When the Canadian province of Saskatchewan reopened its International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category for an additional 500 applications just two weeks ago, it caught some people by surprise. Not only was there no prior announcement of the sub-category reopening, there was also a revised occupations in-demand list — including occupations that were not previously considered in-demand. Included on the revised list were a number of new occupations in IT, management, agriculture, engineering, health care, and trades.
Through this sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), applicants already in the federal Express Entry pool who receive a nomination certificate are awarded 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System and an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool. The SINP is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) within the Canadian immigration system.
Sub-category has reopened numerous times, but cap fills quickly
After the government of Saskatchewan updated its website to announce the reopening of the sub-category with a revised list, the intake cap of 500 new applications was reached within 24 hours. This was the sixth time that the highly popular sub-category had opened and closed quickly since it was first opened in June of last year, with two of those intake periods having taken place since the beginning of 2016.
The current status of the SINP International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category, according to the SINP International Skilled Worker webpage, is ‘closed to new applications at this time.’ In contrast, the same page states that the SINP International Skilled Worker – Occupations In-Demand sub-category, which is not aligned with the federal Express Entry system, ‘has accepted the maximum number of applications for 2016.’
This difference in language offers an indication that the sub-category may reopen on at least one more occasion this year, though it remains unknown when this might happen and whether the in-demand occupations list will be revised yet again. The most recent list may be found below.
Aligned with the federal Express Entry system
The SINP International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category is limited to candidates in the Express Entry pool who, in addition to meeting the requirements of a federal immigration program (Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class), must also satisfy the requirements of the sub-category. This includes obtaining 60 points on Saskatchewan’s point assessment grid.
In addition, candidates must have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary education or training that has resulted in a degree, diploma, or certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate that is comparable to the Canadian education system.
Candidates must also demonstrate a minimum level of work experience related to their field of education or training. This work experience may be either:
Readiness is key
“Being caught by surprise when provincial options open doesn’t necessarily have to lead to disappointment, but in order to take advantage of these opportunities, candidates need to do three things: get in the Express Entry pool, prepare all documentation in advance, and expect the unexpected,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Further, the Saskatchewan case is not an isolated one. A similar immigration stream exists in the province of Nova Scotia, and, though that stream [Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry] is currently temporarily closed, we can expect it to reopen in some form at a later date. If what’s past is prologue, provincial nominee program streams such as these will be launched or reopened without prior warning.
“Even for candidates whose occupation is not currently on a given list, staying vigilant across the board is important. As we have seen, these things can change at a moment’s notice. The lesson that stakeholders are learning is that staying up to date on a constant basis, and being in a position to react quickly, is the key to making a successful application.”
Occupations in demand
This table shows the most recent occupations in-demand list for the SINP International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category.
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