Posted on - Apr 15, 2019

By Maken Mashhour

Maken Mashhour

Under this nominee program, skilled workers without a Canadian job offer can find a path to permanent residency.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are becoming increasingly popular as a path to Canadian permanent residence. PNP’s allow provinces and territories to select and nominate immigrants that would benefit their local economies and fill labor shortages through their own selection criteria.

One of the PNPs that has been in the spotlight recently, has been the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). Under this program, foreign skilled workers without a high English test score, or a Canadian job offer can now find their path to becoming a permanent resident.

Below is a summary of Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker (ISW) program.

International Skilled Worker: Occupation In-Demand

The ISW program is designed to attract highly skilled international workers to Saskatchewan and to qualify for Canadian permanent residence. By lowering the English language requirement to the minimum score of CLB 4, and not requiring a job offer, SINP has eliminated two of the most common road blocks for skilled worker applicants to obtain permanent residence.

However, an ISW applicant must still obtain a minimum score of 60 out of 100 points in the SINP immigration point grid system to be eligible to apply. Points are awarded on the basis of five factors: (1) education and training; (2) skilled work experience; (3) language ability; (4) age; and (5) ties to the Saskatchewan’s labor market.

While an applicant is not required to have a job to offer, they must demonstrate that they meet Saskatchewan’s settlement fund requirements. A prospective ISW applicant must establish that there are sufficient funds available to cover his/her living expenses until he/she finds a job, or settles in Saskatchewan.

The ISW applicant must also meet the work experience requirement—a minimum of one year of work experience in one of the 24 occupations listed on the SINP In-Demand Occupation List. The ISW applicant’s work experience can be established through proper reference letters from applicant’s employers. To know more about reference letters, please see https://canadian-visa-lawyer.com/immigration-essentials-getting-the-reference-letter-right/

Lastly, meeting the minimum requirements of the ISW program does not guarantee acceptance or nomination from the SINP. There are other factors which are considered such as, the time the ISW applicant enters the pool of candidates, or the point score of the ISW applicant.

At a time where the majority of Canada’s PNP programs are requiring both language skills and a job offer, the SINP is opening the door towards permanent residence for eligible candidates who find their occupation on the In-Demand Occupation List of the SINP.

Arguably, from my perspective as a Canadian immigration professional, the ISW-SINP is now Canada’s most attractive pathway to permanent resident.


Maken Mashhour is a US attorney and a Vancouver immigration practitioner at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada, and provides a full range of immigration services.

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