REGINA -- The Saskatchewan government is forming a new immigration category for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), aimed at helping international students graduating from eligible Saskatchewan institutions attract business investment and stay in the province as entrepreneurs.

“This new immigration pathway will help retain international students who have often already successfully integrated into communities in the province,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a release. “It will also help create new businesses and jobs, as well as keep Saskatchewan competitive in attracting and retaining international students and investment.”

“Saskatchewan’s Post-Secondary International Education Strategy aims to increase the number of international students choosing to study in Saskatchewan,” Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said in a release. “International education is an important driver for Saskatchewan’s future economic and cultural growth and this new category will help encourage international students to make Saskatchewan their home once they complete their studies.”

According to the release, the new category supports the goal of expanding the SINP outlined in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan and will also help increase and retain skilled and entrepreneurial new Canadians in Saskatchewan.

Applicants who have completed a full-time post-secondary degree or diploma of at least two years in length from an eligible Saskatchewan institution will be eligible for the new category. Those approved will spend at least one year operating and managing a business in the province. The applicant will also own at least one-third of the equity of a qualified business to be eligible for permanent residence nomination.

A post-graduation work permit must be obtained by applicants from the federal government to operate their businesses.