Like most other Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan has been focusing on immigration as a means to fuel population growth and ease the provincial labour shortage. Recent population figures show that this focus is paying off.
In part due to the increasing number of immigrants heading to Saskatchewan, recent population growth has been setting provincial records. The Saskatchewan government has allocated $8.5 million for 2007-08 to increase immigration and settlement initiatives in the province. With their sights set on welcoming 5,000 new immigrants in 2007-08, the provincial government hopes to nominate 1,500 of them through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).
With a permanent full-time job offer from a Saskatchewan employer, applicants can be nominated under the SINP and receive priority processing for their Canadian Permanent Residency application. The SINP has been experiencing tremendous growth, increasing by 176 per cent in the 2006-07 fiscal year. To qualify under the SINP, applicants must meet the requirements of one of the seven following categories: Skilled Workers, Family Members, Entrepreneur, Farm Owner/Operator, Health Professionals, Students, Long Haul Truck Drivers Project.
Skilled Workers Category – To be nominated as a skilled worker/professional, applicants must have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Saskatchewan employer in a skilled, professional, or managerial position.
Family Members Category – Applicants must have a family member that has been living in Saskatchewan for at least one year. This relative must sign an Affidavit of Support stating that he/she will assist the applicant throughout the immigration process and upon landing in Canada. To qualify, applicants must either have a permanent full-time job offer from a Saskatchewan employer or have the intention to find one. Between 18 and 49 years of age, qualified applicants have had some post-secondary education and work experience, and possess the necessary English language skills to work in Saskatchewan.
Entrepreneur Category – Having had previous business ownership experience, qualified applicants must make an exploratory visit to Saskatchewan to meet with a Business Immigration Officer. Applicants will need to prepare a business proposal and must also meet minimum requirements for personal net worth and monetary investment in Saskatchewan.
Farm Owner/Operator Category – With previous farming experience and the economic means to invest in a farming operation in Saskatchewan, applicants will need to meet with a SINP representative upon their exploratory visit to Saskatchewan. Applicants must also meet minimum requirements for personal net worth.
Health Professionals Category – Qualified applicants have an offer of permanent full-time employment from a provincial health authority and have been working in Saskatchewan on a temporary work permit as a physician, nurse, or other health care professional for at least six months. SINP representatives will obtain several Letters of Support from regulatory bodies on behalf of the applicants.
Students Category – Having graduated from a recognized Saskatchewan post-secondary educational institution, applicants must have spent at least six months working in the province on a Post-Graduation Work Permit. They need an offer of permanent full-time employment from their Saskatchewan employer.
Long Haul Truck Drivers Project – Under this project, approved Saskatchewan trucking firms can bring in foreign workers on temporary work permits. After six months with the firm, the trucking company can offer them full-time permanent employment and the worker can apply for Permanent Residence under the SINP.