Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot - the New federal immigration program in Canada - February 05, 2019

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The government in Canada has made an announcement regarding an immigration program (Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot). Moreover, the aim here is to create synchronization between employers and fresh immigrants in northern and rural communities.


The new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will run for five years and also test a community-centric approach for addressing the labor market needs of small communities. After the success achieved by the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, this program has the aim of helping participating communities to get the access to support and also help the newcomers, to settle as vital members of the local community. All the aspirants looking to immigrate in small communities in Canada can feel happy about the developments of this Pilot.


These communities face the twin challenges of economics and demography. There are other issues also like the youth migrating out, an aging population, and shortages in the labor market.  The large urban centers are very popular with many new immigrants for settling. They also miss out on the opportunities of the labor market and the richness of the life of a small community. This Immigration Pilot will extend the help to the communities for identifying the candidates seeking permanent residence for filling the gap in the labor market. Ahmed Hussen, the Immigration Minister said that Immigration is a major pillar of our economic success. The communities across Canada experience several benefits of immigration. With the creation of such pilot, the thought is to provide the benefits of immigration to all the people.

Barriers to economic development

Bernadette Jordan the Minister for Rural Economic Development stated that removal of barriers in economic development, and also promoting the growth of local communities, in Canada, is a top priority with the Government. This Pilot supports the economic development of a small community by having a new approach to meet the demands and challenges of the labor market.

IRCC helps in participation

IRCC is on the lookout for applications from several communities in Western Canada, Ontario, and some other territories to select such communities that can participate in the pilot. These communities have to work with local development organizations for submitting the applications. The agenda in this must be the measures to meet the eligibility criteria and ways to promote immigration for economic development of the community.

Eligibility criteria

Communities intending to participate in the Pilot have to meet these criteria:

  • A population of 50,000 people and a location at least 75 km from the core of the Census Metropolitan Area. In the second case a population of 200,000 people that is remote from other large cities ;
  • Location in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Ontario, or Yukon;
  • Having sizable job opportunities;
  • An apt economic development plan;
  • Having the cooperation of a local development organization to manage the initiative, and finally
  • The ability to settle fresh immigrants in the community by developing a strong relationship with local/regional serving organizations. They have to provide Opportunities for connecting all newcomers with members of the community, by mentoring/networking.
  • Furthermore, there must be Access to services like housing, education, healthcare, and transportation.

Communities also need to offer a letter of support from the local leaders/municipality and also from the local/regional organization serving the immigrants. The government will also encourage communities having the French-speaking population to submit an application and identify themselves.

Facts regarding the Pilot

  • The last date to submit an application is March 1, 2019.
  • The announcement of successful communities will happen in spring 2019.
  • IRCC has an aim to cooperate with selected communities to identify candidates for seeking PR in summer 2019.
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot launched in March 2017 has four Atlantic Provinces who can nominate 2,500 workers under that pilot for meeting their labor market requirements.
  • Finally, the Canada-Quebec Accord permits the Government in Quebec to select permanent residents for Quebec.
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