IRCC has announced a new 5-year economic immigration plan to attract and retain skilled immigrants to rural and remote regions of Canada experiencing an exodus of young workers and aging populations. Announcing the launch of the new program, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said 78% of new immigrants to Canada settle in large cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Plus, workers in rural Canada dropped by 23% from 2001 to 2016 due to an aging population.
From January 24 - March 1, 2019, IRCC will accept applications from interested communities in Ontario, Western Canada and the territories to take part in the pilot. A key part of the new program will be to encourage immigrants to integrate into life in these communities so they will not want to move and resettle in larger cities.
It's not just about the government of Canada doing its part, it's the local community contributing to that retention by providing a more welcoming atmosphere and the support services these newcomers need to succeed.
- Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
Communities that want to apply to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot must have a population of:
- 50,000 people or less and be located at least 75 km from the core of a metropolitan area or
- up to 200,000 people and be considered remote from other larger cities
- be in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Saskatchewan or Yukon
This Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is currently only open to communities, information for permanent residence applicants will be available later in 2019.