Canada has launched a new economic immigration pilot program called the Rural and Northern Pilot for the rural and northern communities in Ontario, Western Canada and three Canadian territories. Under the program, foreign workers with various skill levels can obtain permanent residence in eligible communities in the beneficiary provinces and territories. Eligible communities, according to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), can be either a city with a population of 50,000 or less located at least 75 kilometres from the core of a metropolitan area of 100,000 or more, or a city of up to 200,000 people that qualifies as remote.
The provinces and territories included in the Rural and Northern Pilot are:
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
As the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIPP), the new Rural and Northern Pilot will operate in alignment with the Canada Provincial Nominee Program. By launching the new Pilot, Canada is aiming to make sure that the benefits of immigration is shared across the country. The Pilot is also expected to boost the economic development of smaller communities.
Eligible communities in the identified provinces and territories can apply to participate in the Pilot program until March 1. In order to be eligible to apply, the communities must meet certain criteria including vacant job opportunities waiting to be filled with eligible workers. The application must be submitted with the support of a local development organization. According to the IRCC, the local community and the economic development organization will be responsible under the program to recruit and assess the immigration candidates on the basis of local economic needs and job openings, and recommend deserving candidates for permanent residence. After accepting the applications, IRCC will reveal the details of the communities selected for the pilot program in the spring. Information on the immigration process through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will be revealed later this year.
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