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Canada launches new immigration program for northern and rural communities

On January 24th, Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, announced the creation and launch of a new immigration pilot program to support immigration to Canada’s northern and rural communities. Inspired by the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) the new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot aims to attract and retain new immigrants in these communities.

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Overview: The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Canada is a country well-known for accepting high numbers of immigrants. However, under the current immigration system, the vast majority of new immigrants choose to live in major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot seeks to change this by helping smaller communities to attract newcomers and support their settlement.

The pilot program accepts applications from rural and northern communities who want to participate. Those communities who are accepted will receive support from the Federal Government to help them identify and select new candidates for permanent residency. The newcomers are expected to have a positive impact on economic development.

This program builds on the successes of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program (AIP) which was launched in 2017. AIP is designed to increase immigration to Canada’s Atlantic Region by pairing up potential newcomers with employers from the region.

With such innovative new programs being tested across Canada, hopeful newcomers can remain optimistic that Canada will continue developing more options for immigration.

Eligibility Criteria & Application Process

Presently, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is accepting applications from Canadian communities who want to participate. Immigrants are not eligible to apply to the program at this stage.

In order to apply, a community must have a population of 50,000 or less and be located at least 75km from the core of a census metropolitan area, or have a population of 200,000 or less and be considered remove from other larger cities. Communities must be located in one of the following provinces or territories:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Communities must submit an economic development plan supported by a local economic development organization that can manage the pilot. Communities also must demonstrate they have employment opportunities available for newcomers, as well as having the ability to support the settlement of newcomers.

To apply, eligible communities must submit a Community Interest Form along with all required documents before the deadline of March 1st, 2019.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, simply complete our free assessment!

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The Canadim Team!


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