Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Brief Introduction

About the 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.


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.


What you can expect from a community

This pilot is community-driven, meaning the communities will

  • assess prospective candidates who
    • best fit the economic needs of these community
    • have a genuine employment opportunity that meets their community requirements
    • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • connect newcomers with settlement services and mentoring opportunities with established members of the community



IRCC eligibility requirements

Have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in the recommending community

Work experiences

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
    • The hours must be in 1 occupation, but they can be with different employers.
    • The hours must be over a period of at least 12 months.
    • 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


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


  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 your application 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

Meet or exceed the 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 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.


Meet or Exceed the 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)
    • The ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date of your application.
    • 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.


Prove you have enough money to support your transition into the community

Settlement funds

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada, unless you’re already working in Canada under a valid work permit.


You can’t borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to pay the costs of living for your family (even if they’re not coming with you).


Your proof can be 1 or more of the following

  • bank account statements
  • documents that show real property or other investments (such as stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, etc.)
  • documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you (such as banker’s drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders)


The amount of money you need to support your family depends on the size of your family. We update these amounts every year.

Number of family members
(including those you support who aren’t immigrating with you)


Funds you need

(in Canadian dollars)

1 $8,722
2 $10,858
3 $13,348
4 $16,206
5 $18,380
6 $20,731
7 or more $23,080


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

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.


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



Find an eligible job

As a candidate, you must have a genuine job offer to work in 1 of the participating communities.


In addition to the requirements on this page, each community will have their own requirements and job search process. To find a job, you must follow the instructions on their websites.


Once you have a job offer, and meet all the requirements, you can apply for a community recommendation.


Job offer requirements

The job you’re offered must meet all of these requirements:

  • The job must be full-time
    • This means mean you work at least 30 paid hours per week
  • The job must be non-seasonal
    • In general, this means you have consistent and regularly scheduled paid employment throughout the year
  • Your employment is permanent
    • This means that there is no set end date
  •  The wage must meet or exceed the Job Bank’s minimum wage for your job offer’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • Your experience must show that you can perform the duties of the job offered


Skill level

Your job offer must be at the same skill level, 1 level above or 1 level below the NOC that matches your work experience.


Exception: If your experience is in NOC skill level D, then the job you’re being offered must be in the same occupation.


For example:

  • NOC 0 job offer: work experience in NOC 0 or A
  • NOC A job offer: work experience in NOC 0, A or B
  • NOC B job offer: work experience in NOC A, B or C
  • NOC C job offer: work experience in NOC B or C
  • NOC D job offer: work experience in NOC D

IRCC review the main duties of your job offer to confirm that it meets the NOC skill level.



Apply for Community Recommendation

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


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.



Apply for Permanent Residence

Go for the general application process of applying PR



Work Permit (Optional)

1-year work permit

If you have applied for permanent residence under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you may also be eligible for a 1-year work permit. The work permit lets you work while your permanent residence application is being processed.


To qualify for a work permit, you must

  • have an eligible offer of employment from your employer
  • have a recommendation from a participating community
  • be eligible to apply for a work permit
  • have received an acknowledgement of receipt letter from us


This work permit

  • is only for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • is valid for 1 year
  • only lets you work for the employer who offered you the job, in the participating community


Work permits for spouses or common-law partners

Your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit at the same time as you apply for your 1-year work permit.


Their work permit will only let them work in the same community as you.