Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Daily case numbers and information for businesses and workers.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was released on April 23rd.

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Immigration FAQs

Updated as of June 8, 2020.

This page addresses recent inquiries received by the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) from those impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19.

This page will be regularly updated to reflect the most accurate information available as the situation develops.

If your question is not addressed on this page or you require additional information, please contact SINP customer service staff at immigration@gov.sk.ca or 1-833-613-0485.

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1. SINP Temporary Measures

I'm a SINP nominee or working for a SINP-approved employer and my situation has changed. Will I lose my nomination or need to leave the province?

Please note that the SINP has extended these temporary measures for an additional 6 months:

  • SINP nominees can now request a six-month extension to their nomination. This provides nominees with an additional six months to apply for permanent residency to the federal government. Please send extension requests to immigration@gov.sk.ca.
  • A nomination may be changed to a conditional nomination if the nominee no longer meets the minimum criteria of the SINP category through which they received their nomination. The conditions will need to be removed in order for the nominee to obtain permanent residency.;
  • Applicants and nominees may be issued a conditional nomination if the terms of the employment offer associated with their original SINP application have been changed or their employment has been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The SINP must be notified immediately if the job held by an applicant or nominee changes, they are laid off, or their job is terminated. Withholding this information is misrepresentation.
  • An employment offer is considered valid for SINP applicants and nominees if it is from an employer(s) with a valid Certificate of Registration who has provided the worker with a Job Approval Letter. The worker must meet the conditions of their work permit. If the employment offer(s) meet these requirements, the SINP will allow the following temporary measures:
    • Nominees will have six months to obtain new, eligible employment if the job offer associated with their original SINP application no longer exists. Their nomination will become a conditional nomination until new full-time employment (30 hours/week) is obtained. An additional six month extension is now available, providing nominees with a total of 12-months to meet the requirements of the SINP category under which they were nominated.
    • If a nominee or applicant receives a new employment offer it must be for an Allowable Business (NOC 0, A, B, C or D positions) as these are occupations that are needed to provide critical public services and allowable business services. If the new employment offer is for an allowable business then the occupation does not need to match the worker's education or past work experience if the employer has verified through a Job Approval Letter that the worker has the skills and abilities to perform the work.
    • Applicants or nominees working in the province that have had their full-time hours reduced will be allowed to continue working for their approved employer and find other interim employment for an Allowable Business (NOC 0, A, B, C or D positions). The nomination will become a conditional nomination until the worker is working 30 hours per week in one job or more.
    • Applicants or nominees working in the province that have had their full-time hours reduced will be allowed to continue working for their approved employer(s) at the reduced hours without supplementing their employment if the employer(s) commits to resuming full-time employment (30 hours/week) within 6 months of the full-time hours being reduced. If a nomination had been issued previously then it will become a conditional nomination while the nominee is working less than 30 hours per week for the approved employer(s). An applicant must be working 30 hours per week in one job or more and meet all of the applicable SINP criteria in order to be nominated to the program.
    • Potential applicants that have been living and working in Saskatchewan for at least six months will be eligible to apply to the SINP with 780 hours of work experience (equivalent to 6 months at 30 hours per week), whether through full-time or part-time work. However, the applicant must be working 30 hours per week in one job or more and meet all of the applicable SINP criteria in order to be nominated to the program.;
    • If a worker does not have an open work permit, they will need to obtain a new work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The SINP will issue them a new work permit support letter where required. A worker cannot legally work for a new employer until a new work permit is obtained.
  • Nominees or potential applicants must continue to economically support themselves with the exception of short-term supports. If nominees or applicants access short-term income support during the pandemic, they will not be penalized.

Who do I contact to get more information about the SINP?

  • Please contact the SINP at immigration@gov.sk.ca or 1-833-613-0485. The program continues to provide service by phone or email but is not currently open for in-person services.
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2. Applications for Permanent Residence

I just applied or am in the process of applying for Permanent Residence. Will there be delays in processing my application?

  • Federal processing times for permanent resident applications will be slowed, but it is unclear to what extent. The current posted processing times may not be accurate. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) posts their processing times online at Check Processing Times.

I am a Permanent Resident applicant and have not yet arrived to Canada. Will the travel ban affect me?

  • Permanent Resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were in force on March 18, but who had not yet travelled to Canada are still able to travel to Canada and 'land' as a permanent resident.
  • All permanent residents are exempt from the travel restrictions and permitted to travel to Canada if they have the required travel documents.

If I access Employment Insurance (EI) will it affect my immigration application?

  • IRCC has communicated that being on EI alone will not negatively affect a permanent residency application. The federal immigration officer assessing the application will look at a variety of factors and the application as a whole when assessing the admissibility criteria of being economically/financially established.
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3. Temporary Workers and Residents in Saskatchewan

What other federal measures have been put in place or are being considered for temporary workers?

  • As of March 26, 2020, federal travel restriction exemptions for Temporary Foreign Workers came into effect and they may continue travelling to Canada.
  • IRCC will also be increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program from one to two years. This will improve flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for employers, including those in food processing.
  • As of June 5, 2020, Temporary Foreign Workers are exempt from biometrics if they are truck drivers, in health-care, or agriculture and agri-food sectors in Canada.
  • For those not covered by the exemption, if the visa application centres (VACs) or other biometrics collection sites in your country or region are still closed, and your extension to give biometrics is ending, you won't have to give your biometrics until the biometrics collection sites reopen. This applies to you, even if your biometric instruction letter (BIL) says that your deadline is 30 or 90 days.
  • No application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents that are missing due to COVID-19. Make sure to keep checking online to see when the VACs and other biometrics collection sites start to reopen. Once you are able, complete the steps, including making an appointment to give your biometrics, as soon as possible to avoid delays.

I am a temporary resident in Canada and my status is about to expire. What do I do?

  • IRCC has confirmed that temporary residents who are currently in Canada are able to apply to extend their status online if they need to extend their status.

Can I travel to a port of entry to request service?

  • IRCC is asking temporary residents not to travel to a port of entry (e.g. US border crossing) to apply directly to a border services officer as this is considered non-essential travel and they will likely not receive services.

I have applied or am about to apply to extend my status. What happens now?

  • A temporary resident who has applied to extend their status is allowed to remain in Canada until a decision is made on their new application, even if their initial status expires while they are waiting for that decision. This is called implied status.
  • If you need documentation from the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) to apply to the federal government for the extension, please visit: Revise or Extend an SINP Nomination.

I am a temporary resident who is unable to leave Canada. What happens now?

  • If your status has not yet expired, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada.
  • If you are a visitor, you can apply to extend your stay in Canada.
  • If you are a worker or student, you have a few options:
    • If you are no longer working or studying, you can apply to change your status to visitor, as long as your study or work permit has not expired.
    • If your visitor record or study or work permit has already expired, and it's been less than 90 days since your status expired, you can apply to restore your status.
    • If it has been more than 90 days since your status expired, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary resident permit. With a temporary resident permit, you can remain in Canada with legal status.

I am planning to travel. What is the current advice?

  • To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
  • Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.
  • Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected.
  • If you have plans to travel, contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.
  • Visit the Government of Canada's Travel and Tourism page for COVID-19 travel health notices before travelling.

If my work permit expires and I can't get it extended quickly, how can I get my driver's licence extended?

  • As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, SGI will renew licences for a one-year period if you have proof that you've applied for a work permit extension.

What health insurance is available for Temporary Foreign Workers?

  • If you are a TFW with implied status, please contact eHealth to discuss your ability to extend your health coverage. eHealth can then advise you of the documents that are required to be submitted for review.

To start working in Saskatchewan (switch from visitor to temporary worker), or to change my employer on my work permit, I need to apply or reapply for a work permit. Will I get "implied status" from IRCC and be able to start working during the temporary work permit application process?

  • Individuals on temporary permits are considered under implied status if they apply before the expiry of their current status. Implied status will be in effect until the decision on their application is received.
  • Individuals with implied status can only continue doing what they were authorized to do on their existing permit while waiting for a decision on their new permit application.
  • This means that they can only work for the employer that is listed on their original work permit if they had a closed work permit.
  • If the person was authorized to be in Canada as a visitor, they may remain in Canada as a visitor on implied status while they wait for the decision on their work permit. They may not begin working until their work permit application is finalized and approved.

For SINP International Skilled Worker (ISW) applicants in Canada, will they get implied status from IRCC during the temporary work permit process if they've never had a work permit before e.g. those on a visitor visa?

  • Someone who has implied status can only continue doing what they were authorized to do on their existing permit. If the person was authorized to be in Canada as a visitor, they may remain in Canada as a visitor on implied status while they wait for the decision on their work permit, provided they apply before the expiry of their current status. They may not begin working until their work permit application is finalized and approved.
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What happens with my SINP immigration application if my employment changes (lay off or termination)?

  • SINP applicants working in the province on a temporary work permit must continue to meet the minimum criteria of the SINP category under which they applied, including a full time (30 hours/week) employment with an approved employer that meets the conditions of their existing work permit. SINP provides applicants with additional time during the pandemic to seek another employment offer or to resume work full-time with their initial employer.
  • The COVID-19 Temporary Measures require them to find another full-time employment offer within six months of the lay off or termination or their application for nomination will be made ineligible. During the pandemic, an applicant's education or past work experience does not have to match a new employment offer verified through a Job Approval Letter, for an Allowable Business (NOC O, A, B, C or D positions) because these occupations are needed to provide critical public services. See SINP Temporary Measures for more information.
  • Employees who have been laid off can seek the services of Labour Market Services for assistance. They can provide information and tools to help laid off workers with a job search. For more information please refer to Labour Market Services.
  • Federal measures in response to COVID-19 were announced that offer income support to workers and self-employed persons who wouldn't otherwise qualify for Employment Insurance benefits. Please see the Economic Response Plan for more information.
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5. Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan

My business does not provide essential services or products. Do I have to close my business due to the State of Emergency?

  • Businesses conducting non-essential business activities must ceases public-facing business operations immediately. This does not mean that you must close your business, but allows you to continue to operate your business using practices and methods that eliminate in-person services and transactions. Modifications may include online sales to Saskatchewan customers or the delivery or curb-side drop off of products. Please contact the SINP at saskentrepreneur@gov.sk.ca if you have any questions about allowable business operations.

I have closed my business due to the State of Emergency and economic downturn. Do I still need to fulfill the terms of my Business Performance Agreement (BPA)?

  • Yes, you are still required to fulfill the terms of your BPA.  If you cannot modify your business operations to eliminate public-facing services, you may temporarily suspend your business operations until the State of Emergency is lifted.
  • If you are on a Temporary Work Permit (TWP) that may expire this year, please contact the SINP at saskentrepreneur@gov.sk.ca to request a BPA extension and updated TWP Support Letter to be used to apply for an extension to your work permit. TWP applicants who have applied for an extension before the expiration of their current permit will be considered under "implied status" until the federal government can process your permit extension application.
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6. Contacting Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

How do I get a hold of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)?

  • You can contact IRCC through a web form. You can also access pre-recorded information about our programs and check the status of your application.
  • Telephone: 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only)
    • Automated telephone service (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week): If you have a touch-tone telephone you can listen to pre-recorded information about our programs, and check the status of your application.
    • Client Support Centre agents - Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., your local time, except for statutory holidays. Services are available in French and English. Agents can help you with general and case specific enquiries. They cannot:
      • make decisions on applications; or
      • help process applications faster, unless you meet the criteria for urgent processing.
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7. Travel Restrictions

What is the situation in Saskatchewan?

What travel bans have been put in place?

  • The Government of Canada has put in place emergency measures to limit international travel to Canada, including at the US border, with some exemptions.

Who is exempt from the travel ban?

  • The exemptions include:
    • International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020.
    • Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada.
    • Temporary workers who were already established in Canada or who had made arrangements to come to Canada to work before the travel restrictions were put in place. It also includes new workers who are coming to Canada to be employed in critical industries, such as agriculture, food processing, health, transportation and emergency services.
    • As of June 8, 2020, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.

What screening measures are currently in place for travellers?

  • All individuals entering from abroad will undergo health screening protocols before travel and are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. This is mandatory.
  • Effective at midnight on April 14, 2020, anyone who is returning to Canada from abroad has to have a "credible quarantine plan" or they will be forced to spend 14 days in isolation in a "quarantine location." See the question below for more information.
  • All persons entering Canada must wear a non-medical mask or face covering to protect others.

I intend travel to Saskatchewan or I am a new permanent resident and I am required to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in the province? Where can I stay during this 14-day period?

  • Before arriving in Canada, foreign nationals travelling to Canada must already have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in compliance with the Order in Council Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation) No. 3, including: a place to stay, how they get to their destination, how they will get groceries and access essential services and medical care.
  • Travellers are expected to find suitable accommodations. A "suitable place" would have access to basic necessities such as food and medicine, and it cannot be in a place where you would be in contact with seniors or other individuals who might be vulnerable to the virus.
  • Please ensure that you travel directly to your place of quarantine upon arriving in Saskatchewan and avoid making stops during transit. Please use private transit if possible.
  • You may not leave your place of quarantine unless it is to seek medical attention. You may not have any guests even if you are outside and stay two metres apart from them.
  • You must follow all Government of Canada guidelines and health services requirements, which can be found here:
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8. International Students in Saskatchewan

Are international students exempt from the travel ban?

  • International students who held a valid study permit when the travel restrictions were first in force on March 18 are exempt. This exemption is to accommodate students who are in the middle of their course of study or who have just been approved to study in Canada but were outside Canada when the travel restrictions took effect.

Are there provisions being made for international students who may not be able to arrive as they initially planned?

  • Typically, Canadian universities/learning institutions offer international students who have been accepted or gotten admission, the flexibility to delay starting for up to a year from when they were admitted. International students are advised to contact their intended institution of study directly to find out what provisions have been made available for international students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • For international students that hold or have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June 2020, and those classes are being offered online due to COVID-19, they can begin their program online from outside of Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner without it impacting the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.

Are international students who are concerned about restrictions on distance learning going to be able to apply for a post-graduation work permit?

  • Courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility.

As a study permit holder, am I still allowed to work?

  • As per usual, study permit holders who are allowed to work off-campus are permitted to do so for 20 hours/week while classes are in session and full-time during scheduled breaks.

What is the status of study permit applications?

  • The processing of study permits for students will continue in anticipation of the fall study term. IRCC will continue to process applications to the extent possible. Study permit applications require biometrics, and many visa application centres that normally provide this service are closed. As a special measure, due to COVID-19, applicants are now being given 90 days instead of the standard 30 days to give biometrics.
  • International students can apply online to extend their status before it expires, thereby obtaining implied status while IRCC processes their application. Implied status allows them to continue to study and/or work subject to the conditions of existing study or work permit.
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9. International Skilled Worker EOI System

Who will use the Expression of Interest (EOI) system?

  • The EOI system will be used by persons who want to apply to the SINP through the Occupations in Demand or Express Entry sub-categories. These are two very popular sub-categories that required the use of application thresholds in the past to make sure that the SINP had a manageable application inventory that results in competitive processing times.

What is an EOI system?

  • An EOI is the first step for individuals interested in applying to become permanent residents in Saskatchewan. They use the EOI system to show they are interested in applying to either the Occupations in Demand or Express Entry sub-categories under the SINP.
  • Candidates will register in the SINP's online system and complete an online EOI profile. As part of this profile, candidates will enter basic information about themselves including name, date of birth, home country and email address and then self-assess using the SINP point assessment grid.
  • Once the profile has been completed, the candidate will submit their expression of interest and be entered into a candidate pool.
  • Candidates that meet EOI selection criteria will be selected from the EOI candidate pool by the SINP, through an EOI draw, and they will receive an Invitation to Apply to the SINP. At this point, applicants will be asked to submit additional information and documentation in order to submit a complete online application, as well as pay the non-refundable application processing fee of $350.00 Canadian.

How is an EOI profile created?

  • All that is required to create an EOI profile is an account in the SINP's online application system (OASIS), and basic information about you and your qualifications. This includes contact information and information about your education, work experience, age, official language ability, and connections to Saskatchewan.
  • You can access a guide that explains the steps at International Skilled Worker EOI System.

What happens if I can't apply within 60 days of being invited to apply?

  • Once you are invited to apply, your EOI profile will be removed from the EOI pool. If you don't apply within 60 days, your Invitation to Apply will expire.  You will need to create a new EOI profile if you remain interested in applying to the SINP.

What happens if the EOI point score, which an EOI candidate claims, is not accurate?

  • Upon application to the SINP, if an applicant is found to have completed the EOI profile and self-assessment fraudulently, they will be refused and prohibited from reapplying to the SINP for a period of two years.
  • If applicants are assessed by the SINP as having a lower point score than their self-assessed point score and they made an authentic mistake regarding their self-assessment, their application will not be processed and it will be returned. This will be done to be fair to other candidates in the EOI pool who had accurate or higher point scores and were not selected. However, the applicant will be able to resubmit a new EOI profile and be considered for future Invitations to Apply.

What happens to those Expression of Interest candidates that are not selected from the pool? What does it mean that EOI profiles are only valid for one year? Can individuals reapply?

  • Candidate profiles entered into the candidate pool that are not invited to apply will be removed from the pool after one year, at which time you are able to resubmit a profile if you choose to do so.
  • This allows the SINP to eliminate profiles of people who are no longer interested in applying. The one year timeline begins when the EOI is submitted. After one year, your EOI profile status will show as expired.

How many people will be invited at each draw? How often will draws occur?

  • The size and frequency of EOI Selections are based on labour market need, provincial priorities, and the number of applications processed since the last EOI Selection. Selections will take place every two months, at a minimum. The dates of the draws will not be communicated ahead of schedule.
  • The range of point scores and a description of the attributes of the group of candidates chosen in the draws will be shown on the International Skilled Worker EOI System page.

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