Saskatchewan’s change to award additional points to bilingual speakers is part of a larger effort to increase Francophone immigration to Canada.
Applicants who are bilingual can now receive up to an additional 10 points when applying to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). The changes took effect Nov. 24 and apply to all applicants who apply under the SINP International Skilled Worker EOI System.
This program governs the intake of the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry subcategory and the International Skilled Worker: Occupation In-Demand.
How to apply
Both the SINP Express Entry and the Occupations In-Demand subcategory require an applicant to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI is not an application for permanent residence but rather a pre-application that demonstrates your qualifications and eligibility for the program.
The EOI is valid for up to a year if you do not receive an invitation sooner. There are minimal requirements and candidates with stronger credentials and ties to the province will rank higher. Higher ranking candidates will be more likely to receive an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination.
If you do receive an invitation to apply, you will need to pay a $350 non-refundable fee. You will have 60 days to submit documentation backing up the claims in your EOI application. SINP regularly conducts draws for their provincial nominee program with the last one occurring on Nov. 20.
The main difference between the Express Entry and the Occupations In-Demand subcategory is that that to be eligible for the Express Entry stream, a candidate must have a valid Express Entry profile with IRCC. The Occupations In-Demand stream does not have this requirement and may be better for candidates with limited language proficiency. You only need to a Canadian Language Benchmark of four for the Occupations In-Demand subcategory.
SINP points assessment ranking system
Unlike many other provincial nominee programs, Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker EOI System does not require a job offer or a direct connection to the province. That being said, a job offer or a close relative in Saskatchewan will certainly help boost your overall point totals.
But for basic eligibility, you simply need to score a minimum of 60 points on the SINP points assessment grid. The maximum number of points you can receive is 110.
However, a score of 60 is likely not high enough to receive a nomination. Recent draws have shown that candidates require a score in the 70-80 range to receive an invitation to apply.
In the event of a tie, candidates with close family connections will be selected over those who do not.
Francophone immigration to Canada
Canada is a bilingual country. Canada is also an immigrant-seeking country. To address both of these issues, IRCC has made increasing Francophone immigration that is outside of Quebec a priority. The goal is to increase Francophone immigration outside of Quebec to 4.4%.
SINP’s latest development will likely not vastly increase the number of Francophones immigrating to Canada but it is part of a larger strategy to reach the 4.4% goal. Other strategies IRCC is using to increase Francophone immigration to English Canada is to award additional points to bilingual French speakers in the Express Entry pool as well as celebrating National Francophone Immigration Week.