Skip to content

Temporary changes made to the immigration pilot program

The first new residents under the program are in Sault Ste. Marie
2020-12-14 Marco Mendicino
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, at the virtual announcement Monday.

Two temporary measures have been made to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP) to mitigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The virtual announcement was made Monday morning by Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino.

The program has made “quantum leaps” to ensure some of the disruptions are mitigated, Mendicino said.

Under the new change, the current work eligibility requirement will allow candidates to apply with one year of cumulative work experience. Previously, candidates had to have one year of continuous work experience.

“If there’s any interruption in employment, that will not count against their eligibility,” Mendicino said.

The second change will ensure pilot applicants may apply for a work permit before receiving their acknowledgement of receipt letter on the permanent residency application.

“We believe these two measures will allow us to accelerate the progress that we have in mind for the RNIP,” Mendicino said.

Timmins is among 11 communities across the country chosen for the federal immigration pilot program, which aims to attract and retain skilled immigrants and fill labour shortages.

The program in Timmins kicked off in April.

“My sincere hope is with the rich and diverse talent pool that we have in Canada, many will see themselves reflected in it with an opportunity to submit an application and have it, hopefully, approved as quickly as possible,” Mendicino said.

Sault Ste. Marie has also welcomed its first new residents under the program.

Brilla Mercy Kunjumon and Alexander Likilasua are the first applicants in Canada who were approved for permanent residency under the pilot program. At the virtual announcement Monday, they briefly shared their experience living and working as licensed practical nurses in Sault Ste. Marie.

“When I started the process, it was a little bit challenging but I came to the point where I knew I was a part of one of the greatest countries in the world which is Canada,” said Likilasua, who came to Sault Ste. Marie in 2015. “I couldn’t be thankful enough for all the Canadians in the north, especially in the Soo, who made sure that I had friends there.”

Also present at the virtual meeting was Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano, president of Sault College Ron Common, Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan and Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

About the Author: Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering diversity issues for TimminsToday. The LJI is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more

Reader Feedback