The Thunder Bay Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is open to applications. Permanent residency can now be obtained via a Community nomination by Thunder Bay, but only local applicants are currently being considered.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, is located on top of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. A famous statue stands on the outskirts of the city, commemorating Terry Fox, a Canadian icon who tried to run across the country raising money for cancer research.
With a population of about 107,909, it is the largest city in north-western Ontario. Confederation College and Lake head University are situated in Thunder Bay. Public sector drives the economy, as it is the commercial, administrative, and medical centre of the region. A part of the forestry industry is the biggest employer in the private sector
To expand labour markets outside urban centres, RNIP offers a way for immigrants to get permanent residence working in 11 participating communities. Applications for the Thunder Bay RNIP were available in early mid-April, although, since January, the program has been hiring employees.
Thunder Bay is permitted to propose 100 permanent residence applicants for the pilot's first year out of which it has already issued two community recommendations for workers in jobs with a skill level B of the National Occupation Code. Thunder Bay’s allocations are distributed according to skill levels. They will issue a total of 10 recommendations to Level A, 40 each to skill level B and Level C and the remaining 10 recommendations to Level D.
The representative of the pilot, Emily Lauzon, reports they got about 18 applications for the initiative, and they have more than 40 participating employers. Most employers wanted to sign up for the RNIP to retain an employee.
Lauzon said she had anticipated that most employers would be more interested in keeping current workers in the first year of the three-year plan. Coronavirus travel restrictions also affect the RNIP operations, as only applicants who are already in Canada may apply at this time.
Currently, the types of positions available through the Thunder Bay RNIP to foreign talent include hospital personnel, long-term care workers, HVAC specialists, automotive technicians, construction and renovation workers.