Saskatchewan is a prairie region of Canada with the neighboring province Alberta to the west, Manitoba to the east, Northwest Territories to the north, and the US states of Montana and North Dakota to the south.The province has a population of over 1.1 million. In Regina, the capital city, the population reaches 240,000 and in Saskatoon, 300,000. Over history, Saskatchewan attracted immigrants due to its vast fertile lands. Today it boasts a fast-growing modern economy and has a lot to offer for newcomers to build their lives in Saskatchewan.
From the beginning, Saskatchewan’s economy has relied on industries such as furs, fish, forest products, agricultural products, and minerals. As a matter of fact, the products are consumed outside the province and generally outside Canada.
A large amount of Canada’s farmland is in Saskatchewan. The province mainly grows wheat and other crops, such as mustard, peas, and lentils. Significantly, livestock in some regions is increasing.
Saskatchewan has a wide range of mineral resources, including oil, potash, and uranium. The province is among leading producers and exporters of potash in the world. This is also true for oil and natural gas. Uranium is being deposited in northern Saskatchewan. Other important minerals include diamonds, gold, salt, sodium sulfate, lignite, zinc, copper, and a variety of clays.
Saskatchewan’s electrical energy mostly depends on coal-powered thermal plants. There are only several small hydroelectric dams. Alternative energy resources, such as wind power and biofuels attract investments and Regina is just a few steps towards becoming a renewable energy city.
The province currently exports one-third of the world’s potash and a fifth of the world’s uranium. Saskatchewan provides over a third of the world’s total exported durum wheat and is the world’s leading exporter of lentils and dry peas. Apart from being a world leader in agriculture, Saskatchewan is the fifth-largest oil producer in North America. Saskatchewan factories are producing a variety of goods exported to markets across Canada and around the world.
Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 5.8% in February 2019 and currently, it is the fifth lowest rate in the country, making it a good province for finding employment. The minimum hourly pay is $11.06 (As of October 2018).
Housing costs are more affordable in Saskatchewan than in most major cities in Canada, and many people can buy a house in the province. Unlike other Canadian provinces, there are no personal charges for standard and needed health services. The provincial sales tax of 6 percent is the lowest compared to other provinces that charge a sales tax. Residents spend less money and less time to get to work because the average commute time in major cities is about 20 minutes.
Saskatchewan Immigration Helpful Links
Those willing to find a job in Saskatchewan can avail of a few online resources. A very common resource for job search is Job Bank – the government website that helps you find jobs in any city of the province. The Career Center is the largest in Saskatchewan site with job listings, including other recruitment websites.
The provincial government of Saskatchewan offers a few helpful online resources for potential newcomers. Before you arrive in Saskatchewan, go to Settlement Online Pre-Arrival. Once in Canada, visit the following websites: Labour Market Service and Regional Newcomer Gateways. Physicians with medical degrees should visit Health Careers in Saskatchewan.
If you are a student in Saskatchewan, you will be able to apply for summer jobs; great opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and boost your practical skills. Contact Career Centers for more information.
Once in Canada, you have to take into account that despite plentiful sources, many jobs are still hidden. It means there are jobs you won’t be able to find in the advertisement. You’ll have to make people know about yourself, that is, attend job fairs, contact employers, meet new people. One of the best ways to secure Canadian work experience is volunteering. You can find volunteer opportunities here.
However, prior to applying for a job in Saskatchewan, you need to consider a few things. First, this is a Social Insurance Number without which you won’t be able to start working in Canada. Secondly, you will need to get your education credentials and qualification assessed by the Canadian Center for International Credentials. In fact, there are many credential assessment agencies and you need to make sure you have chosen the right one. Foreign workers with skills in trade need a Red Seal certification. Finally, ensure your English or French language skill meets at least minimum standards. If you pass these steps, then as a foreign worker, you’ll need to find a Canadian employer who will be willing to secure for you a job offer.
In Canada, all citizens and permanent residents under the age of 20 are entitled to attend free public secondary school, and children can attend kindergarten. The provincial education system allows for education in French and in First Nations or Metis languages.
The province of Saskatchewan has a number of different options for students to continue their education and training. The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are major post-secondary institutions in the province.
Graduates of approved post-secondary programs are eligible up to $20,000 tuition tax credit on their income tax.
The province is also home to the unique First Nations University of Canada. Skilled trade can be acquired through apprenticeship programs. There are also nine regional technical colleges and 50 private vocational schools.
Saskatchewan unites people of many faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs. Immigrants that arrive in the province can retain their traditions and take part in new ones.
Art galleries, theater, and music are well presented in Saskatchewan. The Regina Symphony Orchestra is the oldest performing orchestra in Canada. The province gave Canada a number of professional hockey players and champions.
The cities of Saskatchewan offer many cultural events, such as winter festivals, symphony concerts, and historical celebrations. There are many opportunities for canoeing, boating, swimming, and ice-fishing. In winter you can ski and snowboard. Picnic and camping lovers will appreciate beautiful provincial parks with play areas for children.
Saskatchewan Main Cities
Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan and its second-largest city. The population of the city is approximately 240,000. Regina’s rich natural resources that surround the city contribute to the local economy. The Regina Research Park, supported by the University of Regina, is a place where innovation booms.
Regina was named after Queen Victoria Regina of England in 1882. The settlement had been named Pile-Of-Bones and it was not yet a province at that time. However, being a part of the North-West Territories, Regina was the territorial headquarter. Regina had become the capital of Saskatchewan in 1906 and soon after that, Saskatchewan became a province.
Saskatoon is home to 300,000 people. The city, often known as “the Paris of the Prairies”, is divided by the South Saskatchewan River, providing a beautiful view of the sky horizon.
Saskatoon used to have an agricultural and mining economy, but today its economy focuses on technology and financial services. The city gained fame as a world leader in agricultural biotechnology, an industry that draws large investors from the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. The University of Saskatchewan is also here.
The vibrant cultural life of Saskatoon offers many popular festivals, especially in the summer. Visitors love attending jazz festivals, Saskatoon International Fringe Festival and Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival. And these just a glimpse of the many events conducted in Saskatoon.
Housing in Saskatchewan
You can choose from different types of accommodation in the province of Saskatchewan. Apartment buildings are spacious and, usually, are owned by one person or company available for rent. Studio assumes one room with a kitchen area and bathroom for one person. Families can find a larger apartment with more space, such as additional bedrooms, etc. A large multi-unit building where each unit belongs to the inhabitants is a condominium; each unit is a condo. The so-called “townhouses” represent a row of houses, which can be separated or individual. Toronto also has lots of duplexes and triplexes; these houses are divided into 2 or 3 separate apartments, one on top of another.
When you arrive in Saskatchewan, the first two weeks you may choose to live in a temporary place. Use Yellow Pages to find a list of hotels or motels.
Immigration Helpful Information
Before you move to a new country, it is important to ensure a place to stay. If you have friends or relatives in Saskatchewan, you might plan to live with them. However, most people rent apartments, and you can choose to rent either a short-term or a long-term rental. The first two weeks you may choose to live in a temporary place. Use Yellow Pages, booking.com and expedia.com to find a list of hotels and motels.
You can look for a home on your own or hire a real estate agent, which will also help you with a mortgage, insurance, and legal procedures. For a full list of certified real estate agents, check out the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors.
These are common rental websites: Craigslist, Kijiji, Prop2Go.com, Zoeken Canada. To obtain more information on buying and renting a home in Saskatchewan, tenant and landlord rights, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
People with low income can take advantage of the Co-Operative Housing and affordable housing programs. In co-operative housing, some tenants cover rent based on their income, while others pay market price rent. The idea is they together share responsibility for the housing.
Any property requires insurance. If something bad happens to your property, like damage, the insurance will cover the cost of repairs. In fact, banks will not proceed with a mortgage without insurance.
If you choose to rent an apartment, you will have to pay your monthly rent, including utilities. You might be additional costs for the parking place. As a rule, tenants must pay a security deposit, which they get back when they move out.
Pet lovers need to check with the landlord whether pets are legally allowed in the house you are planning to rent.
Foreigners willing to immigrate to Saskatchewan must apply through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program. The provincial government selects individuals who wish to establish themselves in the province and contribute to the local economy. Saskatchewan’s program identifies skilled workers, farmers, entrepreneurs, international students and individuals from certain professions in demand, and helps them to settle in Saskatchewan.
These are the following the SINP categories you can apply to:
Saskatchewan Skilled Worker: Occupation In-Demand
This stream doesn’t require a job offer from your employer, but you need to be a skilled worker who has experience in Saskatchewan In-Demand occupations. As of April 1, 2018, all applications to the Occupations In-Demand Sub-Category must include an Educational Credential Assessment.
Eligible candidates must score at least 60 points out of 100 on the SINP assessment table. You must have one year of work experience in a skilled profession in the past 10 years; or, two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or, one year of work experience in Canada in the last three years. The work experience should match NOC occupation level A, B or 0.
You also must prove language ability on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 4. Not the least, you should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support yourself financially. Some professions might require licensure. Finally, foreign degrees, diplomas or certificate will need to undergo an educational credential assessment (ECA).
Saskatchewan Express Entry Skilled Worker Stream
If you are already in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry pool, you have necessary education, skilled work experience (in NOC 0, A, or B), language ability, and other factors to help you establish in Canada successfully, then you can be nominated for the program. You also have to be accepted in IRCC’s Express Entry Pool and have your Express Entry Number and Job Seeker Validation Code, included in the SNIP application.
Eligible candidates must score at least 60 points out of 100. You must have one year of work experience in a skilled profession in the past 10 years; or, two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or, one year of work experience in Canada in the last three years. The work experience should match NOC occupation level A, B or 0.
The applicants also must prove language ability on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 4. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province and the ability to support themselves financially. Some professions might require licensure. Finally, foreign degrees, diplomas or certificate will need to undergo an educational credential assessment (ECA).
Saskatchewan Experience Category
This category is for skilled and semi-skilled workers, health professionals, workers in the hospitality sector and agriculture and long truck drivers who are currently residing in Saskatchewan and have accumulated Saskatchewan work experience. The category is also available for international graduates from one of the Saskatchewan educational institutions.
To apply for the Saskatchewan Experience category, applicants must have a full-time job offer and be in Canada on a valid work permit. They should have at least six months of work experience in Saskatchewan from the employer offering them a job offer. The applicants also must prove language on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) – CLB 4. Finally, they should be eligible for the Saskatchewan licensure.
Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Category
Business owners and senior managers who wish to become permanent residents by opening, purchasing or developing the existing business in Saskatchewan, should apply for the Entrepreneur Category.
Saskatchewan Farm Category
This category is for business in primary agricultural production. If you are interested to invest in the farm business, you may apply for the Saskatchewan Farm Category.
Eligible candidates should have a minimum personal net worth of $500,000 and be ready to sign an agreement to submit a refundable $75,000 deposit. It is important that you have business management experience and must provide documentation (education, training, work experience, etc.) to show you are an experienced farm operator. The candidate also must provide a language test certificate (IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF Canada). The language ability in English or French on the Canadian Language Benchmark must be CLB 4 or more. Not the least, they should demonstrate the intention to settle permanently in the province.
To apply for a Young Farmer Stream, you must be under the age of 40 and have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000. Other requirements include 3 years of experience in farm ownership or farm management. In addition, you have to submit a proposal for the farming business, which should have at least a $10,000 annual income.