On August 26, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the expansion of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), that is to increase the benefits of immigration in the 11 communities participating in the program currently.
In the fall, various new enhancements will be implemented to provide more support to community partners, employers and candidates. Below are the major changes announced:
- expanding the geographic boundaries of the following participating communities, so more employers are able to participate: North Bay (Ont.), Sudbury (Ont.), Timmins (Ont.), Thunder Bay (Ont.), Moose Jaw (Sask.), West Kootenay (BC) and Vernon (BC)
- making it easier to fill labour market needs in the health care and trades sectors, by expanding the range of job offers available to candidates, with specific work experience
- allowing communities to participate for a longer period, until August 2024, when the pilot comes to an end
- helping community partners provide greater support to candidates and employers
- reducing the amount of settlement funds participants are required to have
- strengthening program integrity
The 11 RNIP communities are:
- Vernon, British Columbia
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
- Claresholm, Alberta
- Thunder Bay, Ontario
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
- Brandon, Manitoba
- West Kootenay
- Timmins, Ontario
- North Bay, Ontario
- Sudbury, Ontario
As of June 30, 2022, the RNIP communities have welcomed 1,130 newcomers, who have helped address labour shortages in significant sectors like healthcare, hospitality, food services, retail, manufacturing, and transportation.
Each participating community is expected to welcome approximately 125 newcomers along with their families each year. However, the RNIP program can only accept a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants with their family members for processing every year.