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Rural and Northern Pilot Program 

The Rural and Northern Pilot came into effect on 1 November 2019 and sets out to welcome skilled immigrants to fill the economic needs of the following participating rural and northern communities. It provides a pathway to permanent residence for persons with abilities, education, and work experience that will contribute to the Canadian economy and who have an intention to reside in one of the listed communities in the specified provinces below:


North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay


Brandon, Altona/Rhineland.


Moose Jaw



British Columbia

West Kootenay (Trail, Vernon, Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar)

To be eligible, a person must meet both the requirements set by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as well as those of the participating communities. IRCC requires that the person: 

  • Have a minimum of 1 year work experience in any occupation in the past three years, in one occupation inside or outside Canada;

  • Meet the minimum language requirements based on the NOC category that applies to the job offer in the community:
    NOC 0 and A: CLB 6 /NCLC 6;
    NOC B: CLB 5 /NCLC 5;
    NOC C and D: CLB4 /NCLC 4

  • Have a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma, or a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization or professional body showing that a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above was completed;

  • Show that sufficient funds are available to facilitate settlement in Canada, if not already in Canada working on a valid work permit;

  • Must intend to live in the community;

  • Meet community-specific requirements;


International Students are exempt from the requirement to first obtain work experience. Instead, they are required to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have acquired an educational credential for a program of at least 2 years as a full-time student which was received within 18 months of applying for permanent residence and the candidate was  in the community for at least 16 months out of the 2 years of studying; OR

  • Have acquired a master’s degree or higher and the candidate was a full-time student residing in the community for the length of your studies and received the degree within 18 months of applying for permanent residence.


A candidate must also have a job offer that is permanent, non-seasonal, and for a full-time position in an occupation in which the candidate is able to perform the duties. The offer must be for a position  at the same skill level, 1 level above, or 1 level below the NOC that matches the candidate’s work experience, except where the experience is in NOC D; in this case, the job offered must be in the same occupation. The candidate must then apply for a community recommendation. While the communities have varying requirements, generally, an applicant must meet the IRCC eligibility requirements listed above as well as possess a job offer as described previously. They must then apply to the community of interest for a recommendation, and once received, the applicant can then proceed to apply for permanent residence.


Eligibility for a Work Permit

Once an applicant applies for permanent residence, they have the option to apply for a 1-year employer-specific work permit which allows them to work while waiting on a decision on the application for permanent residence.  To apply, the applicant must have the job offer, community recommendation, acknowledgement of receipt letter, and meet the general requirements for a work permit. The spouse or common law partner of the applicant may simultaneously apply for an open work permit.

Funds Required under the Program

The funds required is based on the size of the applicant’s family, even when these family members are not accompanying the applicant to Canada. As such, proof of the below amount should be provided, unless the applicant is already working in Canada legally. 


Think you might be interest in this program?  For more information, contact us using our contact form

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Government of Canada  has implemented travel restrictions which prohibit some persons from entering Canada, and may require additional documents for those who are exempted from same. As such, please click here to find out if you are eligible for travel to Canada. 

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