Okanagan city joins immigration pilot program

Okanagan city joins immigration pilot program

City to launch program alongside 11 other Canadian communities

Vernon is one of 11 communities across Canada creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot has so far rolled out in Ontario’s Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay as well as Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba. The program is coming soon but hasn’t quite been launched in Vernon – one of only two B.C. communities taking part. The West Kootenay region of Trail, Castlegar, Rossland and Nelson is the other. Claresholm, AB; Moose Jaw, Sask.; Brandon, MB; and North Bay, Subury and Timmins, ON, are the other communities on board.

The pilot is a community-driven program designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities.

To apply for permanent residence under the pilot there are four steps, one of which is meeting the community-specific requirements, however, Vernon has yet to lay those out. To participate in the program you must plan to live in the community.

While the program is designed to assist immigrants as well as fill job vacancies, there are settlement fund requirements.

“Unless you’re already working legally in Canada when you apply, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself and any family members while you get settled in your community,” the program states.

“You must prove you have enough money to support any family members you may have, even if they’re not coming to Canada with you.”

Other requirements, such as experience and language are necessary, as well candidates must obtain a job offer before applying for permanent residence.

In Thunder Bay, the program began accepting inquiries from community-based employers interested in posting positions Nov. 1, 2019. The federal government allows Thunder Bay to make up to 100 recommendations. Applications will begin being accepted Jan. 2.


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