The City of North Bay will be launching Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in the next couple of weeks.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program created to allow small communities to benefit more from the contributions of economic immigration by providing potential immigration candidates with a pathway to Canadian permanent residence. The program is focused on skilled foreign workers who wish to live and work in one of the participating communities.
North Bay, a small city situated about 300 km north of Toronto, will become the tenth community to accept application through the RNIP program once it launches its website in the coming weeks.
North Bay, like the other eleven (11) RNIP participating communities, has a quota of 100 community recommendations for the first year of the pilot program.
The RNIP is designed to connect foreign workers with Canadian employers facing labor shortages in small Canadian communities. Each community is selected for its location, size, employment opportunities, and ability to help new immigrants settle.
Once the North Bay site is launched online, it will be possible for candidates to lodge applications and for employers to post job offers.
An eligible offer of permanent full-time employment in one of the participating communities is needed and only applicants who receive a community referral through the RNIP may apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Because RNIP is a community-driven project, participating communities take the lead in drawing new immigrants or foreign workers already living in Canada and matching them with local job opportunities.
The matching process varies from community to community. In North Bay’s case, interested applicants who get involved in the community and who are proficient in both English and French language may have an advantage.
“We would hope the new immigrants want to be involved in the community; then the likelihood of them wanting to settle here once they receive permanent residence and not moving to larger centres or cities,” Patti Carr, vice-president of policy and communications for the North Bay and project manager for the RNIP, said.
“Bilingualism […] would be an asset. The ability for the spouses to also fill one of the high demand employment opportunities would also be a great asset for our community,” she told Canusim News.
According to Carr, North Bay’s family-friendly amenities, proximity to major centers, freshwater lakes, and as well as reasonable housing prices, make this community a very attractive option for immigrants.
North Bay community will begin reviewing applications immediately following the introduction of its program, starting with candidates who are already residing in the country and have full-time employment in high-demand occupations.
In the long term, Carr hopes that the program will help “maintain and increase the population and help fill job positions that have been vacant for a while and have been preventing some businesses from taking on new contracts for products and services.”
In addition to North Bay, the following participating communities or cities are already accepting applications:
- Sudbury, Ontario
- Timmins, Ontario
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
- Thunder Bay, Ontario
- Brandon, Manitoba
- Vernon, British Columbia
- Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba
- Claresholm, Alberta
- West Kootenay, British Columbia