Rural and Northern Immigration Program

Rural and Northern Immigration Program

The pilot allows various specialists to immigrate to certain cities in Canada.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is an immigration pilot program for skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in rural and remote communities across Canada's provinces and territories.

Community means a city, town or area in Canada.

The pilot allows towns to invite immigrants who are most in demand in the local labour market. The applicant must find a job in a participating community (list below) and apply for immigration. If approved, the community will issue a recommendation. The principle of operation of the pilot is similar to the Atlantic Immigration Program.

For those who graduated from a college or university in one of the communities, immigration is easier.


There are 11 Canadian communities participating in the Rural and Northern Pilot:

  1. Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  2. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  3. Sudbury, Ontario.
  4. Timmins, Ontario.
  5. North Bay, Ontario
  6. Gretna — Rhineland — Altona — Plum-Coulee, Manitoba
  7. Brandon, Manitoba
  8. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  9. Claresholm, Alberta
  10. West Kootenay, British Columbia
  11. Vernon, British Columbia

We added the location of the communities on the map for clarity:


To apply for the Rural and Northern Pilot, a candidate must meet the general requirements as well as the community-specific requirements. The general requirements are:

  • recommendation from one of the communities above;
  • intention to live in the chosen community;
  • at least 1 year of continuous work experience (at least 1,560 hours) within the last 3 years, the experience can be obtained both in Canada and outside;
  • full-time job offer in one of the participating communities (at least 30 hours per week);
  • high school education;
  • sufficient amount of funds in the accounts (see below);
  • English or French proficiency:
    • NOC TEER 0 or 1 occupation — language level 6 on the Canadian CLB scale;
    • TEER 2 or 3 occupation — CLB 5;
    • TEER 4 or 5 occupation — CLB 4.

The job offer does not have to match the candidate’s work experience but must have the same or lower NOC level.

International students are exempt from work experience requirements if they:

  • completed a full-time education program of at least 2 years at a community college or university;
  • received a diploma, certificate or bachelor's degree within 18 months prior to applying for the program;
  • were in the community for at least 16 months of the last 24 months throughout their studies;


  • obtained a master's degree or higher within 18 months prior to applying for the program;
  • studied full-time throughout the entire period of study;
  • were in the community throughout their studies.

Settlement funds

If the candidate is not working in Canada at the time of applying for the program, they must prove to have enough money to support themself and their family members to settle in the community:

Number of family members Required amount of money in Canadian dollars
1 $2,367
2 $2,947
3 $3,505
4 $4,399
5 $4,989
6 $5,627
7 $6,265
Each additional family member $637

Immigration process

Immigration through the Rural and Northern Pilot takes place in several stages:

1. A potential candidate finds a job in a community and applies for a recommendation.

2. The community reviews applications and issues recommendations to the most suitable applicants.

3. The selected candidate submits an application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which evaluates the candidate’s eligibility according to federal criteria.

4. If approved, the candidate receives permanent residence in Canada.

Work permit

If you have applied for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you can also apply for a work permit. It will allow you to come to the community you chose and start working while your immigration application is being processed. The permit will be valid for 1 year. The spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant can obtain an open work permit not tied to an employer and be employed after moving.

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