanent residency within a fairly short time frame.

If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident through the RNIP, you will need to find a job offer in one of the participating communities. You will then need to meet the Immigration Refugee Council of Canada’s (IRCC) eligibility requirements as well as the community-specific requirements, including obtaining a recommendation from the community in which you wish to settle.

RNIP: Participating Communities
North Bay
Sault Ste. Marie
Thunder Bay
British Columbia
West Kootenay

RNIP Eligibility Requirements for Permanent Residency in Canada

Work Experience Required for RNIPWork Experience

We covered this requirement, but let’s just make sure it’s all clear. You will need one year, or 1,560 hours of work experience within 3 years of your application date. However, it does not have to be continuous, it can be for full-time or part-time work, and with gaps in your employment history, as long as it is over a period of at least 12 months and in the same occupation as your job offer.

You are exempt from the work experience requirement if you are an international student who graduated from a designated post-secondary learning institution in one of the participating communities. The program you were enrolled in must have been full-time and had a minimum length of two years.

Language Requirements

You will need to take a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test to show you can meet the required standard of either English or French to effectively function in your community. Depending on the skill level of your occupation, you must meet a certain score:

  • Managerial and Professional Occupations - CLB level 6;
  • Skilled Trades Occupations - CLB level 5;
  • Semi-skilled occupations - CLB level 4

Education Requirements

You must show you have the appropriate qualifications for your occupation. The basic requirement is a high school diploma. If you work in a profession that requires competencies, you must ensure that you are registered with the appropriate governing bodies in your province. If your qualifications were completed outside of Canada, you must have an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) done to show they are equal to Canadian standards.

Settlement Funds

Unless you are already working in Canada, you will need to show that you have the minimum required amounts to make sure you and any family members or dependents can settle comfortably in your new community.

You must show your intention to live in the community permanently. This is done through your acceptance of the job offer and supporting documents like purchasing or leasing a home

Keep in mind that there may also be community specific requirements for you to secure your recommendation. The RNIP is a great way to enter Canada on the right foot, in a small community where people care about their neighbors and are really happy to have you join them. It is also one of the easiest pathways to permanent residency in Canada, given the relaxed requirements.

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This easing of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots' eligibility requirements means that if you have the required hours of work experience, all you need is a job offer in one of the 11 participating communities and you could be eligible for permanent residency in Canada.

If you want to know more about the RNIP or other Canadian immigration programs fill out our contact form and an agent will be in touch.

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