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  • Writer's pictureNorthern Pathways

Two Communities Started Accepting Applications Under Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

The Canadian government continues to diversify the ways to apply for permanent residence to attract skilled workers to Canada.

First, let me briefly explain the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program. This program is one of the programs the Canadian federal government has launched to attract a skilled workforce to cities outside of major cities. The program was announced this summer the details of which to be shared before the end of this year. As of this month, the regions participating in the program have begun to announce that they've started accepting applications as they complete their preparations.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is defined as a community-driven program and aims to spread economic migration to smaller communities by creating alternative pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers who wish to live in the regions covered by the program.

The regions participating in the program are as follows:


Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay ve Thunder Bay


Altona/Rhineland ve Brandon


Moose Jaw



British Columbia

West Kootenay ve Vernon

There are four stages to applying for permanent residence (PR) within the program:

1. Meet the eligibility criteria of the IRCC and the region applied for:

  • You must have at least 1 year (at least 1,560 hours) of continuous work experience in your profession or have at least 2 years of full-time study or master's degree in a higher education institution in the region you are applying for.

  • English or French language proficiency: CLB 6 (IELTS R: 5, W: 5.5, S: 5.5, L: 5.5) for NOC 0 and A occupations, CLB 5 (IELTS R: 4, W: 5, S: 5, L: 5) for NOC B, CLB 4 (IELTS R: 3.5, W: 4, S: 4.5, L: 4) for NOC C.

  • If you do not already work in Canada, there is a requirement for proving settlement funds. ($ 1,822 for 1 person, $ 10,858 for 2 people, $ 13,348 for 3 people, $ 16,206 for 4 people)

  • An educational credential assessment (ECA) report (Canadian equivalency of your studies)

People must also meet the additional criteria of the region they apply for. These criteria differ from region to region because their needs are different. Currently, three regions have activated their web sites related to the program, two of which have started accepting applications. I will share the links of the websites towards the end of the article.

2. Obtain a job offer that meets the program criteria in one of the participating regions

3. Apply to the community for recommendation after receiving the job offer

4. If the community recommends you, apply for permanent residence (PR)

Let's take a look at the two regions that are currently accepting applications:

The first one is Sault Ste. Marie. Sault Ste. Marie is the third-largest city in Northern Ontario.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON

The city has two higher education institutions: Sault College and Algoma University. You can reach the information they prepared for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program here.

The other community that accepts applications is Altona / Rhineland, Manitoba. The location of this area is defined in the regulation as follows: An area in Manitoba bounded by the Canada-United States border, Road 18 West, Road 18 North, Meridian Road, Road 6 North, and Road 6 East

Information regarding Altona/Rhineland's Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program is available here.

Thunder Bay is another community that has started its preparations and published information. Thunder Bay is a city located in Northern Ontario.

Thunder Bay, ON

Confederation College and Lakehead University are two significant higher education institutions in this city.

The city will begin accepting applications under the program on 2 January 2020. Information can be found here.

In the coming days, preparations for the eight other regions will be completed and we will be able to learn their criteria and application processes.

Who has the most chance in this program? (This part of the article contains my personal opinion.)

I think that the group with the highest chances under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program is primarily international students studying in higher education institutions in these regions. After graduating from these schools, these students have a higher chance of joining the labour force in those regions compared to those who have never been there before.

Another profile with high chances is people who already have legal status in these regions. Because it is difficult, if not impossible, to get a job offer without knowing the regions and having no connection. Although the program was opened recently, there is so much demand. For example, during the two-week period, almost 2000 profiles were created on the Altona / Rhineland website. According to officials from the same region, one of the local businesses has received more than 100 resumes.

One important thing to note is that such programs may bring unreal employment offers. There are already people trying to scam people with unreal job offers using the name of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. People who want to immigrate to Canada should be very careful and vigilant about these issues. There is a very clear fact that it is not legal to ask for money for a job offer in Canada. Such people disappear after receiving your money, and in this case, there is no authority to complain.

You can fill out our Pre-Assessment Form to see if you are eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence.


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