About RNIP

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a new community-driven immigration program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in Thunder Bay.

The RNIP allows eligible employers to make full time permanent job offers to skilled foreign workers who can help fill identified labour shortages in our city.

The Thunder Bay CEDC recommends people for permanent residence who have the skills and experience that the Thunder Bay economy needs, and the Government of Canada makes the final decision to approve applications for permanent residence.

 Priority Occupations

 

Priority occupations are set by the CEDC and determined using a variety of sources including local employers’ experiences, historical labour market reports and future labour market projections and may be amended from time to time.

Employers must provide full time permanent employment opportunities in a priority occupation in order to become eligible to give job offers with the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot.

Candidates must receive a full time permanent job offer in a priority occupation from an eligible employer in order to apply for a community recommendation.

A list of priority occupations can be found on our employer’s page.

 How to participate

 

Applicants

There are two ways you might participate in the RNIP pilot program. 

1.    You are currently employed in a priority occupation in Thunder Bay

2.    You are not employed in a priority occupation OR you are outside of Thunder Bay

 

You are currently employed in a priority occupation in Thunder Bay

If you are a temporary resident living in Thunder Bay and you are currently employed or being offered full time permanent employment in a priority occupation:

  • Make sure you meet all of the federal eligibility criteria for the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot.

  • Ask your employer to contact the Thunder Bay CEDC to begin the employer screening process.

  • If your employer is eligible and an official job offer has been made, you will be authorized to submit an application for a community recommendation.

               

A note for International graduates

To qualify for the RNIP, international graduates from Confederation College or Lakehead University still need to be offered a full time permanent position in a priority occupation within Thunder Bay. Some international graduates will be exempt from the federal eligibility criteria for “work experience”.  To find out if you are exempt from this criteria, check the federal eligibility criteria.

You are not employed in a priority occupation OR you are outside of Thunder Bay

If you are a temporary resident within Canada or you are a foreign national living outside of Canada:

  • Make sure you meet all of the federal eligibility criteria for the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot.

  • Find out if your skill set is needed in Thunder Bay.

  • Explore job vacancies that are posted with eligible employers

  • Apply directly to the employers following the instructions on the job posting

  • Once an official job offer has been made you will, you will be authorized to submit an application for a community recommendation.

 

Don’t meet the RNIP requirements?  For other ways to immigrate to Thunder Bay, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

 Application process

 

There are four main steps to follow when applying through the RNIP in Thunder Bay:

1. Eligibility

Make sure that you meet all of the federal eligibility criteria to participate in the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot.

 

2. Job Offer

The candidate must have received a full time permanent job offer with an eligible employer in a priority occupation

 

3. Community Recommendation

Once a job offer has been made, the candidate becomes eligible to apply for a community recommendation. All potential candidates should review the community recommendation criteria and instructions on the applicant’s page. The CEDC Workforce Development Officer will contact eligible candidates with instructions on how to submit their application for a community recommendation. Applications and job offers are reviewed by a selection committee to ensure that the candidate’s skills are needed in our community and that they intend to reside here. They also assess a newcomer’s need for supports and services once they arrive.

 

4. Permanent Residency

The CEDC forwards recommendations for successful candidates to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  Candidates with a community recommendation and job offer are then eligible to submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC.

 Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Q: IELTS Test Centres are closed, does this affect my ability to apply to the RNIP?

A: Yes, applicants must have valid language results to apply for a community recommendation.  If you have not completed language testing yet, you will have to wait to apply until the testing centres reopen.

 

2. Q: How long does the RNIP process take?

A:  This is a question we get a lot and the timeline can be impacted by a variety of factors such as:

  • how prepared an applicant is (eg: eligibility, prepared with all required documents)
  • where they are located (in Canada, outside of Canada)
  • their personal circumstances, and any medical and/or inadmissibility issues
  • the recent changes in how we manage the program due to the requirements to work remotely.
  • How far along we are in the program and whether or not we have met our skills caps for the year

Our community has not yet made any recommendations, and no one has received their PR through RNIP yet. So, until we have had a few successes, it is difficult to predict how long the entire process will take.

However, we expect the time line to look something like this:

  1. Once a candidate has a full time job offer and has submitted a complete application to the selection committee, they will get a response within a month. 
  2. If they receive a recommendation and submit their permanent residency paperwork to IRCC it can take anywhere from 1-3 months to get a confirmation of receipt (that their application is complete and going for processing).
  3. We expect that immigration process could take anywhere up to a year to receive the final PR documents.

 

3. Q: When will Thunder Bay start accepting applications for community recommendation?

A:  Thunder Bay is currently accepting applications for community recommendation where a candidate has a full-time job offer in a priority occupation with an eligible employer. Unlike some other communities, the application process is not available for general submissions.  Only candidates who meet all of the federal eligibility criteria, and meet the community requirements (job offer + priority occupation + approved employer) are authorized to submit an application for community recommendation.  This process is handled by the CEDC Workforce Development Officer.  If you meet these conditions and require further instructions, please contact Emily Lauzon elauzon@thunderbay.ca

 

4. Q: What is the cost to apply for Permanent Residency under the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot?

A: The application fee for permanent residence under the Rural and Northern Immigration pilot is $1040 CAN.  This fees consists of both a processing fee ($550) and a right of permanent residence fee ($490).  Additional fees apply if you have a spouse and dependents.  You can find the full fee schedule here.

If you are applying for a community recommendation in Thunder Bay there are no additional application fees associated with that process.

 

5. Q: I’m interested in migrating to Thunder Bay through the RNIP. Can the CEDC help me find a job?

A: Unfortunately, at this time, the CEDC does not have resource in place to help prospective RNIP candidates secure job offers. It is up to the candidate to connect directly with employers who are hiring in Thunder Bay.

Vacancies from approved RNIP employers will be posted on this gotothunderbay.ca once they are confirmed. 

Check out our various employment directories to find new opportunities and apply to employers directly. If an employer is interested in using the RNIP, please direct them to our office.

Apply directly to the employers following the instructions on the job posting.

Once an official job offer has been made you will become eligible to submit an application for a recommendation from the Thunder Bay community.

 

6. Q: What employers are approved to give job offers through RNIP?

A: Good news! We have started to post qualifying employment opportunities on gotothunderbay.ca

You can apply directly to employers following instructions in the job ads.

New positions will be added as they become approved.  Information about getting a community recommendation will be coming soon!

 

7. Q: I’m a refugee claimant, am I eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

A: No. Applicants must submit proof (to IRCC) that they have valid immigration status in Canada.

As per the Ministerial Instructions for RNIP: Application from within Canada 10 If a foreign national is in Canada at the time of their permanent resident visa application, they must have temporary resident status.

Contact(s)