Sault Ste. Marie secures its first applicants in Canada approved for RNIP

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is pleased to announce that Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has approved its first two applicants that were recommended by the Sault Ste. Marie Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program Community Recommendation Committee. Alexander Nangpukin Likilasua and Brilla Mercy Kunjumon were approved for permanent residency by the federal government this Fall. Alexander, originally from Ghana and Brilla originally from India, represent the first two individuals in Canada approved for the program.
“It is great to see Alexander and Brilla will be able to continue to live and work in Sault Ste. Marie. We are happy to have them,” said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “When the RNIP was announced, the City committed to being a leader, and securing the first applicants in Canada approved for the program represents a tremendous demonstration of this commitment, and a positive development for our community.”
The two candidates are already in Sault Ste. Marie working as licensed practical nurses. Both attended school at Sault College and studied in the Registered Practical Nursing Program.
“We are thrilled to have Brilla and Alex as not only Sault Ste. Marie’s first, but Canada’s first two successful applicants to receive permanent residency through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program,” said Paul Sayers, Labour Force Development Coordinator with FutureSSM. “We are excited and hopeful that this is only the beginning of more applicants who will receive permanent residency into Canada and our community through RNIP.”
When it announced the pilot program in June 2019, the program was designed to support economic development in communities and strengthen local capacity for businesses to develop and retain a skilled workforce. Each community assess prospective candidates, recommends candidates for permanent residence to IRCC, and connects newcomers with settlement services and mentoring opportunities with established members of the community.
In November 2019, Sault Ste. Marie was the first City out of the 11 RNIP cities to accept applications for the program. This program is being managed in partnership between the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, FutureSSM, the Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership and the Sault Community Career Centre. For more information, visit
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