Minister Mendicino announces increased flexibility in Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and welcomes practical nurses
December 14, 2020—Ottawa—Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced changes to make the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) more flexible for applicants and welcomed the first two practical nurses under the Pilot to Sault St. Marie.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program that spreads the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities. It helps these communities to attract the workers they need by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers.
Under the changes to the program, candidates will no longer have to obtain eligible work experience over a continuous period of time. Instead, they can demonstrate that they have accumulated the required 1 year of eligible work experience (1,560 hours) in the 3 years preceding their application, even if there were breaks in their employment. The policy applies to all applications received under the Pilot, as well as all future applications going forward.
Altering this requirement ensures that candidates are not penalized for short breaks in their employment history, including temporary work interruptions or layoffs caused by the pandemic.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has also introduced a temporary measure that allows RNIP applicants who are waiting for a decision on their permanent residence application to apply for a work permit without being penalized due to processing delays caused by the pandemic.
These measures come as IRCC announces the first permanent residents accepted under RNIP. Minister Mendicino spoke of how proud he was to welcome Alexander Nangpukin Likilasua and Brilla Mercy Kunjumon, who are working as licensed practical nurses in Sault Ste. Marie, and how grateful he is for their service and dedication to their patients during the pandemic.
“Newcomers have played an outsized role in our hospitals and long-term care homes during the pandemic. They also account for roughly one in four of Canada’s licensed practical nurses—like Alexander and Brilla—and one in three of our family doctors and pharmacists. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and other pilots, are helping to get the workers we need to places like Sault Ste. Marie, where we need them. We’re going to continue working to ensure that the benefits of immigration are felt in cities and towns across our country.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“Strong economies in rural Canada benefit all Canadians. That’s why our government has invested in universal broadband and rural infrastructure, and so strongly supported our growers and producers. Our government has heard from rural leaders across the country. We have heard the call for growing the skilled workforce in rural communities through immigration. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will create jobs and increase Canada’s competitive advantage.”
– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development