Officials in Saskatchewan this month proposed changes to the province’s Immigrant Nominee Program, starting in January 2014.
The changes are intended to improve the system by balancing the interests of both immigrants and government, according to Saskatchewan Economy Minister Bill Boyd.
“There was a broad-based consultation with people across the province – immigrant consultants, immigrants themselves, immigrant communities,” said Boyd upon announcing the changes. “[We] had discussions with them about it to determine what they thought was a proper course of action, recognizing, of course, the federal government had parameters that we had to work within.”
One significant change is the move from nine different immigrant categories to three, with most former streams being consolidated. For instance, family member applications will fall under the new international skilled worker category, which recognizes applicants who have either the skills or social support base necessary to succeed.
The system will also move to a solely online application process, which will itself be streamlined and offer as many resources as possible for newcomers.
Critics expressed skepticism about the success of the new program, but did acknowledge that some form of change is necessary.
“What I will say is the government’s track record when it comes to the SINP isn’t a positive one,” said Opposition Leader Cam Broten. “We’ve seen huge problems that were created when the government unilaterally, without consultation, changed the program and created a lot of chaos and a lot of problems for a lot of families, so I hope that this has happened in a better way.”
Source: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix