Northern immigration project seeing double the uptake in Timmins

The Timmins Economic Development Corporation is reporting that the number of skilled immigrants coming to the city through the federal Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) has doubled since the project launched in 2020.

The agency released numbers showing that it received over 120 applications from immigrants and issued over 100 permanent residency recommendations last year. The year prior saw over 60 and 40, respectively.

The project's local coordinator, Lynn Michaud credits that to the word of its simplicity and streamlined immigration process getting around amongst employers and newcomers alike.

"It is there to promote economic growth and it helps the community, as well, when you have newcomers and with the population base," said Michaud.

"I think the more that that message gets out, the more participation we're getting."

Nisarg Patel moved to Timmins from India in 2018, graduating from a construction engineering program at a local college. He manages equipment, tools and materials at a local mining supply company.

Patel is planning to apply for the RNIP and said his co-worker, who successfully obtained his permanent residency through the program, has been telling him about the process.

He said this pilot program seems to be less demanding than other immigration avenues that have stricter requirements.

"Everything is pretty much straightforward, all you have to do is provide the documents and (the immigration workers) can take care of you from there," Patel said.

"It saves you a lot of time. This is a short process, compared to the other ones."