July 21, 2009

Changes to Immigration for International Students

From the International Education Week, November 17-21, 2008 Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris announced changes today to the Student Category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) that align with the federal Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

International graduates of Canadian post-secondary schools are now eligible to apply for Permanent Resident status through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program after six months of Saskatchewan work experience. Previously they had to work in their field of study. The expanded student category now accepts graduate applicants holding permanent full-time job offers in any occupation.

Since the inception of the SINP Student Category, 158 foreign students have been nominated to become permanent residents of the province.

In October, Minister Norris announced the expansion of the Graduate Retention Program. This program offers tuition rebates as high as $20,000 over seven years to graduates of approved programs, including international students, who live in Saskatchewan.

"This expansion to the Graduate Retention Program signals to graduates from anywhere in the world that Saskatchewan is the best place to establish their careers and pursue their goals," Norris said.

The most recent Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism statistics show that approximately 3,500 foreign students annually study in Saskatchewan.

Program details

What changes were made to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) Student Category?

International graduates of Canadian postsecondary schools are now eligible to apply for permanent resident status through the SINP after six months of gaining Saskatchewan work experience. Previously, applicants had to work in their field of study. The expanded student category now accepts graduate applicants holding permanent full-time job offers in any occupation.Who is eligible to qualify under the SINP Student Category?International students may qualify to apply under the SINP Student Category if:

You have graduated with a certificate, a diploma or degree from a recognized postsecondary educational institution in Canada. The program must have been at least one academic year (eight months) of full-time study.
You have worked for a Saskatchewan employer for a minimum of six months under a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) post-graduation work permit.
You have a current permanent full-time job offer from an employer.

How do international students apply for the SINP Student Category?

Applicants must submit a complete application package to the Government of Saskatchewan, Immigration Services Division, including:

Original SINP forms
Photocopies of Government of Canada forms
Photocopies of required supporting documents

However, as an international student, your first step should be to download the application guide and checklist from the website [www.immigration.gov.sk.ca]. The guide will walk you through the application process and will provide you with information about which forms and supporting documents you will need to include in your application.

Once you have worked your way through the guide, gathered supporting documents and completed all of the necessary forms, you should use the provided checklist to make sure you have not missed anything. Incomplete applications will not be processed and will result in delay.

Where can students go to get more information on the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Student Category?Students can find more information about the SINP Student Category on-line at immigration.gov.sk.ca.
You can also call the general inquiry line at (306) 798-7467.

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