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Canada: Saskatchewan Adopts New Procedures to Attract Entrepreneurs

(Oct. 7, 2009) Immigrating to Canada can be a difficult and time-consuming process. One way prospective immigrants can try to improve their chances of being accepted and accelerate their applications is by first applying to become a person nominated by a province. Ten of Canada's provinces and territories have agreements with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate persons for permanent residence. (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Provincial Nominees: Who Can Apply, (last visited Oct. 3, 2009).) One of these is the western province of Saskatchewan. In recent years, that province has seen its population fall below one million as residents, particularly in rural areas, have moved elsewhere. Immigration has not offset population losses, as the province received less than 5,000 of the nearly 250,000 persons Canada accepted for permanent residence in 2008. (Government of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Population Report: 2006 Census of Canada,; Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2008 — Immigration Overview: Permanent and Temporary Residents,
(both last visited Oct. 3, 2009).)

This historical inability of Saskatchewan to attract immigrants, despite the fact that the per capita income in the province is 94% of that of the country as a whole, has led the Minister Responsible for Immigration to revise the province's policies by issuing new procedural guidelines. These guidelines apply to skilled workers, family members, students, health professionals, long-haul truck drivers, and hospitality workers. (Government of Saskatchewan, Economy,
; Government of Saskatchewan, SINP Procedural Guidelines,; Government of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), (all last visited Oct. 3, 2009).)

Also, as of October 1, 2009, there is a new process that is particularly designed to attract persons interested in applying for admission in the entrepreneur category. This new process is designed to improve processing times, transparency, and coordination with local businesses. Entrepreneurs are divided into large-scale investor, science and technology, and young farmer streams. To qualify as an entrepreneur, a person must have a net worth of at least Can$300,000 (about US$278,000) and be willing to invest at least Can$150,000 in the province. (Government of Saskatchewan, Application Guide for the Entrepreneur Category, (last visited Oct. 3, 2009).)

The Government of Saskatchewan hopes that the changes to its nomination process will attract 250 new entrepreneurs by the end of the 2010-2011 fiscal year and make the province more competitive in Canada. (Press Release, Government of Saskatchewan, New Immigration Process Boosts Nominations, Investments and Jobs Creation (Oct. 1, 2009), available at The Government intends to add two new streams to its entrepreneur program, for persons who partner with First Nations (Canadian native peoples) and for those who facilitate business succession. The Government also hopes that the new process will result in more immigrants coming to Saskatchewan and remaining in the province, as Canada does not restrict where immigrants can settle once they have been admitted to the country because of the mobility rights guaranteed by section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, Being Schedule B to the Canada Act, 1982, Ch. 11 (U.K.), Canada Department of Justice website, (last visited Oct. 5, 2009).)