The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is thriving in Northwestern Ontario

March 24, 2023 –Less than three months into the year, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has received enough applications to grant more than half of its 2023 allotment of 400 recommendations.

As many as 132 candidates will have been recommended for permanent residence before the end of March, with almost 100 more currently under review. The candidate application form will reopen April 12th and close the night of May 8th, possibly the last day candidates can apply to receive a recommendation in 2023.

Compared with 2022, the number of candidate applications received by Thunder Bay CEDC has increased exponentially, and it is expected that there will be enough qualified candidates to account for the entire 2023 recommendations allotment after the next intake in May. At this time, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is not considering an increase to the allotted number of recommendations.

“The response to the program this year has been tremendous and has surpassed all expectations,” tells Stacey Platt, Workforce Development Officer at Thunder Bay CEDC.  “Employers from the surrounding communities now included in our catchment have shown great interest in utilizing the RNIP as an avenue to address labour shortage gaps, and now that they are geographically eligible to do so.”

Recommended candidates represent employment across many sectors and communities, with the largest number of workers in the food services, retail, and health care industries. The majority of recommended candidates have job offers in Thunder Bay, with employers in Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Schreiber, Marathon, Nipigon, Atikokan, and Fort Frances also represented.

Platt continues, “The short and long-term benefits of the RNIP to the region are far-reaching and impactful. Thunder Bay CEDC is working diligently to enable employers to leverage this program as much as possible while we have it. We are proud to be the leading community in the administration of the RNIP.”

Employers located in the catchment area who are interested in learning more about RNIP are invited to  attend a virtual Employer Information Session on March 31st 2023 from 10 am –11:30 am. 

Candidate applications will reopen later in 2023 for recommendations to be made in 2024. The RNIP Thunder Bay and Area concludes at the end of February 2024.

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