Immigration plays a key role in Saskatchewan’s growing economy and population.
Since 2007, the province located in the heart of the Canadian Prairies has welcomed more than 108,000 immigrants from 170 countries.
Known as the Land of the Living Skies for its vast horizons and regular appearances by the Northern Lights, Saskatchewan is home to modern cities like Regina and Saskatoon, as well as many smaller rural communities. The population is approximately 1.1 million people.
The province’s major industries include:
- agriculture (especially wheat);
- mining (the province is the world’s leader in the export of uranium and potash);
- oil and gas exploration;
- technology (especially in Regina and Saskatoon)
- Many of the recent immigrants to Saskatchewan come from Asia, especially the Philippines.
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program
Saskatchewan currently receives nearly five per cent of all newcomers to Canada, up from one per cent in 2001, and the province’s government has a retention target of 80 per cent for 2019/2020.
In 2018, 72 per cent of the 15,510 new permanent residents to Canada who claimed Saskatchewan as their intended destination were admitted through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).
The SINP is part of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, an economic-class immigration program that allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate a set number of foreign workers, entrepreneurs and international graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions for Canadian permanent residence.
The SINP is divided into four immigration categories:
- International Skilled Worker
- Saskatchewan Experience
- Farm Owners and Operators
- International Skilled Workers
- The International Skilled Workers category is for foreign workers looking to immigrate to Saskatchewan.
Eligible candidates can be nominated under three sub-categories:
- Express Entry
- Occupation In-Demand
- Employment Offer
Saskatchewan’s Express Entry sub-category is for candidates with a profile in Canada’s federal Express Entry system and work experience in one of 19 occupations listed as in-demand in the province. A job offer from a Saskatchewan employer is not required.
Express Entry candidates nominated by the SINP receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
In order to be considered for a provincial nomination from Saskatchewan, Express Entry candidates are required to have both a valid Express Entry profile and a separate Expression of Interest (EOI) profile registered with the SINP.
The Occupation In-Demand sub-category is similar to the Express Entry sub-category but issues nominations outside the Express Entry system. It also requires work experience in one of the 19 occupations listed as in-demand by the SINP, has no job offer requirement and involves the creation of an EOI profile.
Immigration candidates who already have a job offer from an employer registered with the SINP may qualify for the Employment Offer sub-category. There is no list of specific jobs, but the offer must be for an occupation that is classified as Skill type 0 or Skill Level A or B by Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) or is in a designated trade.
Saskatchewan Work Experience
Candidates with Saskatchewan work experience and an eligible job offer may be able to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence through one of five Saskatchewan Experience sub-categories.
- Existing Work Permit
- Health Professionals
- Hospitality Sector Project
- Long-Haul Truck Driver Project
Each of these sub-categories requires at least six months of eligible work experience as a temporary foreign worker in Saskatchewan and a full-time, permanent job offer from an approved employer in the targeted sector, among other criteria.
The SINP’s Entrepreneur Category is for those who want to own and operate a business in Saskatchewan. This category operates on an Expression of Interest basis that scores candidates on business experience, their business establishment plan and other factors. Successful candidates are first approved for a two-year temporary work permit and can apply for a nomination for permanent residence if they satisfy the conditions of their Business Performance Agreement.
Farm Owners and Operators
Experienced farmers with considerable capital and proven farming experience may qualify for this SINP category if they wish to buy and run a farm in the province.
This category also includes a Young Farmer Stream that is open to eligible applicants under the age of 40. This stream encourages young farm families to establish farming operations in rural areas of Saskatchewan.
“Saskatchewan has really emerged as one of Canada’s more dynamic PNPs,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
“Switching its Express Entry and Occupation In-Demand sub-categories to an Expression of Interest system last year was a good example of this, one that is now translating into monthly invitation rounds.”