The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program that enables participating communities to target potential immigrants who can fill local job positions. They ensure that newcomers can integrate into the communities. 

Under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the federal government associates with the remote communities to welcome foreign nationals to the participating communities.

NOTE: The pilot will be launched at different timelines in various participating communities.

Participating Communities: Information and draws

Eleven communities are participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, located across Canada’s four provinces. Some of these communities already have populations over 100,000; however, they are willing to invite newcomers to the communities to meet labour-market needs.

This pilot is a 5-year initiative. The aim of the pilot is to test community-driven approaches to attract skilled foreign workers to small communities. Due to a large aged-population and low birth-rate, the workforce in rural Canada has experienced a decline. Thus, through this pilot, these communities are trying to drive economic growth by inviting foreign nationals for immigration to Canada.

Check the various participating communities in this pilot and details related to their draws:

Community Economic Development Organization Period
North Bay, Ontario North Bay Chamber of Commerce Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2022
Sudbury, Ontario Greater Sudbury Development Corporation Nov 1, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022
Timmins, Ontario Timmins Economic Development Corporation Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2022
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation Nov 1, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022
Thunder Bay, Ontario Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission Nov 1, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022
Brandon, Manitoba Brandon Immigration Pilot Board Nov 1, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022
Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba 10018513 Manitoba Ltd. (also known as Supporting Entrepreneurs through Economic Development in the Rhineland, Altona, Plum Coulee, and Gretna) Nov 1, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce Apr 1, 2020 to Mar 31, 2023
Claresholm, Alberta Claresholm Economic Development Committee Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2022
Vernon, British Columbia Community Futures Development Corporation of the North Okanagan Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2022
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Kootenay Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2022

Know more about Canada Immigration Pilot Programs

Check details for different programs.

These participating communities were chosen as an illustrative of the regions across Canada, so they can set up a layout for the other communities, provinces, and territories. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will work with these participating communities to nominate potential immigrants for permanent residence.

To be eligible for participating in the pilot, the community must:

  • Have a 50,000 or less population and be located at a minimum distance of 75 km from the core of a Census Metropolitan Area


Have a population up to 200,000 and be remote from other larger cities

  • Be located in any of the following provinces or territories:
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • Manitoba
    • Northwest Territories
    • Nunavut
    • Ontario
    • Saskatchewan
    • Yukon
  • Have enough job opportunities
  • Have an economic development plan
  • Have a local economic development organization to manage pilot of the community
  • Have the ability to settle newcomers by:
    • Developing relations with regional immigrant-serving organizations
    • Connecting newcomers with the existing community members
    • Providing access to priority services, including education, health care, transportation, and housing.

Immigration process under the RNIP

Eligibility Requirements for applicants

To qualify for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP), potential immigrants must meet both the federal and the requirements set up by the community where the applicant wishes to settle.

To be eligible under the federal criteria, an applicant must:

  • Have a recommendation from at least one of the participating communities in the pilot
  • Have a minimum of one year of relevant, continuous work experience in the last three years, that is, at least 1,560 hours


Have completed graduation from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommending community

  • Have a valid job offer from any of the participating communities
  • Meet the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) per the NOC skill type/level of the job
  • Have sufficient financial resources to support himself and accompanying family members
  • Have an intention to settle in the community

Community Recommendation

A designated community makes a recommendation based on the candidate’s:

  • Job offer and the community’s economic needs
  • Skills and work experience
  • Intention to settle in the participating community
  • Connection to the community

The economic development organization makes these recommendations on behalf of the participating community.

Work Experience

To be eligible, a candidate must have:

  • At least 1,560 hours of continuous, paid work experience in the last three years
    • The work experience must be in one occupation however it can be with multiple employers
    • The work experience can be gained inside and outside of Canada
    • Self-employed work experience does not qualify

Candidate must have performed all activities mentioned in the lead statement as well as all the essential duties and majority of the main duties as listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for their occupation.

International students may not require meeting the work experience criteria if:

  • They have graduated from a two-year full-time post-secondary program, or
  • They have graduated from a full-time master’s program or higher.


To qualify under this criterion, a candidate must have:

  • A Canadian high-school diploma or an equivalent foreign educational credential
    • Candidates must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a designated institution for diplomas completed outside of Canada.
    • The ECA report must not be older than five years while applying.

Moreover, international students who have graduated from a post-secondary program in the recommending community are exempt from the work experience if:

  • Graduated with at a certificate, diploma, degree or trade or apprenticeship of minimum two years from a post-secondary program, and the candidate was:
    • A full-time student for complete two and more years
    • Obtained the credential within 18 months before applying for permanent resident status
    • Was residing in the community for a minimum of 16 months out of the last 24 months of his study


  • Graduated with a master’s degree or a Ph.D., and the candidate was:
    • A full-time student for the complete degree
    • Obtained the credential within 18 months before applying for permanent residency
    • Was residing in the community for the entirety of the degree

NOTE: International graduates who are not eligible to apply include students who:

  • Studied English or French for over half of the program
  • Studied at distance for over half of the program
  • Received a scholarship or fellowship stating that to apply their studies students must return to their home country

Job Offer

Prospective applicants must have obtained a valid, genuine, full-time, permanent job offer from one of the participating communities. Furthermore, the wage must meet the minimum wage requirements as listed for that NOC, also, the candidate must show that his previous experience is relevant to the job responsibilities to be performed for the job offered.

The definition given by the Government of Canada states that a genuine job offer must:

  • Meet the requirements of the employer
  • The employer must be capable to meet the requirements as mentioned in the offer
  • The employer must have adhered to the employment laws and rules in the past
  • The employer must be active in the business for which the candidates has received an offer

Furthermore, the job offer must belong to the same NOC skill level or one level above/below against the candidate’s work experience. However, the candidates with a job offer in NOC occupation classified under the skill level D are not eligible for a job offer in any other skill level or type.

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Language Requirements

Depending on the NOC skill level or type based on the candidate’s job offer, the candidate must show minimum language ability in English or French.

The least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level for different NOC skill type/level are as follows:

Skill Level/Type Minimum CLB score
NOC 0 and A CLB 6
NOC C and D CLB 4


A candidate must show that they have sufficient financial resources to support himself and his family members. These funds must not be borrowed from anyone, and these financial resources must be owned by the applicant.

These are the documents that can be used as proof of funds:

  • Statements of the bank account
  • Documents that show that a specific amount is payable to the applicant (cheques, money orders, etc.)
  • Documents that show investments and real property (stocks, bonds, etc.)

NOTE: Individuals who are already legally working in Canada while applying are exempt from the requirement of settlement funds.

Not sure where to start with the application process for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot? Do not worry, Make home Canada is here to address all your queries. Reach out to our expert immigration consultants to get brief about various pathways for Canadian immigration, including the Express Entry system and Provincial Nominee Programs. Also, you can get details about different participating communities under RNIP. We will help you determine the most appropriate immigration program as per your credentials. Let us join you on this immigration journey to Canada.