The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was launched in 2019 as an initiative to stimulate economic growth in those areas by attracting skilled workers. This program includes communities in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
Canada is a country well-known for accepting high numbers of immigrants. However, under the current immigration system, the vast majority of new immigrants choose to live in major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot seeks to change this by helping smaller communities to attract newcomers and support their settlement. The pilot program accepts applications from rural and northern communities who want to participate. The communities accepted receive support from the Federal Government to help them identify and select new candidates for permanent residency. The newcomers are expected to have a positive impact on economic development.
This program builds on the successes of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program (AIP) which was launched in 2017. AIP is designed to increase immigration to Canada’s Atlantic Region by pairing up potential newcomers with employers from the region.
Communities Selected for the Rural Immigration Pilot
As of June 2019, eleven communities have been selected to participate in the pilot. These communities will get a range of supports and programs in order to test the pilot.
- Thunder Bay
- North Bay
- Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee
- Moose Jaw
- West Kootenay
Program Requirements – Communities
In order to apply, a community must have a population of 50,000 or less and be located at least 75km from the core of a census metropolitan area, or have a population of 200,000 or less and be considered remove from other larger cities. Communities must be located in one of the following provinces or territories:
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
Communities must submit an economic development plan supported by a local economic development organization that can manage the pilot. Communities also must demonstrate they have employment opportunities available for newcomers, as well as having the ability to support the settlement of newcomers.