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RNIP Program Canada

RNIP Program Could Be Made Permanent Route to Canada

Last Updated On 22 April 2023, 9:52 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program of Canada may become a permanent program or continue in some form after its slated end date of August 2024, according to Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

In fact, the RNIP may even become a permanent immigration program.

Launched as the COVID-19 pandemic was about to hit, the five-year RNIP has been a tremendous success, with skilled immigrants being recruited to work in smaller communities with aging populations and labor shortages.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in a recent public appearance said, “The only critical feedback I’ve received is that the communities that benefit from the program would like to bring more people in through the program.”

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the RNIP welcomed 390 new permanent residents in 2021, according to the latest data from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

However, that number more than tripled to hit 1,360 new permanent residents through the RNIP in 2022.

In January 2023 alone, the program welcomed 510 new permanent residents. If this level of arrivals is continued throughout the rest of 2023, it would mean the arrival of 6,120 immigrants through the program this year, more than four times as many as last year.

“The Rural and Northern Immigration Program has been an enormous success,” said Fraser. He cautioned that evaluating the program’s performance would be somewhat difficult because it was launched during the pandemic.

“We haven’t made formally a decision to make the program permanent yet, not because we don’t like the program, but because the first few years of the program’s existence happened under very challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Benefits of the RNIP program

Through the RNIP, immigrants can settle in smaller communities that may not have been accessible otherwise.

This helps boost local economies, create jobs, and provide communities with the skills they need to thrive.

The RNIP has received praise for its efforts to target labor shortages in small and remote communities across Canada.

This program aims to encourage economic growth in these communities by welcoming skilled workers, who can contribute to local businesses, boost population growth, and create jobs.

“The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program has provided opportunities for newcomers and their families to establish themselves in smaller communities across Canada,” said Ahmed Hussen, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

The benefits of this program extend beyond just the newcomers, as it helps to grow local economies, support small businesses, and contribute to the overall economic success of the country.

This decision has been welcomed by mayors of participating communities, including Timmins Mayor Michelle Boileau, who reportedly stated that the program was having a very positive impact on the business community.

“I’ve heard first-hand from employers that had it not been for the RNIP program, you know, they might not have been able to stay open into the next year,” said Boileau.

The RNIP program requires candidates to meet both federal and community eligibility requirements.

Currently, there are 11 participating communities in the pilot program, which has been praised for its efforts to address labor shortages in small and remote communities across Canada.

“The RNIP has provided a great opportunity for rural communities across Canada to access the talent they need to grow their economies and create jobs,” said Fraser.

This program is helping to revitalize rural areas by bringing in a new generation of workers and entrepreneurs.

The RNIP program’s extension is a significant step forward for Canada’s efforts to attract immigrants to its rural and remote communities.

By providing skilled workers with opportunities to settle in smaller communities, Canada is ensuring that these areas remain vital and prosperous for years to come.

The RNIP has proven to be an effective way to target labor shortages in these communities, and its continuation will only strengthen Canada’s economy as a whole.

Who can apply?


For communities to be included in the pilot they must:

  • Have a population of 50,000 or less
  • be located at least 75km from the core of a census metropolitan area


  • have a population of up to 200,000 people 
  • be considered remote from other larger cities, according to the Statistics Canada Remoteness Index.


To participate in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program, candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria set by both the federal government and the participating communities. 

The federal eligibility requirements for the program include having relevant work experience or being exempt as an international student.

To be eligible for the RNIP, you are required to have at least one year of full or part-time work experience within the last three years.

This work experience should align with the main and essential duties specified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), but it need not be continuous or with the same employer. 

Please note that unpaid and self-employed hours are not considered work experience for the purposes of the RNIP eligibility criteria.

Also, If you are an international student, you are not required to have work experience to be eligible for the RNIP. However, you must have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree, or:

  • Have completed a post-secondary program of at least two years in the recommended community
  • were studying as a full-time student for the full duration of two or more years
  • completed your studies within the 18 months preceding your application for permanent residence and
  • spent at least 16 months of the last 24 months studying in the recommended community to obtain the credential.

If you have graduated with a higher degree, you are also exempt from needing work experience, provided you –

  • studied full-time in the recommended community for the entire duration of their degree
  • received the degree no more than 18 months prior to their application for permanent residence and 
  • were in the community for the entirety of their studies.

RNIP Adjusted Settlement Fund Requirements in September 2022

Under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program, applicants must demonstrate their financial ability to support themselves and their family members while settling in their community.

This includes family members who may not be accompanying them to Canada. 

However, candidates who are already legally working in Canada are exempted from the settlement fund requirements.

It is important to note that the settlement funds cannot be borrowed from another person.

The applicants can provide proof of funds through bank account statements, documents showing real property or other investments like stocks, bonds, or treasury bills, or documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable, such as cheques, traveler’s cheques, banker’s drafts, or money orders. 

The amount of settlement funds required under the RNIP for new applicants who applied with a community recommendation after September 23 last year has been revised and is – 

Settlement funds required under the RNIP for new applicants
Settlement funds required under the RNIP for new applicants.

What is Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program?

The RNIP is an immigration program in Canada that aims to attract skilled workers to settle in smaller and more remote communities that are facing labor shortages and aging populations.

Is the RNIP program successful?

Yes, the RNIP program has been successful in attracting skilled immigrants to smaller communities, and it has received positive feedback from both newcomers and participating communities.

Who can apply for the RNIP program?

To be eligible for the RNIP program, candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria set by both the federal government and the participating communities, including having relevant work experience or being exempt as an international student.

Will the RNIP program continue beyond its end date in August 2023?

Yes, the RNIP program is set to continue beyond its slated end date of August 2023, and it may even become a permanent immigration program in Canada.


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