What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Program?
This is an employer – foreign worker program like the Provincial Nominee Program.
The design of The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a “community-driven immigration program” that connects small remote communities in Ontario, Western Canada, and Canada’s three territories with immigration opportunities. The purpose of the RNIP is to spread economic benefits of immigration to smaller rural and northern communities by establishing permanent residence status for qualified skilled foreign workers.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is managed specifically by the community of a province, it is not managed by the province itself. The small community works with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
You will find that one province may have more than one of its communities running their own “Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program”, each separate from the other.
Candidates must make sure that they meet federal immigration requirements of the program, while meeting the requirements set out by the specific community running its own RNIP.
Note: Not all communities in Canada operate a RNIP program. Only a limited number of RNIP active communities currently exist.
Requirements for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
Federal Government RNIP baseline requirements
The following is a summary of the baseline requirements set out by the Government of Canada which each provincial RNIP program works from. You can view the full list of requirements on Government of Canada “Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: who can apply” web page.
The Government of Canada baseline requirements are:
- have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommending community,
- meet or exceed the language requirements,
- meet or exceed the educational requirements,
- prove you have enough money to support your transition into the community,
- intend to live in the community,
- meet community-specific requirements.
The prospective employer, who is in the RNIP community which you want to apply, must do the following:
- Offer employment to the foreign national.
- Complete and sign the “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National-Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 5984)” form.
- Retain a copy of that form and send your signed copy to the foreign national who is to receive the employment position.
A foreign worker must meet the following:
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) eligibility requirements.
- Meet any community-specific requirements.
- Locate an employer who offers you an eligible job in a RNIP participating community.
- Have one year of continuous work experience in the past three years (a minimum of 1,560 hours),
Have graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommending community.
- Meet the language threshold for the NOC skill type/level of the job being offered.
- Have sufficient funds to settle and support yourself (and your family) in the community.
- Submit your application for recommendation to the community.
- Once you receive back the signed copy of the “Complete the Offer of Employment to a Foreign National-Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot form (IMM 5984)” form, you must also sign it.
- Apply for the Federal Permanent Residence Status when the RNIP community recommends you.
- You must live in the community in which you applied.
- Apply for a one (1) year Federal Work Permit only if you plan to work during the waiting period to obtain a Permanent Residence Status. You do not need a Federal Work Permit if you get a Permanent Residence Status before working in the community.
Small Remote Community (General) Recommendations
- intention to live in the designated community,
- job offer and the community’s economic needs,
- work experience and skills,
- ties to the community.
Recommendations are made by a designated community economic development organization.
The following is the current list of communities participating in the RNIP program. Those that are linked have launched their component of the RNIP program:
- North Bay, Ontario.
- Sudbury, Ontario.
- Timmins, Ontario.
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
- Thunder Bay, Ontario.
- Brandon, Manitoba.
- Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba.
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
- Claresholm, Alberta.
- Vernon, British Columbia.
- West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia
Candidates must demonstrate they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their families after they move to Canada. These settlement funds must be their own and cannot be borrowed from anyone.
The following documents can be used as proof of funds:
- bank account statements,
- documents that show real property or other investments (such as stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, etc.),
- documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you (such as banker’s drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders.
To give you some idea of the minimum amount of settlement funds you require that you need to settle in a RNIP community, please view the following table:
The following table is only a guide, the dollar values may change.
Number of family members includes any person you support who is not immigrating with you.
Number of Family Members
Funds You Will Need (CAD)
|more family members||$23,611 +|
Note: Immigration Canada updates these numbers every year.
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Benefits of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
When you apply for your work permit, your spouse or common-law partner can also apply for an open work permit for the same amount of time.
Restrictions of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
- The one (1) year work permit only allows you to work for the employer who has offered you the job within the community which you applied. You cannot use the work permit to work at a job elsewhere, outside the community, in Canada.
- You are required to remain in the community that recommends you for the allotted time the community has set within their RNIP Program requirements.
- The open work permit that your spouse or common-law partner may obtain restricts them to work only within the same community as you.
- International students cannot apply to through the RNIP program under certain conditions.
Exemptions to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
- International students are exempt from the work experience criteria required under the RNIP Program.
- Individuals working legally in Canada at the time of application are exempt from the settlement funds.
What can Firebird Consultants do for your application to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program?
Firebird Consultants will help you with the initial assessment, application preparation and correspondence on your behalf with the federal and/or provincial government until the final decision is made on your application through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program.
If you are looking for a Russian speaking immigration consultant in Vernon, Kelowna, Okanagan, or in Canada to provide immigration support – please contact us for a free assessment.