Most Filipinos in Canada are found in major urban centres, where many jobs and economic opportunities are found.
Based on figures from the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the Toronto metropolitan area is home to the largest Filipino population in the country, with 274,760 residents, followed by Vancouver, 133,925, and Winnipeg 77,305.
With the launch of a new pilot program, Filipinos thinking of immigrating to Canada may want to consider rural and smaller communities.
The five-year pilot is called the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Program.
According to the federal government, the program is intended to “help smaller rural and northern communities to attract, integrate and retain foreign skilled workers meeting their economic development and labour market needs”.
The pilot will operate in 11 communities: Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, and North Bay in the province of Ontario; Gretna–Rhineland–Altona–Plum Coulee, and Brandon in Manitoba province; Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Claresholm in Alberta, the West Kootenay area, and Vernon in British Columbia.
The government has authorized the first cohort of community partners to begin recommending candidates as of November 1, 2019, and the second cohort as of January 1, 2020.
Three communities have started actively participating in the pilot program: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba; and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The other communities are anticipated to launch their respective programs in the New Year.
The RNIP was introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The ministerial instructions for the program have been in effect since September 1, 2019.
“The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program,” IRCC explains.
“It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the participating communities,” the agency adds.
To be eligible, applicants must obtain a full-time and permanent job offer from an employer that carries on business within a participating community.
Applicants should also demonstrate the intention to live permanently within the community.