Sask. government aims to make immigration easier for entrepreneurial international students

The University of Regina has seen international student enrolment grow from around 500 students to over 2,000 in the past ten years. File Photo / Global News

A new category is being added to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) for international students looking to stay in the province as entrepreneurs.

First mentioned in the province’s new 10-year growth plan, the new SINP category is part of the government’s goal to attract and retain “skilled and entrepreneurial new Canadians.”

Attracting more immigrants is part of the province’s goal of reaching a population of 1.4 million by 2030.

The province plans to market this program to international students studying at accredited post-secondary institutions in the province.

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“Saskatchewan’s Post-Secondary International Education Strategy aims to increase the number of international students choosing to study in Saskatchewan,” Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said Tuesday in a press release.

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“International education is an important driver for Saskatchewan’s future economic and cultural growth and this new category will help encourage international students to make Saskatchewan their home once they complete their studies.”

More international students are choosing to study in Saskatchewan. For instance, the University of Regina has seen international student enrolment grow from 536 to 2,097 in the past decade.

Approved SINP applicants will have to have graduated from a Saskatchewan post-secondary institution in a minimum two-year degree or diploma program. They also have to have operated a business in the province for at least one year and own a minimum of one-third equity in the business.

Applicants must also have a post-graduation work permit, which is issued by the federal government.

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