Rural And Northern Immigration Pilot: Sudbury Gets Boost To Its Allotment

Rural And Northern Immigration Pilot: Sudbury Gets Boost To Its Allotment
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The northern Ontario city of Sudbury has received a boost in its allocation under Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), to 515 from 325.

“I have seen first-hand the importance of this program across our region,” said Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe.

“Not only has the program directly addressed gaps and challenges such as the labour shortages but it also continues to drive economic prosperity for our communities in ways that will have a generational impact.”

“I have heard directly from employers about how beneficial this program has been to attract workers, grow and expand businesses, and create economic opportunities within our communities.”

Through the five-year RNIP, which is expected to be made into a permanent immigration program soon, skilled immigrants are recruited to work in smaller communities with aging populations and labour shortages.

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“From my perspective, the Rural and Northern Immigration Program has been an enormous success,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has reportedly said.

Fraser has cautioned that evaluating the RNIP’s performance will be somewhat difficult because it was launched during the pandemic.

“We haven’t made formally a decision to make the program permanent yet, not because we don’t like the program, but because the first few years of the program’s existence happened under very challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he reportedly said.

The immigration minister has said the only critical feedback he’s received about the RNIP is that the communities that benefit from the program would like to bring more people in through it.

That’s exactly what’s happening for Sudbury, much to the delight of the city’s mayor and local employers.

“Immigration plays a vital role in growing our population and economy as well as enriching the social and cultural fabric of our community,” said Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre.

“The RNIP program has provided a valuable pathway for newcomers to choose to grow their careers here in Northern Ontario, while simultaneously addressing the needs of local employers seeking specialized and skilled talent.”

Sudbury Mayor, Chamber Of Commerce Exec Delighted To See RNIP Numbers Upped

At the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, chief executive officer Debbi Nicholson agreed.

“The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce applauds the federal government for increasing Sudbury allotment of RNIP candidates,” said Nicholson.

“The RNIP program has been a significant contributor to our local talent pool and has helped many area businesses find skilled workers to fill vacancies. These talented new immigrants and their families provide a wealth of benefits to our community.”

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Through the RNIP, 1,103 immigrants have been able to gain their permanent residency and settle in Sudbury.

“It is great to see the expansion and success of the Northern Rural Immigration Pilot Project so far,” said Nickel Belt MP Marc G. Serré.

“Since its inception, RNIP has facilitated the process of attracting skilled immigrant workers to meet the needs of businesses and to grow communities. I look forward to seeing the continued increase in social and economic development in the Nickel Belt area as more applicants are matched to our region.”

To be included in the pilot, communities 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 up to 200,000 people and is considered remote from other larger cities, according to the Statistics Canada Remoteness Index.

Fraser’s suggestion that the RNIP would continue in some form beyond next year has been music to the ears of participating communities’ mayors.

“I’ve heard first-hand from employers that had it not been for the (RNIP) program, you know, they might not have been able to stay open into the next year,” Timmins Mayor Michelle Boileau reportedly told the CBC.

“So, it’s having a very positive impact on our business community.”

RNIP Applicants Must Meet Both Federal And Provincial Requirements

There are currently 11 participating communities in the pilot program. These include:

Community Community website
North Bay, ON
Sudbury, ON
Timmins, ON
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Thunder Bay, ON
Brandon, MB
Altona/Rhineland, MB
Moose Jaw, SK
Claresholm, AB
Vernon, BC
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), BC


Candidates for immigration through the RNIP must meet both the federal and the community eligibility requirements.

The federal requirements include qualifying work experience or an international student exemption.

Candidates must have one year (1,560 hours) of full or part-time work experience in the last three years but it doesn’t need to be continuous or be with just one employer. It must, however, include most of the main and essential duties listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and unpaid and self-employed hours do not count.

Candidates who are international students are exempt from needing work experience provided they either graduated with a master’s or doctoral degree or:

  • graduated with a credential from a minimum two-year-long post-secondary program in the recommended community;
  • were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of two or more years;
  • received the credential no more than 18 months before the date of application for permanent residence, and;
  • they were in the community for at least 16 of the last 24 months spent studying to get the credential.

Those who graduated with the higher degrees must still:

  • have studied as a full-time student for the duration of the degree in the recommended community;
  • received the degree no more than 18 months before applying for permanent residence, and;
  • have been in the community for the length of their studies.

Proof Of Sufficient Funds Is Required Under The RNIP

There are basic minimum language requirements for the RNIP with the level required based on the classification of the job under the National Occupational Classification system. Candidates must also have a Canadian high school diploma or an equivalent foreign credential with an accredited Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.

The language proficiency can be demonstrated through either the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) standards.

These results must be submitted from a designated language test and be less than two years old at the time of the application.

Under the program, applicants must demonstrate they have enough money to support themselves and family members while they get settled in their community. This includes family members who may not be coming to Canada.

Candidates already working legally in Canada are exempt from settlement fund requirements.

This money cannot be borrowed from another person and the proof of funds can include:

  • bank account statements;
  • documents that show real property or other investments (such as stocks, bonds, debentures or treasury bills), or;
  • documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable such as banker’s drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders.
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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.