Immigration News: SINP Changes - New Language Requirements

From July 1st, 2012 most people applying for the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) as semi- and low-skilled professionals will need to take languages tests.

These will test for a basic standard in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Kenny, the minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, explained that since the focus of the PNP is on immigration's role in the economy, language skills are an essential part of this.
Although the PNP is geared towards Saskatchewan's job market, often this program has been used by applicants to help reunite their families. This is not the goal of the PNP – rather it focuses on Canada's economic and labour interests.

Each province and territory has a different version of the PNP which needs to adhere to federal immigration policy and laws. In Saskatchewan it is known as Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).

These language requirements apply to anyone who is submitting an application under the Hospitality Sector Pilot Project and the Long-Haul Truck Driver Categories as these are categories for NOC ‘C’ or ‘D’ positions. It may also affect you if you are applying under the Student Category and have a NOC ‘C’ or ‘D’ job offer. If you fit into any of the above categories you will be required to submit the results of an official language test with their application. These language test scores must meet the minimum requirements in order for you to be eligible.

If you are applying under the SINP Skilled Worker Category, you are not required to submit the results of a formal English Language test but you will still be required to demonstrate your English Language abilities in order to be eligible.

If your first language is not English or French, you must prove your English/French language ability by submitting ONE of the following:

•   Education/training documents that demonstrate you have attended education institutions where the language of instruction was English/French and show the length of the program;
•   Copies of internationally recognized International Language testing results such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL);
•   Certificates of English/French Language training with a letter that shows the length of the program; or
•   Employment references with English/French as the principal language of communication.


There is a One-Year Language Requirements Exemption for Certain Temporary Foreign Workers. There will be a one-time exemption for Temporary Foreign Workers in NOC C and D occupations who arrived in Canada on or before July 1, 2012, and who are subsequently nominated in employer-driven PNP streams no later than July 1, 2013. This ensures that all individuals who arrived as temporary foreign workers under the previous regime, when no minimum standards existed, will not be disadvantaged.

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