Eleven communities were scheduled to start accepting applications for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) on January 1st, 2020. However, five of them, including North Bay, Ontario, Timmins, Ontario, Claresholm, Alberta, Vernon, British Columbia and West Kootenay, British Columbia, will wait another month before the process is initiated.

According to CIC News, most communities were scheduled to launch the pilot program on New Year’s Day, except for a few such as Sudbury, Ontario, which was to commence the pilot back on November 1st, 2019. Unfortunately, the communities are still not accepting applications. Thunder Bay still have the notice on their webpage saying the pilot will be available from January 2nd, but like other communities in the RNIP, they are yet to accept applicants.

Various reasons might have stalled the RNIP process in the communities mentioned above. According to the requirements, all participating communities must have an economical development organization that will manage the program. Without such an organization, the community cannot qualify to accept new immigrants.

Various organizations can manage the program. This includes community futures organizations, independent economical development organizations, chamber of commerce and not-for-profit economical development organizations. The program can also be managed by a hybrid organization of a municipality that has an independent board of directors.

The economical developmental organizations are responsible for two main things. The first is to ensure the provisions on their community memorandum of association with the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) are appropriate for their community’s needs. This includes the date of commencing the pilot program and application. The organizations will also manage the program from start to finish and oversee the immigrant integration into the communities.

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