Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot


The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the participating communities.

Participating communities

The pilot will launch in participating communities at different times. If a website is listed as “coming soon,” the pilot hasn’t launched in that community.


North Bay, ON Coming soon
Sudbury, ON Coming soon
Timmins, ON Coming soon
Sault Ste. Marie, ON www.welcometossm.com
Thunder Bay, ON www.gotothunderbay.com
Brandon, MB Coming soon
Altona/Rhineland, MB www.seedrgpa.com
Moose Jaw, SK Coming soon
Claresholm, AB Coming soon
Vernon, BC Coming soon
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC Coming soon

About the process

There are 4 steps to applying for permanent residence under this pilot.

1. Check that you meet both
1. IRCC eligibility requirements and
2. the community-specific requirements.
2. Find an eligible job with an employer in one of the participating communities.
3. Once you have a job offer, submit your application for recommendation to the community.
4. If a community recommends you, apply for permanent residence.

Each community will also have its own
• additional eligibility requirements
• job search process
• community recommendation application process

This information will be available on its website.

Who can apply

To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, you must meet all IRCC eligibility requirements. You must
• 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

If you meet all of the requirements, you can start to look for an eligible job in the community.

Work experience

You need 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years.
To calculate your hours of work experience
• count the hours worked in part-time and full-time jobs
o The hours must be in 1 occupation, but they can be with different employers.
o The hours must be over a period of at least 12 months.
o These working hours can be inside or outside Canada.

If you worked in Canada, you must have been allowed to work in Canada.
• don’t count hours you weren’t paid for (volunteering or unpaid internships don’t count)
• don’t count hours when you were self-employed
Your work experience must include
• most of the main duties and all the essential duties listed in your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
• the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC
You can see which duties are involved by searching your job title on the NOC web page.

Language requirements

You must meet the minimum language requirements based on the NOC category that applies to the job offer in the community. This can either be the
• Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or
• Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)
The minimum language requirements for each NOC category are
• NOC 0 and A: CLB/NCLC 6
• NOC B: CLB/NCLC 5
• NOC C and D: CLB/NCLC 4
You must submit your results from a designated language test. These results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.

Educational requirements

You must have
• a Canadian high school diploma or
• an educational credential assessment (ECA) report, from a designated organization or professional body, showing that you completed a foreign credential that’s equal to Canadian secondary school (high school)
o The ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application.
o If the ECA report was issued by a designated organization, the original report must have been issued on or after the date the organization was designated.
Settlement funds
Unless you’re already working legally in Canada when you apply, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself and any family members while you get settled in your community.
You must prove you have enough money to support any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.
Find out more about settlement funds.
Intend to live in the community
To participate in the pilot, you must plan to live in the community.

Community requirements

Each community has its own recommendation process.
Community websites will tell you
• how the application process works
• what documents you’ll need to apply
When applying to a community for recommendation, you’ll be asked to provide supporting documents.
• Don’t provide original versions. You’ll need them when you apply for permanent residence.
• Do provide copies of your documents.

General requirements

For all community applications, you must
• prove that you meet all the requirements for the pilot
• have an eligible job offer
If a community recommends you, you can apply for permanent residence.