Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Gains Traction in Thunder Bay

Published on: September 6th, 2021
Last updated: August 17th, 2023

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program (RNIP) has been gaining traction in the northwestern Ontario city of Thunder Bay.

What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

The three-year pilot program, introduced in 2019, is aimed at attracting immigrants to live and work in less populous cities across Canada. The program provides a pathway to permanent residence for newcomers by connecting them with full-time job openings in select communities across Canada.

Thunder Bay, Ontario is among the 11 locations selected for the program. RNIP is helping the small Ontario city to expand and prosper, currently involving 80 employers across the city.

The pilot program makes it easier for employers in Thunder Bay to hire foreign workers to fill local labour market gaps.

Who has Thunder Bay recommended for permanent residency?

Since January 2021, Thunder Bay made a total of 69 recommendations for permanent residence through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program. The city may recommend another 81 candidates by the end of the year.

Of the individuals successful under this program, about 28% were international applicants. Leading sectors of those selected include accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, and transportation.

It is estimated that Thunder Bay will need between 360 and 1,800 newcomers per year in order to maintain a sustainable workforce and population. The RNIP will help Thunder Bay to meet this goal while providing opportunities for individuals that wish to settle in the city.

Living in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is a mid-sized city located in northwest Ontario. Situated at the end of the Canadian Great Lakes navigation, the beautiful city is surrounded by parks and wilderness. Thunder Bay is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and offers outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.

Some of Thunder Bay’s main industries include transportation, manufacturing, education, mining and forestry.

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