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Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: who can apply

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

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


Who can apply To be eligible for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), 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

  • have temporary resident status (if you’re in Canada when you apply)

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

Work experience Exemption for accumulating work experience over a continuous period Due to interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re now exempt from the requirement to accumulate work experience over a continuous period. You can now accumulate qualifying work experience of at least 1 year of full-time work (or an equal amount in part-time work) within the last 3 years, whether that work experience is continuous or not.

This exemption applies to any work interruptions in the 3 years before you submit your permanent residence application. It doesn’t need to be because of a COVID-19-related work stoppage.

All other requirements for work experience and eligibility criteria must be met. You need 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) in the past 3 years unless you’re exempt as above.

To calculate your hours of work experience

  • count the hours worked in part-time and full-time jobs

    • The hours can be in more than 1 occupation and with different employers.

    • The hours must be over a period of at least 12 months.

    • The 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 (such as volunteering or unpaid internships)

  • don’t count hours when you were self-employed

If you work in more than 1 occupation or for more than 1 employer Your work experience must meet the skill level requirement of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) provided in the job offer:

  • NOC 0 job offer: your work experience must be in NOC 0 or A

  • NOC A job offer: your work experience must be in NOC 0, A, or B

  • NOC B job offer: your work experience must be in NOC A, B, or C

  • NOC C job offer: your work experience must be in NOC B or C

  • NOC D job offer: your work experience must be in NOC D

Your work experience must include

  • most of the main duties and all the essential duties listed in your NOC

  • the activities listed in the lead statement of your NOC

You can read which duties are involved by searching your job title on the NOC web page. International students You’re exempt from the work experience criteria above if you’re an international student who graduated with

  1. A credential from a post-secondary program of 2 years or longer and you

    1. were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of the 2+ years

    2. received the credential no more than 18 months before your application for permanent residence

    3. were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying to get your credential

or

  1. A master’s degree or higher and you

    1. were studying as a full-time student for the duration of your degree

    2. got your degree no more than 18 months before you applied for permanent residence

    3. were in the community for the length of your studies


You cannot apply as an international student if your credentials are from a program in which

  • studying English or French made up more than half of the program

  • distance learning made up more than half of the program

  • a scholarship or fellowship was awarded that requires you to return to your home country to apply what you learned

What is a credential? Credential here means a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship from a Canadian publicly funded institution in the community recommending you. You must also have had a valid temporary resident status for the duration of your studies. 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. Find out more about language testing.

Educational requirements You must have one of the following:

  • a Canadian educational credential, such as a

    • Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma

    • Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree


  • an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body that:

    • is less than 5 years old on the date you apply

    • shows you completed a foreign credential equal to a

      • Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma or

      • Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree



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-specific requirements.

Each community will have additional requirements for applicants. Visit their websites to learn about their community-specific requirements.

Community websites



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