IRCC Minister Mendicino announces more flexibility in Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced new changes to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) to make it more accommodating for applicants. The RNIP is a community-driven program that allows smaller communities to learn and share the benefits of economic immigration. The program helps the smaller communities to find the workers they need by allowing permanent residence for skilled foreign workers.
The new RNIP policy states that candidates do not have to obtain eligible work experience over a continuous period. Now, candidates can show that they have earned the required one (1) year of eligible work experience (1,560 hours) in the three (3) years prior to their application. The new policy is not only for future applicants, but also for past and current applications. The new requirements ensure that candidates are not disciplined for any breaks between employment, including layoffs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: candidates must meet all other existing RNIP requirements.
IRCC has also added a temporary measure that allows RNIP applicants waiting on a decision for their permanent residence application, can apply for a work permit without being penalized due to pandemic related processing delays.