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Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Announces Sweeping Changes for 2014

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that, in response to feedback from immigration stakeholders, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) will be overhauled and streamlined in the New Year.

The SINP is Saskatchewan’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Most Canadian provinces have dedicated PNPs, which allow them to nominate foreign nationals to the Federal government for Canadian Permanent Residency.

Changes to the SINP will become effective January 2, 2014. The program, which currently consists of nine immigration sub-categories, will see these sub-categories combined into three overarching categories. They will be as follows:

  • International Skilled Worker;
  • Saskatchewan Experience; and
  • Entrepreneur and Farm

In addition to changing the structure and content of the program, beginning in January all SINP applications will be submitted and processed electronically. By using an exclusively online system, the overall process will be made easier and more efficient for both applicants and visa officers.

A number of significant changes will be made to each of the three new immigration categories. Below is a brief summary of these changes, as well as a commentary on what applicants can expect from the new system.

International Skilled Worker Category

This category has been created for workers who wish to live and work in the Province of Saskatchewan. Applicants can be nominated by the SINP for immigration if they successfully demonstrate that they have the necessary experience, education, language and adaptability to thrive in the province.

The program will include the following criteria:

  • A points system that assesses employment offers, education, work experience, language skills, family connections, and other factors. Family connection points have been increased and can now account for up to 20% of total points;
  • Applicants must have language skills equivalent to or higher than Canadian Level Benchmark 4. These skills must be proven by submitting scores from an SINP-approved language exam;
  • Applicants with work experience in a regulated profession (such as nursing or engineering) must obtain necessary provincial certification; and
  • Applicants without a skilled job offer must submit a settlement plan and proof of settlement funds.

For 2014, a total of 250 applications will be accepted from applicants who do not have a job offer in Saskatchewan. Applicants’ occupations must be included on a designated list of occupations. This list, as well as more detailed guidelines on the points system and application procedures, will be made available in December 2013.

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