The government of Canada has announced a new five-year economic immigration pilot program—the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
Accounting for a third of the country’s GDP, rural Canada has been struggling with 40 percent jump in retirement age and 23 percent fall in the workforce between 2001 and 2016.
With close to 80 percent of all immigrants settling in the urban parts of Canada, the Pilot is the first serious attempt by the Federal government to address this issue.
Like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP, this new pilot program is aimed at filling labour shortages in rural Canada and is open to the following provinces and territories— Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
About the Program
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot shall be a community-driven program and open only to communities applying for participation to the IRCC by March 1, 2019.
• Population not exceeding 50,000 and located at least 75 kms from the core of a metropolitan area of 100,000 people or more
• A remote city with a population not exceeding 200,000
The community’s application must cover the following points.
• Indicate how the community fulfills the Pilot’s population and location-related eligibility requirements.
• Presence of middle-class job opportunities in the community.
• Potential impact of immigration on the community’s local economic development priorities.
• Intent to be actively involved in assessing candidates to local job openings and the overall recruitment process.
• Integrated networking and mentoring efforts by local employers, governments and service sectors to connect newcomers.
• Availability of social support infrastructure to help new immigrants navigate education, housing, transportation, health-care and other aspects of settling into the community.
The community will be closely involved in the selection process and ultimately recommend the selected candidates to the Federal government for processing and clearance of the permanent residence applications.
The government intends to bring in 2,750 principal applicants through this program, although the actual number of permanent residents including dependent family members is likely to be higher.
Announcement of selected communities, other rules, and the immigration process under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will be announced by the IRCC later in the year.
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