The Canadian Government has opened up a new pilot program designed to assist Ontario’s rural and northern communities, the three territories in Canada, and Western Canada in retaining skilled workers who are foreigners.
This program is established on the platform raised by the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, a program which kicked off two years ago.
The new program will ease the process of obtaining permanent residence by foreign workers featuring in different skill levels in certain communities in the following territories and provinces; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, North West Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
The Rural and Northern Pilot Program has been designed to run simultaneously with the Provincial Nominee Program.
Eligibility Criteria for Communities to participate in the Pilot Program
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada have pointed certain factors that would be looked out for in a community before it is being considered for the Northern and Rural Immigration Pilot Program.
The first is the population of the community. If the population of a community is 50,000 or less, the community’s geographic location must at least be 75,000 kilometers away from the heart of a metropolitan area with a population of 100,000 or more people to be considered for the pilot program.
If the community has a population of up to 200,000 people and is being seen as a remote community by other larger cities, it can also be considered for the program.
Also, interested communities will be required to show that there are available employment opportunities in the community and would be very active when it comes to linking up applicants with jobs.
IRCC requires that communities that are willing to participate in the program should partner with an economic development program to certify their eligibility for the program and how immigration can encourage local economic development.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
This is an employer-driven program which started in 2017. It collaborated with businesses in New Brunswick, New Foundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island to employ foreign workers in local vacancies. As at 2018, these four provinces were given a chance to endorse over 2,500 international students and workers for Permanent Residence in Canada.
On the 24th of January, when the new program was launched, Ahmed Hussen, the IRCC minister said that the aim of creating a pilot program which focuses on Immigration to Northern and Rural communities is to see to it that every part of the country enjoys the benefits of Immigration.
The Minister for Rural Economic Development in Canada, Bernadette Jordan, added that the importance of the pilot program cannot be underemphasized.
The program intends to assist in the economic growth of smaller communities through the testing of new community-driven strategies which can tackle the various needs of its labor market.
Deadline for community application
The IRCC has opened the portal for submission of applications by qualified communities in the Territories and Provinces earlier identified that are interested in the program.
The deadline for submission of applications is 1st March 2019. Qualified communities will be announced during Spring.
The Economic Development Organization and the Local Community are responsible for assessment and recruiting of Immigration candidates from available employment opportunities and economic needs. They are also responsible for recommending certain applicants for Permanent Residence.
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