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Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot for Nigerians

Many rural communities in Canada are struggling with an ageing population and skills shortages. They often struggle to attract new immigrants. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is Nigerian people’s opportunity to help and a pathway to permanent residence and eventually citizenship.

If you want to learn more about the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and are interested in getting involved, you can contact the expert immigration lawyers and advisors at Immigration Advice Service. Contact our Lagos team at +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

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    Regardless of what your Canadian immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Are you Considering the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

    If you are interested in learning how you can move to Canada through this pathway, reach out to our team of experienced lawyers today. We provide accurate and reliable information on up-to-date requirements, amongst other related conditions, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of all aspects involved.

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    Overview of Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

    Throughout 2022 and 2023, the Canadian government has been implementing and expanding its RNIP program. At the time of writing, there were 11 rural communities involved:

    • North Bay, Ontario.
    • Sudbury, Ontario.
    • Timmins, Ontario.
    • Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
    • Thunder Bay, Ontario.
    • Brandon, Manitoba.
    • Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba.
    • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
    • Claresholm, Alberta.
    • Vernon, British Columbia.
    • West Kootenay, British Columbia.

    There are several factors that connect each of these communities. Firstly, they share the geographical characteristics of having a small population. RNIP communities must have a population of 50,000 or less and be located 75 km or more from a major city. Alternatively, they can have a population of up to 200,000 if they are considered to be remote.

    These communities often have a significant skills shortage, and RNIP is a community-centred initiative that allows rural communities to enjoy the benefits of economic immigration.

    RNIP is a five-year-long program, and there are still plenty of opportunities for Nigerians to get involved.

    Requirements to Come to Canada as an RNIP Immigrant

    There are a range of requirements established by the federal government which Nigerians must follow if they want to be involved in this immigration pilot. If they are coming based on their work experience, they need to be able to prove the following:

    • One year of full-time work experience in the last three years. The year does not have to be continuous.
    • Work experience must be in one occupation, but it can be with different employers.
    • It must feature the majority of the main and essential duties which can be found in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
    • The work experience cannot be unpaid or self-employed.

    International students do not need to prove work experience. However, they must fit one of two scenarios. The first scenario is for a graduate of a two-year or longer post-secondary program inside of the community they are applying for. In this case, they must have spent 16 of the last 24 months during which they were studying inside of the community.

    The second scenario is graduates who studied for a master’s degree or higher in the recommended community. Master’s graduates must have remained inside the community for the length of their studies.

    Whichever scenario or work experience is relevant to your RNIP application, you have a range of basic requirements to fulfil. Nigerians must be able to prove the following:

    • Minimum language requirements. Nigerians must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) grade of between 4 and 6, depending on the exact job they are applying for.
    • Minimum education requirements. Nigerians must have achieved a high school diploma or higher.
    • Minimum settlement funds. Nigerians must have enough savings to support themselves. This starts at CAD$8,722 and rises for every family member you bring with you.
    • The intention is to reside permanently in the community.

    Please note that these are only the basic requirements that are enforced on a federal level. You will also need to align with the requirements that each community has established.

    Our team is well-versed in the nuances of the RNIP program for Nigerians. Reach us Now.

    Applying for RNIP and Permanent Residence


    If you match the requirements listed above and the additional requirements specified by the community you want to apply for, you can begin the application process. There are two stages to be aware of:

    1. Apply for community recommendation.
    2. Apply for permanent residence.

    The following section will help you to navigate these stages to get permanent residence via the RNIP program.

    Applying for Community Recommendation

    Community recommendation is the seal of approval to confirm that a community would like you to migrate there. It is a vital precursor to applying for permanent residence and has a distinct application process.

    The first step is to get a job offer for a position that meets the community’s eligibility requirements. With this position, you are then able to apply for community recommendation. Research your chosen community to discover what their specific process is, and show in your application how you are a fit for their economic development needs.

    Once you have been awarded a community recommendation, you can apply for permanent residence.

    Applying for Permanent Residence

    Next, apply for permanent residence online. There are a host of forms that you will need to complete as PDFs, sign by hand, and then re-upload onto the system. All applicants will need to complete the following forms for themselves and any family members they are bringing with them from Nigeria.

    • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
    • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
    • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
    • Supplementary Information – Your Travels (IMM 5562).

    They are a few additional forms that some applicants may need to complete. If you are in a common-law partnership, you must complete the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). If you are bringing children with you, but you are not accompanying them on their travels, you must also complete a Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada (IMM 5604).

    Your prospective employer will also have to complete the Offer of Employment to a Foreign National – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 5984). Once they have completed it, you will need to sign the form and upload it onto your application for permanent residency.

    Finally, the recommending community will need to prove that they have recommended you for permanent residency. They will complete a Recommendation from the Designated Economic Development Organization – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (IMM 0112). Again, you will need to upload the completed form onto your application.

    RNIP Fees and Processing Times

    It should be noted that the fees and processing times for RNIP are quite extensive. The fee is a total of $1325. This combines an $825 processing fee and a $500 right of permanent residence fee.

    The processing time is also lengthy. The amount of time taken to receive a recommendation from a Canadian community varies based on the community. You will need to contact community immigration representatives to learn what this will be. The processing time is clearer after you have received your community recommendation, as your application will move to the federal level to get your permanent residency approved. You can expect this to take roughly 12-18 months.

    Connect with us today to embark on your RNIP journey

    How Can IAS Help?

    Applying for permanent residency in Canada through RNIP can be a challenging process because every community involved has a different application procedure for community recommendation. IAS’ expert immigration lawyers and advisors are well-positioned to help you succeed in this application. We have worked with people from all over the world to work through the complex nature of the Canadian federal and provincial immigration services to realise their dream of moving to Canada.

    Our team can help you throughout each stage of the application, and once you have lived in Canada for long enough, we can help you apply for citizenship. If you want to find out more about how we can assist you, call our Lagos office at +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    When a Nigerian arrives in their community within the RNIP system, they will be free to begin their new life as a permanent resident in the Canadian community. They will be connected to non-profits or local government organisations that will help them adapt to the community. This includes settlement services to help you find permanent accommodation and mentoring with local community leaders

    Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, set the initial end date for the RNIP program as August 2024. However, it has been highly successful, and the Canadian government is looking to expand the program and make it permanent. The program will expand over four times in 2023 to 6,120 permanent residents arriving in Canada via RNIP.

    The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is continuing to develop, including adding more rural communities into the pilot. However, the most interesting change for Nigerians is the adjustments made to the settlement fund requirements, which happened in September 2022.

    The primary change is that this requirement to have enough funds to support yourself has been waived for Nigerians who are already working in Canada. But for all candidates, the required amount of money has been significantly reduced, which will make the program even more appealing.

    It must be remembered that you will not be allowed to take out a loan for the settlement fund. If the Government of Canada learns that you have done this, your visa application for permanent residency will be rejected.

    Nigerians should be aware that every community involved will have different priority occupations which they want RNIP applicants to fill. These occupations are those for which the local workforce is unable to fulfil the demands. You will need to look on your desired community’s website to see if they have specifically listed your occupation as one of their priorities. To take West Kootenay as an example, the occupations they are seeking are listed in the following categories:

    • Accountants, Accounting Technicians & Bookkeepers.
    • Industrial, Electrical, and Construction Trades.
    • Computer Systems Developers & Programmers, Software Developers and Programmers.
    • Nursing and Health Care Aides
    • Social and Community Service Workers
    • Early Childhood Educators and Early Childhood Educator Assistants
    • Chefs, Cooks, and Bakers
    • Hotel Front Desk Clerks
      Construction Managers
    • Mechanics
    • Transport Truck Drivers and Taxi drivers.

    If you have work experience in one of these sectors, then West Kootenay may be the community for you.

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