Vernon, British Columbia is one of 11 communities in Canada participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program. The program was designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to communities outside of the larger metropolitan areas of the country.
The program provides communities with the opportunity to work directly with employers along with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to create a permanent residency opportunity to attract skilled workers to the region. Applicants must meet community specific eligibility, federal selection criteria and have a full-time permanent job with a local employer.
The RNIP program is similar to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot that was launched in March 2017. As of February 25, 2019, the program had approved over 2,500 permanent residents in Atlantic Canada. The program has been extended for an additional two year period.
Instead of working with provinces, the RNIP program is a partnership with each of the 11 participating communities. In Vernon’s case, the program will be administered by Community Futures North Okanagan and will be available to employers within a 40km radius of Vernon.
Vernon is currently developing community criteria in conjunction with IRCC for skilled immigrant worker applicants. It is anticipated that criteria will be finalized in late 2019 and that we will begin accepting applications in January 2020.