Canada announces new immigration pilots to support rural and Francophone minority communities, will create a permanent program

March 6, 2024—Sudbury, Ontario—Rural and Francophone minority communities are critical to Canada’s long-term growth, and regional immigration plays a key role in strengthening their economies. In particular, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) has been successful in connecting businesses and employers in remote communities with the skilled newcomers they need to thrive.

That is why today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced new pilots for rural and Francophone minority communities, as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues work toward creating a permanent rural immigration program. These are the Rural Community Immigration Pilot and the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot.

The Rural Community Immigration Pilot will launch in the fall of 2024. It aims to ensure that rural communities continue to have the ability to access programs that address labour shortages and help local businesses find the workers they need. It will provide pathways to permanent residence for newcomers who can help to overcome critical labour job shortages and want to live long term in these smaller communities.

Modelled on the success of the RNIP and as part of our Francophone Immigration Policy, we are also launching the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot in the fall of 2024. The pilot will focus on increasing the number of French-speaking newcomers settling in Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec and will help ensure the economic development of Francophone minority communities, while also helping to restore and increase their demographic weight.

IRCC will open the community application process this spring to select communities who will participate in the pilots and will share more details in the coming months.

As we work to establish RNIP as a permanent program, these new pilots will help attract and retain skilled foreign workers in rural and Francophone minority communities, contributing to their economic and linguistic vitality. IRCC looks forward to continued collaboration with these communities as we work together to strengthen our immigration programs.

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