Archive - The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program: An Introduction

Published: 13 March 2012

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Saskatchewan, located in western Canada between the provinces of Manitoba and Alberta, is home to a booming economy and rapidly growing population of Canadians and new immigrants. According to the most recent Canadian census, its population has recently surpassed 1 million residents. The majority reside in the urban centers of Saskatoon and Regina, though robust industrial and agricultural industries support job growth in rural areas as well.

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, or SINP, is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for this region. Like all PNPs, Saskatchewan has established its own criteria for nomination. Once the province has selected a nominee, the Federal government is then responsible for the health and security aspects of the application, as well as the issuance of a Canadian permanent residency visa. Through this two-step process, Saskatchewan is able to choose immigrants with the specialties and knowledge base it most requires, while potential immigrants benefit from faster processing times.

Categories of SINP Immigration

There are many categories under which one can apply to immigrate to Saskatchewan. Some of the most popular have been profiled below.

Skilled Worker – This category has to date facilitated entry for the majority of SINP immigrants. It is intended for individuals who have been offered permanent, full time, skilled employment in the province. Both foreign workers with an employment offer and those already in Saskatchewan on a Temporary Work Permit are eligible to apply.

Family Member Sponsorship – Immigrants already in Saskatchewan may apply to help skilled, educated family members come to the province to live and work. Foreign applicants must have a relative who has lived in Saskatchewan for at least a year, and the applicant must have proof of language, education, job skills, and sufficient funds. Spouses or common law partners are not eligible under this category.

Hospitality - The Hospitality Sector Pilot Project allows the program to nominate foreign workers currently working in targeted hospitality fields in Saskatchewan. Employers wishing to participate in this program must first receive approval from SINP.

In addition to these categories, there are streams available for entrepreneurs, science and technology professionals, students, long-haul truck drivers, health workers, and farm owners and operators. Please see our comprehensive list of categories.

The Benefits of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

Perhaps the most appealing facet of the SINP is its ability to streamline the Permanent Residency (PR) application process for aspiring immigrants. They must first apply for a certificate of nomination from Saskatchewan, which takes approximately 6 months, and then submit to a Canadian visa office for finalization of their PR. For temporary workers already in the province, securing SINP nomination may allow them to extend their temporary work authorization while they wait for a decision on their PR.

Potential applicants wishing to come to Canada who may have trouble qualifying under Federal immigration categories may find that they are eligible at a provincial level. Programs offered by SINP and some other PNPs, such as the Hospitality Sector Pilot Project and Family Member Stream, offer opportunities not present in other, more traditional, streams of Canadian immigration.

Applicants also benefit from the program’s commitment to encouraging family growth and development, with the goal of building strong and diverse communities. With this in mind, Saskatchewan officials have created an accessible program that aims to assist in each step of the application process.

The SINP Support System

Like many PNP programs, Saskatchewan has committed to both facilitating immigration and to providing institutional support for new arrivals once they have landed. One of the staples of this support system is the eleven regional Newcomer Gateways, located through the province. These gateways are welcome centers for new arrivals, with the goals of helping one “get information and connect to your new community, whether it is a city, a small centre or a rural area”.

At these centers, an immigrant can have their English skills assessed, be assisted in enrolling in language courses, utilize career and employment services, and find local community groups. They may also meet with Settlement Advisors, who are specialists in helping newcomers with specific challenges and questions they may have in establishing themselves in Saskatchewan. These advisors do not, however, assist in the immigration process.

To ensure accessibility, the SINP provides extensive information on its programs in a variety of languages from Arabic to Tagalog. This is part of a larger effort to ensure program integrity and transparency. Due to the popularity and success of the program, the SINP requires that employers in some categories be verified before hiring workers , to ensure that workers will be offered fair wages and working conditions. There is also a unit dedicated to processing employee complaints and concerns.

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee program, though still expanding its scope, has already proved to be one of the most successful of the Provincial Nominee Programs to date, facilitating the entrance of thousands of qualified foreign workers from around the globe. It will continue to be a keystone in securing the economic and societal success of the province for years to come.

To find out if you are eligible for SINP or other Provincial Nominee Programs, you can fill out our free online assessment.