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Immigrant nominee cap level up for Sask. in 2015

International immigration helps the Saskatchewan population grow by over 5,000 people in the first quarter of 2014.
Federal government immigrant nominee cap level increased to 5,500 for Saskatchewan in 2015; could result in 14,000 new residents. Brent McGillvray / Global News

REGINA – The cap on the number of immigrants coming to Saskatchewan in 2015 is going up. The nominee cap level set by the federal government will go up to 5,500, an increase of 16 per cent from this year.

The 775 additional nominations will be under a new express entry category through the Saskatchewan immigrant nominee program (SINP). Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for immigration, says the new category not only speeds up permanent residence applications, it will fill critical shortages in the skilled labour market.

“We expect this new category to provide significant benefits not only for highly-skilled immigrants to this province, but for our business community and our economy,” said Harrison.

“These nominees will have post-secondary education and high-skilled work experience, as well as other qualifications that will help them to successfully settle in and contribute to our communities.”

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The federal government will select candidates from a pool and invite them to apply for permanent residency and those accepted can then apply to SINP. They will then receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency if the federal target of 5,500 for the province has not been met.

Officials say if all 5,500 seats are filled, it would result in approximately 14,000 new residents in the province once spouses and children are accounted for.

Related: Sask. population may grow to 1.52M by 2038: StatsCan

Details of eligibility criteria in the new category will be released on Jan. 2, 2015.