Marco Mendicino, Canada’s immigration minister, has made an announcement on two changes to the RNIP on December 14.
- Applicants need not have assembled work experience for a continuous period. Rather, Canada will consider the work experience requirement if it ended within the last 3 years right before applying. However, one year of suitable work experience is still necessary for the program. It is important to note that breaks in employment do not make a person ineligible for the program. This is applicable for past and future applicants.
- IRCC is also letting RNIP applicants, waiting for a decision on their PR application status, to apply for a work permit. This is without getting penalized due to the processing delays. This is a temporary measure and is applicable for those who are going through the process during the pandemic.
In spite of these changes, applicants will have to meet the program and admissibility needs of the RNIP. This is in order to immigrate to Canada through the pilot.
RNIP allows some rural communities in Canada to provide passage to PR for skilled workers. Participating communities may set their own eligibility criteria that shall be based on their local labor market needs.
Mendicino was quoted as saying, “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.” He went on to add, “We’re going to continue working to ensure that the benefits of immigration are felt in cities and towns across our country.”
There are 11 different rural communities that are participating in the pilot. These include:
- North Bay, Ontario;
- Sudbury, Ontario;
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario;
- Timmins, Ontario;
- Thunder Bay, Ontario;
- Brandon, Manitoba;
- Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba;
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan;
- Claresholm, Alberta;
- Vernon, British Columbia; and
- West Kootenay, British Columbia.
The new steps are due to the announcement made by IRCC. The announcement is about the first permanent residents accepted under RNIP.
Brilla Mercy Kunjumon and Alexander Nangpukin Likilasua are presently working as licensed practical nurses in Sault Ste. Marie.
In a press release, Mendicino said, “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 practical nurses—like Alexander and Brilla—and one in three of our family doctors and pharmacists.”
Almost 36% of Canada’s family physicians and pharmacists are made up of immigrants. Another 39% of immigrants are dentists and 27% of the total licensed practical nurses. Immigrants also make up 35% of nurse aides and other related occupations.
More than 40% of all immigrants to Canada between 2011 and 2016 were working in the health-care sector. They were employed in residential care or nursing facilities, along with home health-care services.
Canada’s minister for women, gender equality, and rural economic development, Maryam Monsef was quoted saying, “The recovery from the pandemic will only increase the competition for diverse talent. The enhancements to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will create jobs in rural Canada and respond to what we heard from employers from our rural economic development strategy.”
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