Top 3 Towns in Canada's Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

March 19, 2021


  • Reuben Walter

One of the lesser known Canadian immigration programs for permanent residency is a one of five pilots called the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. It is a beautifully unique program because like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, it seeks to bring the benefits of economic migration to regions of Canada that new immigrants may not have even considered when planning their move.

With 12 participating communities spread across five provinces, it can be hard to choose where you would like to find a job and settle down. Research is essential, that is why this subjective article about the top 3 towns in Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) may prove to be particularly helpful, as each town has made the list for its own particular set of reasons. To check your eligibility for the RNIP you can follow the link below

Three Great RNIP Towns in Canada

Let’s start with a quick review. What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot? The short answer is that the RNIP is a community driven program designed to spread the benefits of economic migration by offering immigrants who want to live and work in one of the participating communities a pathway to permanent residency. Follow these steps to be eligible for permanent residency in Canada through the RNIP:
  • Make sure you meet both IRCC requirements and the community specific requirements
  • Find an eligible job with an employer in one of the participating communities
  • Submit your application for recommendation to the community, together with a copy of your job offer letter
  • Once you have the community recommendation, submit it to the IRCC with your RNIP application

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Much more of a small city than a large town, Thunder Bay is a stones throw, only 64 kilometers from the United States border. Situated on the western shore of the incredible Lake Superior and home to a population of 121,621 residents, there is a lot of opportunity due to an aging and ongoing reduction in population.

The Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) recommends people for permanent residence who have the skills and experience that the Thunder Bay economy needs. The CEDC was scheduled to make 100 recommendations this year alone, and so far only 32 have been made. The opportunity for permanent residency is waiting to be taken. The following positions have been list as high demand and have openings at present:
Eligible Occupations in NOC Level A, B, C or D
Registered Nurse
Truck Mechanic
Personal Support Worker (Caregiver)
Truck Driver
Heavy Equipment Operator
Concrete, Clay & Stone Forming Operator
Roofers and Labourers - construction
There are numerous other positions available in Thunder Bay not specific to the RNIP that may still make you eligible for a community recommendation. Remember, while communities want to address particular shortages, they are also welcoming to all skilled foreign workers who want to make a positive impact on their economy.

Vernon, British Columbia

This beautiful town of 42,000 residents is also located lakeside in the beautiful region of North Okanagan. There are a number of smaller communities surrounding Vernon, which are also participating in the RNIP under the umbrella of Vernon. This is very helpful to know because it opens up opportunities not just in this town, but a number of other equally beautiful places to create a new home in Canada.

The best and most unique aspect of this region's participation in the pilot, is that it is entirely up to you to find and secure a job in the community. No in-demand jobs, no list of preferred occupations. You find a job and the community will recommend you for permanent residency in Canada. There is a pre-approved job board to help applicants get a jump start on their application and job hunt, but the community recommends you find a job that suits you on popular job boards such as Indeed or Canada Job Bank.

There are currently over 600 positions listed on Indeed in Vernon, BC alone. Because the town is nestled in a valley, from just about anywhere you live in Vernon, you will have a view of the pristine lake and snow capped mountains. There are always community organized activities to take part in throughout the year. Enjoy the corn maze in the fall, the Atlantis waterslides in summer and ski the surrounding slopes in winter. There is also plenty in the way of arts and culture, with a public art gallery, museum, science center, performing arts center and much more.

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

A town steeped in interesting history, it is rumoured that Al Capone used the tunnels below the town to smuggle alcohol during the prohibition. Mac the Moose, a giant mascot, stands guard at the entrance to the town. With a population of a little over 33,000 people, Canada’s most notorious city is also one of the most interesting places to live. Much like in Vernon, once you have a job offer in Moose Jaw all you’ll need is for your employer to register with the RNIP and you can apply for a community recommendation.

There is also a pre-approved job board, but it doesn’t have much to offer. Instead head on over to Saskjobs and find a suitable position in the town of Moose Jaw to be eligible for the RNIP. The unique community spirit and culture of this prairie town is what gives it the edge to climb onto our list of the top 3 towns in Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. With over 300 job posts upon writing this article, you are bound to find an opportunity that suits you.

Eligibility Criteria for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

To be considered eligible for the RNIP, there are certain criteria that you must also meet in addition to having a job offer in one of the participating communities. These include:
  • Having qualifying work experience
    • one year of continuous work experience (1,560 hours) in the past three years; OR
  • Have graduated from a post secondary school in on of the participating communities.
  • Meet or exceed the language requirements for you Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test depending on the category of your occupation:
    • NOC A: Managerial and Professional Occupations - CLB level 6
    • NOC B: Skilled Trades Workers - CLB level 5
    • NOC C and D: Semi-skilled occupations - CLB level 4
  • You must have a minimum of a Canadian high school diploma. If you have qualifications from abroad, you will need to have an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) done to show they are the equivalent of Canadian qualifications.
  • You must show you have adequate settlement funds to support yourself and any dependents when you arrive in Canada.
  • You must intend to live in the community, this can be demonstrated with your job offer and a property rental contract or property purchase agreement.
  • Make sure you also meet the community specific requirements, which will vary depending on where you receive your job offer from.

How MDC Can Help You

There are another eight amazing towns under Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot to consider. The RNIP isn’t even the only way to immigrate to Canada. There are over 100 visa and immigration programs available. It is important that you know all your options and choose a path that is most likely to lead you to your ultimate goal, becoming a permanent resident of Canada. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only optimize your chances of success when you apply for your Canada visa, but you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. Our RCICs are registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and are legally permitted to assist you by evaluating your eligibility, reviewing all documentation and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf.

Let us take care of the paperwork while you plan your life in Canada. We make sure that all forms are completed correctly and sent in on time. Simply fill out our application form to receive your assessment today and take one step closer to a happy life in Canada.