The province of Saskatchewan has announced several changes to their Provincial Nominee Program in hopes of convincing the federal government to raise their annual quotas.
The Provincial Nominee Programs allow the provinces to have some jurisdiction in immigration matters, selecting certain pre-approved applicants for fast-track immigration at the federal level.
Among the changes, which will go into effect immediately, are limitations to the amount of family members that can apply at one time (only immediate family members, no extended family) as well as a new requirement that all nominees have a job offer before entering the province.
The provincial government is also looking to provide employers and applicants with more protection and is therefore compiling a list of “approved consultants and recruiters.” Further consultations regarding possible legislation are also one of the province’s priorities.
Immigrant advocates are expressing mixed feelings about the changes, saying that although there may be tough adjustments for families, the steps being taken to protect workers are a good move.
“For the most part, employers are ethical, but a few aren’t and we need to be very careful and watch out for them and make sure that newcomers are receiving the information they need around labour legislation and their own protection,” said Darcy Dietrich, an immigrant services worker in Regina. “I think it actively has to be provided to them, it can’t be a piece of paper that’s just given to them.”
The province of Saskatchewan is hoping that the changes will improve the integrity and the efficiency of their PNP, and inspire the federal government to increase from 4,000 to 6,000 the allotted number of nominees per year.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix