The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Program is an economic driven immigration program intended to attract foreign nationals to settle and establish their life in some far-reaching provinces in Canada that is in need of the population. RNIP allows rural parts of Canada to sponsor skilled workers and help them build a stronger community.
The RNIP program will be enforced for 5 years with a maximum of 2,750 complete applications from a principal applicant each year. In its course, it is expected to have at least 13,750 immigrants through this immigration program alone.
One important thing to remember for immigrants who want to be part of the RNIP is that they should prove that they intend to reside in the community that is recommending them. These communities are:
- 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
Like any immigration stream, there are eligibilities that you need to meet in order to get invited for permanent residency under the RNIP. These eligibility requirements are:
- Community Recommendation
As mentioned, RNIP is a pilot program intended to aid the economy of participating communities by improving their work force. So, it is a must for aspiring immigrants that a community recommend them for permanent residency. You can think of it like a Provincial Nominee Program but in a more specific community.
- Minimum Education Requirements
You must have at least a high school diploma or a post-secondary education merit that is valid or equal to a Canadian equivalent. If you finish your studies outside of Canada, you must have it assessed in its Canadian equivalency through an Educational Credential Assessment that is no more than five years old at the time of application.
- Minimum Language Proficiency Requirements
RNIP has a very basic language requirement. The language requirement depends on your job code or NOC, and you can either do it in English or French: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). Your language exam must not be more than two years at the time that your application was received.
- Minimum Work Experience
Basically, the work experience required for RNIP is one year of continuous, paid work in the past three years that the applicant has stayed in the recommending community, to which he has fulfilled the duties stated in his NOC.
- Minimum Job Offer Requirements
Your employer must be in the community recommending you. Your job offer must contain three keywords: that the job is full-time and non-seasonal, it is without an end date—meaning you are employed for an indeterminate period—and that the NOC applies to your work experience.
- Minimum Settlement Funds
Applicants who wish to settle in Canada must be able to show proof of enough funds to cover their cost of living, including funds for any family member accompanying you. For up-to-date proof of financial requirement, visit canada.ca.
Why is RNIP a good option for international students who wants to settle in Canada?
RNIP is probably a good option for you if you are planning to go on the study pathway to permanent residency for one major reason: international students who studied and have graduated and has expressed their intent to settle in any of the RNIP participating community DO NOT NEED previous work experience to join the pilot program.
International students must meet this eligibility criteria to qualify:
1. You must have a credential from a post-secondary of at least 2 years or more, or you have a master’s degree or higher credential.
2. You were a full-time student for the duration of 2 years.
3. Your credentials are no more than 18 months before the time of application for permanent residency.
4. You were in the participating community for at least 16 months of your 24 months study period, or the whole length of your program if you did a master’s or higher credential.
5. You have a valid status and permit when you were studying.
However, you do not qualify for this exemption IF:
a. more than half of your program comprises studying in English or French
b. more than half of your program is made up of distance learning.
c. your studies were financed through a scholarship or you have been awarded a fellowship that will require you to return to your home country.
If RNIP is something that sounds inviting to you, remember that this program is time-sensitive and with a cap, so you must act now while it is still ongoing.