As COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help all Canadians, including rural Canadians, no matter where they live.

Canada has implemented several economic immigration pilots to test innovative and community-driven approaches to address diverse labour and demographic needs across the country, including in rural areas. The Government of Canada is helping smaller communities across Canada attract and retain skilled immigrants to their regions to fill labour shortages and support economic development.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, launched in 2019, is testing a community-driven approach designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities. It supports community economic development and demographic objectives by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the 11 participating rural communities.

Visit the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot web page for more information on the program and its progress.

The Agri-Food Pilot

The Agri-Food Pilot, launched in May 2020, tests an industry‑specific approach to help address labour shortages in the Canadian agri-food sector, particularly in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse crop production, and livestock raising industries.

The three-year pilot will provide a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations and help employers fill full-time, year-round positions.

Visit the Agri-Food Pilot web page for more information on the program and its progress.

The Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program helps employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers who want to immigrate to Atlantic Canada and international graduates who want to stay in Atlantic Canada after they graduate.

Between 2017, the pilot’s launch, and June 2020, participating employers in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot made over 6,900 job offers in key sectors, including accommodations and food services, manufacturing, and health care. This has resulted in nearly 6,700 approved permanent residents destined for or already in the Atlantic region. Due to its success, the pilot was made into a permanent program in January 2022.

Visit the Atlantic Immigration Program web page for more information on the program and its progress.