Fri | Dec 2, 2022

Immigration Corner | Are there opportunities to work in rural areas of Canada?

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2022 | 12:05 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I would like to work in one of the rural communities in Canada. Is there a programme that deals specifically with immigration to areas outside of Toronto? I’m not really a city guy, and I hear that there are ways to move to these areas that are easier than the Express Entry Aystem. I am a hard-working man and just looking for opportunities to make things better for my kids and family. Can you tell me how I can qualify to live and work in the country areas of Canada?


Dear RT,

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) was instituted as a method of ensuring that rural and smaller communities can benefit from skilled and professional immigrants who want to settle in these communities. It is community driven and designed with the needs of the community in mind. This means that each community will have its own requirements based on its specific needs.

The RNIP is designed to assist the following communities: Sault Ste Marie, North Bay, Timmins, and Thunder Bay in Ontario; Brandon, Altona/Rhineland in Manitoba; Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan; Claresholm in Alberta; West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson) and Vernon in British Colombia.

These communities have their own websites with the requirements and details of the application process. They will be the ones assessing your qualifications. They will evaluate if you are a good fit for their community and will need evidence that you plan to stay in their community to be part of its growth and development. They will also offer settlement and mentoring services once you have been approved.


This programme is linked to the Express Entry System, so you must first ensure that you meet Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s eligibility requirement before you apply. You must clearly demonstrate that you qualify under one of the federal immigration programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trades Programme or Canadian Work Experience Class.

These programmes require that you have proof of the equivalent of a Canadian education required to do the job. Additionally, you must meet the minimum language requirement for either English or French or both languages. That means doing the International English Language Testing System, General Training examination in your home country. For your application to be competitive, you should strive to score around eight out of 10 for reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Although the amount required for settlement funds has been reduced recently, you must be able to demonstrate that you are able to meet the minimum requirement at the time of applying.

You must have an eligible job offer from an employer in one of the communities listed above. Once you have a valid job offer, the employer will provide you with an RNIP Offer of Employment Form. This form must be submitted with your application to the community. Your application will then be assessed based on the requirements of each community. If you qualify, you will be given a nomination letter to apply for permanent residence via IRCC express entry system.


Since you are interested in rural areas, you may look at the Atlantic Immigration Programme as well. Many skilled individuals and international graduates have benefitted from this programme. It is one of the easiest pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers who are interested in living in the Atlantic provinces.

These provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland, and Labrador. This programme is geared at assisting employers in these provinces to find and hire qualified candidates for jobs that they have not been able to fill.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public in Ottawa, Ontario. She is the member of the Law Society in Ontario and Jamaica. Send your questions or comments via Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You may also call 613.695.8777 to book a telephone or zoom meeting.