It's news Altona and Rhineland's Economic Development Officer had been hoping for. Earlier this week, the federal government announced it is extending The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program (RNIP), set to expire at the end of February 2024, until the end of July 2024.

Stephanie Harris says this means SEED, the organization administering the local implementation of the RNIP program, has another five months to issue community recommendations to successful job candidates from around the world.

"We've got a lot of interest from candidates as well as employers, and see that the program continues togain momentum, so we're really pleased that this extension has been put into place," she said.

Harris noted, her office continues to be busy administering the program.

"Especially now, given that the program was supposed to expire at the end of the month. . We have seen a significant uptake in the number of job offers that have been provided, the applications that have come in and, as mentioned, the interest in the program just continues to increase."

While it wasn't the permanent implementation that Harris and her colleagues had been hoping and advocating for, this is still great news. However, the hope for its permanence continues, along with their advocacy efforts.

For now, SEED will run RNIP as per usual, accepting applications and issuing community recommendations until July 31, 2024. Harris noted, candidates issued a recommendation after February 29, 2024, will only have until August 31, 2024, to apply for their Permanent Residence.