The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is an immigration program introduced by the Canadian government to bridge the gap between the rural and urban population. It is used to solve the problem of the lack of labour force in rural communities. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was introduced in 2019 to build on the success of Atlantic Immigration Pilot which was introduced in 2017 and recorded huge success.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-based immigration program specifically made to spread the economic benefits of immigration to rural communities. The program aims at giving its participants easy access to Canada Permanent Residence. Many foreign workers have successfully entered Canada through this program. The program has favoured immigrants from countries like India, Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh, and other nations.

Eligible Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Communities and Provinces

As stated above, RNIP is community-driven, meaning that it is aimed at those communities that are rated as rural communities. Ten communities have been selected from five provinces for the program so far. As time goes on other communities that meet the requirements will join the program.


For a community to be eligible, it must have a population of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants or less and be located at least 75km from census metropolitan cities or have a population of 200,000 inhabitants remote from other developed cities.

The participating communities according to their provinces include:

Ontario:

  • North Bay
  • Sudbury
  • Timmins
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Thunder Bay

Manitoba:

  • Brandon
  • Altona/Rhineland

Saskatchewan

  • Moose Jaw

Alberta:

  • Claresholm

British Columbia:

  • West Kootenay
  • Vernon

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Application Process

Any candidate from any part of the world including India, Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh, and other countries of the world following four simple steps:

Step 1: Check if you meet both federal eligibility and community eligibility.

Step 2: Find an eligible job with an employer from one of the eligible communities.

Step 3: Submit your application to the eligible community in which you find a job.

Step 4: Apply for permanent residence if the community in which you find an employer recommends you.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Requirements

Many foreign workers from different parts of the world like India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh. But before you become eligible you must meet certain requirements. There are both federal requirements and community requirements. So, any applicant must meet both requirements.

Federal Requirements for RNIP

Any applicant recommended by a community for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program must reach the federal government requirements to become eligible. The requirements include:

  • work experience
  • language level
  • education
  • settlement funds
  • job offer from participating community
  • intention to live in the community
  • admissibility

RNIP Work Experience Requirement

To qualify for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program, you must have a work experience of one year in the last three years. You can calculate the hours in the following ways:

  • it can be full-time or part-time
  • it must be in one occupation
  • it must be over a period of twelve months
  • the hours can be inside or outside Canada
  • if inside Canada, you must be allowed to work in Canada
  • unpaid hours or internships are not counted
  • hours of self-employment are not counted
  • these hours must include all essential duties and lead statement of National Occupational Classification(NOC).

If you are an international student, you are exempt from the above requirements if you,

  • have a credential from a post-secondary school institution for a program of two years or more, where you are a student for a duration of more than two years, you submit your application within 18 months of receiving your credentials and you lived not less than 16 of the last 24 months studying for your credentials
  • or you are studying for your master’s degree as a full-time student and you submitted your degree not less than 18 months from the date you finished and you were in the community all through your study periods.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Language level

Because many of the applicants are foreign immigrants from outside Canada like India, Nigeria, Kenya and Bangladesh, it is necessary that all candidates take a language proficiency test. This test helps to know the level each candidate has achieved in Canadian languages of French and English.

So, if you must qualify for Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must reach the Canadian Language Benchmark(CLB) based on NOC category.

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 application within two years from the day your result comes out.

Education Requirement for Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

To qualify for RNIP, you must have the following academic qualifications:

  • a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma,
  • a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • an educational credentials assessment showing that you have a foreign qualification equivalent to a diploma, degree, or certificate got from a Canadian secondary school or post-secondary school institution.

Settlement Funds for RNIP Program

If you are not yet settled in Canada, you must produce proof that you are able to take care of yourself and any family member coming to Canada with you.

You must prove that you are capable of taking care of all your family members including those who are not coming to Canada with you.

The following list shows the fund needed depending on the number of family members following you to Canada.

Job Offer From a Participating RNIP Community

Before you can qualify for permanent residence through Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must get a valid job offer from an employer from one of the participating communities. The job offer must meet the following requirements:

  • it must be a full-time, non-seasonal and permanent job
  • it must reach NOC minimum wage of the skill type jobs
  • the job must be at least one skill level within NOC skill type of your occupation e.g if your skill type is Skill type A, you must get an offer of either skill type O, A or B. The exemption is skill type D, where you must get an offer of the same skill type.
  • your experience must reach the requirements for your position.
  • You must at least have the intention of living in the community in which they get a job offer. If you do not intend to do so then, RNIP is not for you.

Admissibility to Canada

Just like other immigration programs, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is for candidates who are legally allowed to live and work in Canada. Your admissibility may be impaired by certain medical conditions or criminal records.

Community Requirements for RNIP

Apart from the federal requirements, there are some community-based requirements that can be found on the community websites.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots Eligibility

Many applicants from all over the world like India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh can be eligible once they meet the minimum requirements. The eligibility factors include:

  • having qualifying work experience
  • meeting the language requirements
  • having the required educational requirements
  • price that you have enough money
  • intend to live in the community.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Jobs

As a foreign worker from outside Canada like India, Nigeria, Kenya, or Bangladesh, before you qualify for Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you must have a genuine job offer from any of the participating communities.

Each community has its own requirements and job search processes which you can see on their websites. In order to find a job, you must meet these requirements and follow the job search processes. You can only apply for community recommendations when you meet those requirements and follow the processes to find a job offer.

Job Offer Requirements

Before applying for permanent residence, your job offer must meet the following requirements:

  • it must be a full-time job, you must work for at least 30 hours every week
  • it must be a nonseasonal job
  • it must be a permanent job
  • it must meet job bank’s minimum wage
  • your experience must match the job requirements.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Work Permit

Foreigners from countries like India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh who have applied for permanent residence through Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot are also entitled to a one-year work permit. The work permit allows you to work while you wait for your permanent residence.

For you to qualify for the one-year work permit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • have an eligible offer of employment from your employer
  • have a recommendation from a participating community
  • be eligible to apply for a work permit
  • have received an acknowledgement letter from IRCC

This work permit:

  • is only for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • is valid for 1 year
  • only lets you work for the employer who offered you the job, in the participating community.

Your spouse or common-law partner can also apply for a work permit at the same time you apply which will allow them to work for one year in the same community as you.