Authors: Scott Bell and Olivia Hodson
On July 16, 2018, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (“SINP”) will be implementing changes to the selection process used for some categories of the International Skilled Workers stream.
This includes changes to the Occupation In-Demand category and the Express Entry category. Both will be moving from an open application “gold rush” system to an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) based system.
These changes will benefit employers sourcing international workers as well as international workers seeking work in Saskatchewan from abroad. Employers that are seeking international workers from the Occupations In Demand list for Saskatchewan will now have another option for consideration when accessing those workers.
How does the Expression of Interest system work?
An EOI will be the first step in the process of applying for a nomination under the two identified categories. Individuals who satisfy the criteria for Occupations in Demand or Express Entry sub-categories under the SINP can use the new EOI system to demonstrate their interest in applying to become a permanent resident in Saskatchewan.
An EOI is not an application to the SINP, it is a pre-application process that allows individuals to enter into a candidate pool, from which the SINP will select workers to receive an Invitation to Apply to the program.
To enter the candidate pool, workers will create an online profile detailing basic personal information, then assess themselves using a point system which awards points on the basis of education, work experience, language ability and more. The SINP will then make selections from the candidate pool on the basis of point assessments. These selections will take place on a monthly basis at minimum, but individuals can create their online profile at any time.
How does the Expression of Interest system improve the process?
Under the current system the application works on a “gold rush” basis. Individuals must wait for the application intake threshold to be open in order to submit their application. Once open for applications, there is a chaotic rush to submit an application before the threshold is reached and the program closes. This means that there is significant urgency to submit applications quickly, before the quota is filled. This time pressure meant many excellent candidates were left unable to begin the process.
The new EOI system allows candidates to enter their online EOI at any time, meaning there is no rush to submit applications before the quota is filled.
Other positive results of this change include:
- More fair and predictable process – Draws will be frequent and will be merit-based, inviting top EOI candidates instead of those who are lucky enough to fill out their applications before the quota is met.
- Faster processing times – Frequent selections from the candidate pool will ensure there are no backlogs in the system.
- Better settlement and integration outcomes – Those invited to apply will be candidates with high EOI point scores who are more likely to settle successfully and create positive labour market outcomes.
The Saskatchewan Government addresses additional questions in its FAQ document.
MLT Aikins has significant experience advising clients with regard to the SINP and its various program streams. Our lawyers in this practice area would be pleased to discuss the new EOI pre-application process for the SINP and how it may impact your business and foreign workers.
Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.