The legislative building in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatchewan has conducted the largest ever draw for the Entrepreneur stream of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), with 142 international entrepreneurs having been invited to apply to the program following the May 24, 2017 draw. Another new record was set in this draw, as the points threshold required for a candidate to be invited to apply reached its lowest ever cut-off point of 80.

The government of Saskatchewan refers to this stream as the SINP Entrepreneur Program, and through this program successful applicants can start, obtain or partner in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in managing it, while residing in province with their accompanying family members, if applicable. Successful applicants first obtain a work permit, allowing them to work in Saskatchewan, before applying for permanent residence after fulfilling the terms of a Business Performance Agreement.

Among the eligibility criteria for entrepreneur candidates is a minimum net worth requirement of $500,000 CAD and an equity investment requirement of $200,000 (this figure is raised to $300,000 if the investment is made within the cities of Saskatoon or Regina). There are additional requirements for the business, which must have the potential for creating economic benefit to Saskatchewan, as assessed by a SINP immigration officer.

Eligible candidates are assigned a score out of 160 upon entry to the SINP Entrepreneur pool of candidates. The unique points grid has a strong focus on local labour market needs; for example, candidates who plan an investment in a key economic sector may obtain more points, as do candidates who conduct an exploratory visit to Saskatchewan for at least five working days with evidence of contact with relevant business personnel. Other factors include one's age, level of education, language ability, entrepreneurial experience, and more besides.

Prior to the most recent draw, the lowest score among invited candidates had been 95. Consequently, the decrease to 80 in the most recent draw represents a significant dip in the cut-off threshold. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming draws will provide a cut-off threshold that is even lower.

In addition to carrying out the May 24 draw, the SINP has announced three upcoming dates for future draws for this program. Draws are scheduled for the following dates:

  • July 19, 2017
  • October 18, 2017
  • January 17, 2018

This announcement is a first in the Canadian immigration landscape, which over recent years has seen more provinces — as well as the federal government — move away from supply-based (or first-come, first-served) immigration systems towards demand- or invitation-based Expression of Interest systems. While other governments, federal and provincial alike, have not given advance notice of future draws, the SINP Entrepreneur Program is different in that candidates now know when draws are scheduled to occur.

Recent SINP Entrepreneur Program draws

The table below shows the history of invitations to apply issued under the SINP Entrepreneur Program. 

Expression of Interest (EOI) Selections
May 24, 2017  Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
80-140 105 142
March, 2017  Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
95–135 110 107
December, 2016  Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
120–130 120 14
September, 2016 Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
110–135 115 57
May, 2016 Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
110–155 120 88
October, 2015 Points range Average points of invitees Total Invitations Issued
110–155 125 70

To learn more about your Canadian business immigration options, fill out a free Canadian business immigration assessment form.