On December 14, Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, made two announcements on the Rural and North Immigration Pilot (RNIP) changes.
First, applicants no longer need to have accrued work experience for a continuous period of time. Canada will count the work experience if it was obtained within the three years before the application submission.
One year of qualified work experience is still required to be eligible for the program. However, having employment breaks do not render anyone ineligible for the program. This refers to all those who have registered for the pilot already. It applies to those who are applying in the future as well.
Second, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also allows RNIP applicants who are waiting for a decision on their application for permanent residency to apply for a work permit without being penalized because of delays in processing. This temporary measure refers to individuals during the pandemic who are going through the process.
Candidates need to satisfy the RNIP’s admissibility and program criteria despite these changes in order to immigrate to Canada through this pilot.
The RNIP enables some rural communities in Canada to offer skilled workers, pathways to permanent residency. Currently there 11 rural communities take part in RNIP. Ontario’s 5 communities, two communities each from British Columbia, Manitoba, and one community each from Alberta and Saskatchewan are taking part in this pilot program.
Participating communities can set their own eligibility criteria on the basis of their needs in the local labor market.
Earlier to this announcement, one of the participating communities Vernon-North Okanagan, BC has eased some requirements effective December 01, 2020
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and other pilots help bring the skilled workers to the rural areas where they need them.