Saskatchewan Immigration Nomination Program (SINP)
Saskatchewan has one of the strongest and most dynamic economies in Canada. As a major producer of energy, minerals, agri-food products, manufacturing and knowledge-based industries, Saskatchewan continues to attract people and capital from throughout the world to meet the needs of this expanding economy.
The Saskatchewan Immigration Nomination Program (SINP) is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan. It is designed to help people from other countries immigrate to Saskatchewan and to meet the unique needs of the growing Saskatchewan economy. By selecting potential candidates for immigration who will help to expand and diversify Saskatchewan’s economy, the program serves the needs of both the Province and its immigrants.
For people looking to immigrate to Canada, the SINP offers several competitive advantages over other similar programs in Canada. Since it is designed to meet the unique needs of the Province of Saskatchewan, the program has different criteria for eligibility from the federal process for immigration. Generally, the processing time for applications is much faster through the SINP than through the traditional immigration application process. The program also targets specific categories and individuals, providing an exciting opportunity for people from outside Canada to move and settle in Saskatchewan, Canada.
There are several categories under which any person may apply to the SINP. These categories are:
- Business Entrepreneur
- Skilled Worker/Professional
- Health Care Professional
- Truck Driver
- Farm Owner/Operator
- Family Member of a Current Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident
Apart from the specific criteria required under each category, there are also some general requirements for the SINP program. The applicant must fit within one of the designated categories to be eligible under this immigration program. Anyone applying for refugee status or currently in Canada as a live-in caregiver is not eligible for this program. While some of the categories have no specific financial criteria, it is recommended that potential immigrants have a minimum of $10,000 in assets and an additional $2,000 for each accompanying family member.
An Application under the SINP is a two-part process. First, you or your lawyer will apply for the SINP program. Each application must include original copies of the SINP application forms, copies of all supporting documents, and completed federal immigration application forms. If any supporting documents are in languages other than English, English translations must be provided in addition to copies of the original documents. If the applicant meets the SINP criteria, a certificate of nomination is sent to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and a letter is sent informing the applicant of the nomination. Second, you submit the federal forms to CIC, which screen potential immigrants for criminal records, security, and health concerns. A medical exam is also required before a visa can be issued. CIC then approves the applicant.
Category Specific Requirements
To qualify for SINP under the entrepreneur category, the applicant must intend to live in Saskatchewan and manage the business personally. Those who intend to invest in a Saskatchewan business but not manage it are not eligible for the program. Applicants under this category must have a personal net worth of at least CD $500,000 and must intend to invest a minimum of CD $300,000 in Regina and Saskatoon or a minimum of CD $200,000 in all other Saskatchewan communities in their business in Saskatchewan. This may involve the setup of a new business or the purchase of an existing business. Alternatively, applicants who wish to enter into a joint venture or partnership in a Saskatchewan business and take on a managerial role in that business must intend to own at least one-third of the business or make an investment of at least CD $500,000. Lawyers in Saskatchewan can help applicants find a suitable business to buy or invest in and arrange for the purchase or investment in the business.
The applicant must provide SINP with a Business Establishment Plan (“BEP”), outlining the proposed investment level, the legal and other professional advisors in Saskatchewan and demonstrating intent to settle in Saskatchewan. Your lawyer, and/or business advisor can help you to prepare the BEP. Applicants in this category must show that they have a minimum of 3 years of experience in business management.
Unlike many other immigration programs in Canada, there are no specific language ability requirements under this category. As long as the applicant can show in the BEP that they have adequate resources in place to overcome any potential language barriers, the application will be approved. This could include designating someone as an interpreter or hiring staff to facilitate dealing with the public.
The applicant must make an exploratory visit to Saskatchewan of at least 10 days duration. Your Lawyer or representative can arrange for an appropriate Letter of Invitation so the applicant can obtain a Visitor Visa to come to Saskatchewan. SINP may waive the need for an interview. However if an interview is requested you will need to make all necessary arrangements, learn about businesses, Government procedures and requirements to start up a business in Saskatchewan and prepare well in advance to appear for the interview. The applicant has to identify one or more business opportunities to investigate during the exploratory visit to Saskatchewan.
Large Scale Investors who will invest CD $10 Million or more in Saskatchewan will be processed on a priority basis. As a large-scale investor, you can bring along up to 10 members of your management team as well.
The investment by the applicant in a business is not a throwaway program. Unlike many other programs in Canada where the applicant does not get anything for the investment, the program in Saskatchewan provides the applicant with value for the money invested in the business. Lawyers, Business Brokers, and Commercial Real Estate Agents in Saskatchewan will help the applicant find a business to buy or invest in and get value for that investment.
To be eligible for the SINP under the skilled worker/professional category, the applicant must have an offer of permanent, full-time employment from a Saskatchewan employer. In addition, the applicant must show that the type of work that they intend to do is classified as a type 0, A, or B occupation on the National Occupation Classification matrix, or that it is the equivalent of an apprenticeship trade in Saskatchewan. Generally, this means that the job must require at least one year of university, college, or technical school training. Almost half of all occupations in Saskatchewan are included in this category. Applicants under the skilled worker/professional category may be currently working in Saskatchewan on a temporary work permit.
To qualify under the skilled worker category, applicants must also complete and submit a self-assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire measures qualities such as work experience, language capabilities, adaptability to Saskatchewan, financial resources, and sources of personal support.
The offer of permanent full-time employment must have wages, benefits, and conditions of employment that are consistent with those that would be offered to Canadian citizens with similar training and experience.
Applicants under the health care professional’s category must be currently working in Saskatchewan on a temporary work permit. There are three sub-categories for health professionals, each with separate requirements.
(i) Physicians Category
Applicants under the physician’s category must have been working in Saskatchewan on a temporary work permit for a minimum of six months. They must have an offer for permanent full-time employment in Saskatchewan. To apply under the physician’s category, an applicant must obtain and submit letters of support from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, from Saskatchewan Health, and from the regional health authority for the region in which they intend to work.
(ii) Nurses Category
Applicants who wish to apply under the nurse’s category must have been working in Saskatchewan on a temporary work permit for a minimum of six months. They must have an offer of permanent full-time employment from a Saskatchewan employer. In addition, those seeking approval under the nurse’s category must obtain letters of support from Saskatchewan Health, the regional health authority, and from the licensing body for the type of nursing that they intend to practice. In Saskatchewan, there are three licensing bodies for nurses: the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses, and the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.
(iii) Other Health Professionals
This category includes all other health professionals. To qualify, the applicant must show that the occupation falls under the National Occupation Classification types A or B, or that it requires at least one year of post-secondary training. The applicant must include letters of support from Saskatchewan Health, the regional health authority, and the appropriate licensing body for their occupation.
Under this category, trucking companies who are unable to meet their Labour needs can apply to both SINP and Service Canada’s program for foreign workers in occupations that require a high school diploma or specific on-the-job training. A successful application leads to, a temporary work permit for the immigrant. The trucking company must have been in operation in Saskatchewan for at least five years and must be engaged in long-haul trucking. The company must submit a plan detailing how it will assist potential immigrants with adapting to the Saskatchewan lifestyle.
Once the applicant has been on the job for a minimum of six months, the applicant may apply to SINP for permanent residency. To apply under the truck driver category, the applicant must show that they have an offer of employment with a valid Saskatchewan trucking company as described above. The applicant must have the equivalent of a Saskatchewan Class 1A driver’s license, and at least 2 years experience operating a truck. The applicant must be reasonably fluent in English and must be able to cross the Canada-US border if required by the trucking company.
Distinct from other categories, applicants under the farming category must have a proven net worth of at least CD $500,000. The applicant must sign a Performance Agreement, which commits them to make a farmland purchase in Saskatchewan, and must submit a refundable deposit to the Immigrant Department of CD $75,000. Once the terms of the Performance Agreement are met, the deposit is returned to the applicant. If the applicant is unable to meet the terms of the Performance Agreement, the deposit is forfeited to the province.
In addition, applicants under the farming category must make an exploratory visit to Saskatchewan. Lawyers and/or Real Estate Agents in Saskatchewan can assist the applicant in finding and assessing a farm operation to buy in Saskatchewan. This visit must be sometime during the two years before making the application. The applicant also must be able to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a farm in Saskatchewan.
To apply under the student category of SINP, the applicant must have graduated from a program of at least one year at a Saskatchewan educational institution. The applicant must have worked for at least six months in Saskatchewan on a Citizenship and Immigration Canada post-graduate work permit. In addition, the applicant must have an offer of a permanent, full-time job in Saskatchewan.
Post-Graduation Work Permit Stream
You may qualify to apply under the SINP Student Category, Post-Graduation Work Permit Stream if:
- You have graduated with a certificate, diploma or degree from a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada. The program must have been equivalent to at least one academic year (eight months) of full-time study.
- If you graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Saskatchewan you must have worked for at least six months (with a minimum of 960 hours) of paid employment in Saskatchewan. If you have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution outside of Saskatchewan you must have worked for 12 consecutive months of paid full-time employment (with a minimum of 1920 hours) in Saskatchewan after graduation. * Eligible types of work experience in Saskatchewan include on-campus, off-campus, co-op terms, graduate fellowships that can be verified by your institution, and work experience gained on a post-graduate work permit.
- You have applied for and received a post-graduation work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
- You have a current, permanent, full-time job offer from a Saskatchewan employer. The job offer does not have to relate to your studies.
If your job offer falls into an NOC C or D, you must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 4 or higher English Language ability across all 4 categories (listening, speaking, reading and writing).
Master’s and Ph.D. Graduate Stream
You may qualify to apply under the SINP Student Category, Master’s and PhD Graduate Stream if:
- You have completed all degree requirements for an existing Master’s and/or Ph.D. program that required at least one academic year of full-time study from the University of Saskatchewan or the University of Regina.
- You are applying within two years of the date on which your degree was granted and from a country in which you have legal status.
- You intend to live in Saskatchewan and can demonstrate your ability to settle and work in Saskatchewan with at least one of the following:
- Have at least six months of employment history in your field of training in Saskatchewan;
- Are currently employed in your field of training or have received a job offer in your field of training in Saskatchewan for a term longer than six months;
- Your spouse is currently employed in Saskatchewan in a permanent, full-time position; or,
- You have enough money to sustain for a short time without work ($10,000 for you and $2,000 for each accompanying family member.
If you do not have an offer of employment or if your job offer falls into a NOC “C” or “D”, you must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 4 or higher English Language ability across all 4 categories (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
(This document is intended for general information only. You should consult the Saskatchewan Immigration Department (SINP) or an immigration lawyer who is specialized to advise for the Saskatchewan Immigration Nomination Program for further specific advice relating to any of these categories.)