A Guide to Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Canada

A route to permanent residency for highly talented foreign employees who desire to live and work in one of the participating rural communities of Canada.

What is Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)?

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was created to attract skilled foreign workers to smaller communities in several participating provinces and provide them with an opportunity to become permanent residents of Canada. The pilot was designed to boost the economic development of rural and remote communities and encourage newcomers to settle there. 

This initiative allows the communities to assess candidates and choose the perfect fit for their economic needs. They also determine whether the foreign skilled workers’ job offers are authentic and meet their specific requirements, as well as whether the newcomers are planning to stay and live in the community. The participating communities will have the right to recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC and will provide settlement services to the newcomers once they are granted PR status.   

To qualify for this pilot, you will need to:

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria established by the IRCC and the community of your choice
  2. Find a job in a participating community that satisfies the pilot requirements 
  3. Apply for recommendation to the community
  4. Apply for permanent residence to IRCC

Participating Communities

Participating communities include the following: 

North Bay, ON https://northbayrnip.ca/
Sudbury, ON https://investsudbury.ca/why-sudbury/move-to-sudbury/rnip/
Timmins, ON www.timminsedc.com
Sault Ste. Marie, ON www.welcometossm.com
Thunder Bay, ON https://gotothunderbay.ca/
Brandon, MB www.economicdevelopmentbrandon.com
Altona/Rhineland, MB www.seedrgpa.com
Moose Jaw, SK https://www.moosejawrnip.ca/
Claresholm, AB www.claresholm.ca
Vernon, BC https://rnip-vernon-northok.ca/
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC https://wk-rnip.ca/


Eligibility Criteria for RNIP

To be able to apply for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, you need to meet the following requirements set by IRCC:

  • appropriate work experience (you can be exempt from this requirement if you have studied in the community you’re applying to)
  • language requirements
  • educational requirements
  • sufficient funds
  • intention to live in the chosen community
  • requirements established by the chosen community

Once you meet all the above requirements, you can start looking for a job in the community that qualifies for the pilot. 

Work experience

To qualify for the pilot, you must demonstrate a minimum of one year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) within the last three years. 

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category specified in the job offer must be:

  • TEER 0 or 1 job offer – work experience must be in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3.
  • TEER 2 or 3 job offer – work experience must be in TEER 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • TEER 4 job offer – work experience must be in TEER 2, 3 or 4
    • Exception: TEER 1 for the healthcare
  • TEER 5 job offer – work experience must be in the same 5-digit NOC code

Your work experience must contain all essential duties and most of the primary duties under your National Occupational Classification (NOC), as well as all the activities described in the lead statement of your NOC.

International Graduates

You won’t have to meet the work experience criteria if you are an international student who graduated from a post-secondary program of two years or longer or obtained a master’s degree or higher. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • You studied full-time for the entire duration of your program/degree.
  • You completed your program or received your degree no more than 18 months before you applied for permanent residence.
  • You were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying for your credential (for a 2+ year program) or the entire length of your studies (for a degree program).

You would not qualify as an international student: 

  • If you were studying English or French for more than half of your program
  • If more than half of your program was delivered through distance learning 
  • If you received a scholarship or fellowship and you need to go back to your home country to apply the knowledge you have obtained

Language requirements

The language requirements are set according to the NOC category that applies to the position stated in the candidate’s job offer. The required language ability is equivalent to a certain CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) or NCLC (Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadiens) score. 

The minimum scores for each NOC category are as follows:

  • TEER 0 or 1 – CLB/NCLC 6
  • TEER 2 or 3 – CLB/NCLC 5
  • TEER 4 or 5 – CLB/NCLC 4

You will need to submit the results from any designated language test to demonstrate your language ability, given that they are less than two years old.

Educational Requirements

To be eligible for the pilot, you need to have a Canadian high school diploma or an educational credential assessment report proving that your foreign credential is equal to the Canadian high school level. 

If you’re providing the ECA report, ensure it is less than five years old at the time of your application and that a designated organization or professional body issued it.

Proof of funds

Suppose you’re not legally working in Canada at the moment of your application. In that case, you must submit proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your family to settle in the new community.  

You can provide bank statements and documents showing property or other investments.

Intention to Stay in the Community

You must demonstrate that you plan to stay and live in the community once you obtain permanent residence. 

You have to ensure that you are aware of the particular requirements and needs of the community of your choice. Also, pay attention to the specifics of their application process and the documents you must submit with your application. 

Follow the instructions for the job search process described on each community website.

Job offer

To qualify under the pilot, you must have a valid and genuine job offer in the community you plan to stay in. The job offer must meet several requirements. 

  • The job in the community should be full-time, meaning that you should be able to work at least 30 hours per week. 
  • The job you find can’t be a seasonal one. You will need continuous and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year. 
  • Your employment should be permanent and should not have any set end date. 
  • The wage should equal or exceed the minimum wage established for your NOC TEER Code. 
  • Your work experience should qualify you to perform the duties of the job you’re offered. The job must be at the same skill level or at one level above/below the NOC that applies to your work experience.  

Apply for Rural Northern Immigration Pilot

Move to Canada’s rural communities and obtain permanent residency through Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).