How big is a rural or northern community in Canada? Quite big, according to the architects of Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, who recently provided details on community boundaries for the new five-year pilot, through which thousands of newcomers are expected to settle in Canada over the coming years.
For example, the community of Brandon, Manitoba has been selected for participation in the pilot, giving Brandon the opportunity to identify and welcome newcomers with a local job offer who fulfil other community- and program-specific criteria, outlined below. However, it’s not just the bright lights of downtown Brandon that may be in line to welcome newcomers – it turns out that communities in Manitoba within 55 km of downtown Brandon will also be eligible to receive newcomers under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
Four other communities have the boundaries set at between a 25 km and 45 km radius, while the remaining participating communities will follow pre-existing government boundaries.
These generous community boundary markings are good news for potential applicants, as it opens up their potential employment and settlement options beyond the downtown areas.
Moreover, a couple of communities are already accepting applications from workers hoping to immigrate to one of Canada’s rural or northern communities under the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. These include Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba, and Brandon, Manitoba.
Candidates who are interested in applying must make sure that they meet the federal requirements for the program, plus the requirements set out by each community. This includes an eligible job offer from an employer in one of the participating communities.
It is expected that other communities will open to applicants in the near future, as outlined in the table below.
Which communities are participating?
Eleven rural and northern communities across four Canadian provinces have been selected as part of the new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. These communities, some of which already have populations of more than 100,000, will be able to invite newcomers to make these communities their new homes.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was announced in January 2019 as a Canadian immigration initiative to address the labour market needs of smaller communities
As the Canadian population ages and the birth rate declines, rural Canada’s workforce has seen a significant decrease in available workers. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will help attract people that are needed to drive economic growth in these communities. The new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a five-year initiative aimed at testing community-driven approaches to address the labour market needs of smaller communities. Moreover, it is a potential alternative Canadian immigration option for people who have struggled so for to immigration through other pathways, such as Express Entry.
Rural and Northern Pilot communities
See the interactive map below to see the locations of these communities. Click on any of the pins to learn more about a specific community.