The Rural And Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

A Comprehensive Guide On The Rural And Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) aims at bringing foreign skilled workers to smaller communities in Canada. This pilot program is designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration in the participating communities by creating a direct path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers.

In this article, we will cover:

What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)?

As the name suggests, RNIP is a community-driven immigration program providing permanent residence opportunities to skilled foreign workers in one of the participating communities in Canada.

The program is a five-year pilot program launched in November 2019 with a target to approve 2,750 permanent residence applications each year until 2024.



Participating communities under the RNIP program

Currently, there are eleven participating communities spread across five provinces under RNIP. Each community has its own eligibility criteria and process for assessing and recommending candidates for PR.

The participating communities are as follows

North Bay, Ontariohttps://northbayrnip.ca/
Sudbury, Ontario https://investsudbury.ca/why-sudbury/move-to-sudbury/rnip/
Timmins, Ontariowww.timminsedc.com
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontariowww.welcometossm.com
Thunder Bay, Ontariohttps://gotothunderbay.ca/
West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbiahttps://wk-rnip.ca/
Brandon, Manitobawww.economicdevelopmentbrandon.com
Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba www.seedrgpa.com
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewanhttps://www.moosejawrnip.ca/
Claresholm, Albertawww.claresholm.ca

Once your application is approved and ready to move to your chosen community in Canada, the community will connect you to newcomer settlement services:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) program
  • Networking services
  • Community connections
  • Information and orientation programs
  • Loan services to help you settle in your new home country

Eligibility criteria for applying for PR under RNIP

Since RNIP caters to the specific skill and labour market requirements of the participating communities, PR applicants need to meet community requirements in addition to the ones laid out by the IRCC.

IRCC eligibility criteria for permanent residence

  • Relevant work experience or completed an eligible study program in the recommending community.
  • Meet the IRCC’s educational and language requirements.
  • Proof of funds to support yourself and your family during the first few months in Canada.
  • Intend to live and work in Canada permanently.

Community-specific requirements for PR under RNIP

Set by the recommending community, the eligibility criteria varies according to the community you are applying for. These criteria help the community decide whether you will be the right fit for the community’s economic development. Some community requirements include:

  • A valid job offer in a field that’s in demand in the community.
  • Relevant work experience in a similar or related field.
  • Language proficiency needed for a particular occupation and in some cases, proficiency in both English and French.
  • A valid driver’s licence.
  • Proof of family or friendship ties to the community.
  • Proof of past residence in rural or remote communities.
  • An exploratory visit to the community.
  • The ability and willingness of your spouse or common-law partner to adapt and contribute to the community.
  • Knowledge of the community.



Please note: Since the PR process under RNIP takes time, you can apply for a work permit once you have a valid job offer. The community often supports these applications, allowing you to start contributing to the economy of the community.

How to apply for permanent residence under RNIP?

Meet the IRCC eligibility criteria and community requirements

Once you have decided to apply for permanent residence under RNIP and the community you want to settle in, you need to check for eligibility under IRCC as well as the community specific requirements you are applying for. You can check the community’s website for information on the specific requirements.

Find full-time employment in the community

Each of the participating communities has a list of in-demand jobs and you need to find employment in one of the listed NOCs in order to qualify for permanent residence under the RNIP program.

To qualify, your job offer must be:

  • From a community employer
  • Full time and nonseasonal
  • Permanent and without an end date
  • At the same or similar skill level as your prior work experience

All participating communities have employment portals on their websites, where you can find eligible employers who have completed the mandatory RNIP training.

Submit your application for recommendation to the community

Once you receive a qualifying job offer, you need to apply for community recommendation. For this, you need to create a candidate profile on the community’s RNIP website and fill all the required information such as details about your education, relevant work experience and so on.

All applicants need to complete the Schedule 1 (IMM 5911) form. In addition, your employer must complete an “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – RNIP” (IMM 5984) form and provide you a copy so that you can add that to your application. Please sign all the necessary documents before uploading it to your profile.

Apply for permanent residence after receiving community recommendation

Once you meet all the requirements, have a valid job offer and completed your online profile, it will be placed into a candidate pool for up to six months.

Typically, your application is reviewed by the community’s Economic Development Organization (EDO). Many participating communities also interview applicants to make sure they are a good match for the community.

Once you receive a recommendation (IMM 0112), you have to apply for your PR.

Gather essential documents

  • Documents listed under the RNIP document checklist (IMM 5987)
  • Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – RNIP form (IMM 5984)
  • Schedule 1 – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 5911) form
  • Recommendation from the designated Economic Development Organization (IMM 0112)
  • A generic application form to Canada (IMM 008) validated with 2D barcodes
  • A background/declaration (IMM 5669)
  • Additional dependents declaration (IMM 0008DEP) if you have more than five dependents even though they are not accompanying you to Canada.
  • Additional family information (IMM 5406), signed by the applicant, their spouse, and dependent children over 18 years of age.
  • Supplementary travel information (IMM 5562)
  • Use of representative declaration (IMM 5476), if applicable

We recommend you to digitally complete these forms to avoid errors. Also having a Licensed Immigration Consultant to guide you through the process can help make your entire process streamlined and focused. At various stages of your application, you may need to provide additional documents, including:

  • Proof of educational background
  • Proof of relevant work experience
  • Language test results for English and/or French
  • Your travel documents
  • Police certification

Please note: If your original documents are in a language other than English or French, you’ll need to get them translated by a certified translator.

Pay the fees online

The application fee is around $1,350 CAD per adult with an additional fee of $230 CAD per dependent child. There is also an additional biometrics fee of $85 CAD per person or $170 CAD per family.

You need a valid email address, a printer, and a credit card or debit card to pay your fees. You can also make an online payment on IRCC’s website. After making the payment, print two copies of the official IRCC receipt and attach a copy to your completed PR application.

Please note: You can pay the right of permanent residence later also but it’s easier to do it at this stage.

Mail your completed application

You now have to send your application to IRCC by regular mail or courier. Please put all the completed forms, supporting documents and fee payment receipt, in a 9” x 12” envelope before mailing it. Mention your full name, address, and postal code on the envelope and affix sufficient postage.

Await acknowledgement of receipt and further instructions

Once the IRCC receives and reviews your application, they will send an acknowledgement of receipt via post or email along with an IRCC file number and instructions on next steps.

Link your application to your IRCC account

Once your application is acknowledged by IRCC, you need to create an IRCC account. You can then view your submitted application and link it to your IRCC account. You need to be very careful at this stage as all the information must exactly match what you put on your original application. Once your application is linked to IRCC, you will start getting all the updates on email.

Please note: Your application should appear on IRCC after five days of receipt. If that is not the case, you would have to report a technical issue to IRCC.



Become a permanent resident of Canada

The IRCC will now review your application and assess it against their selection criteria to ensure you are eligible for PR under RNIP. You might have to take a medical test at this stage. You will get clear instructions regarding the tests and the authorized medical centres where you can go for the test.

Once all your information has been processed and approved, the IRCC will send you a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) along with instructions to get your visa to come to Canada.

Please note: A Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) is not the same as permanent residence. You will only become a permanent resident after you arrive in Canada and get your PR card.

Do I need a job offer to apply for RNIP?

Yes, you need a job offer to qualify for the RNIP program. The purpose of RNIP program is to bridge the labour gap in the most in-demand fields in the community. Having a job offer ensures that you can contribute to the economy of your chosen community from day one and hence you can only submit your application for recommendation after you receive a valid job offer with an eligible employer.

How long does it take to get PR under RNIP?

The processing time is anywhere between 12 to 18 months. It is recommended to apply for a work permit once you get your recommendation from the community and submit your application.

Who can help me get permanent residency under RNIP

Keel’s team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything you need to know about RNIP. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of the entire process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada. 

Schedule your call today, let’s make your Canada dream a reality.

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