Move to Canada with Saskatchewan Skilled Worker Hard-to-Fill Skills Pilot

For many, moving to Canada has always been the dream. However, fulfilling the eligibility criteria for any of those Canadian immigration routes could prove to be a real issue for anyone. Many want to migrate to Canada, but find themselves hampered by a lack of the necessary skills. Well, not anymore!  

It is true that a number of Canadian immigration pathways favor skilled workers, even if a number of those pathways work just fine for unskilled workers. One of such programs, and probably the best at this time, is the Saskatchewan Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot.

hard-to-fill skills pilot
hard-to-fill skills pilot

The Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot is a recent addition to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), which is the official nominee program of the province of Saskatchewan. But an added advantage is that you can get into this program with just a secondary school certificate. So, what do you need to know about this program, and how can you get aboard the Saskatchewan train?

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker Hard-to-Fill Skills Pilot, so that you can know how to go about it. 

What is the new immigration pilot program in Saskatchewan?

The Hard-to-fill pilot sub-category is designed for individuals in eligible, high-demand occupations, specifically targeting intermediate and low-skilled workers who fulfill the following conditions:

  • Hold a valid job offer in the province of Saskatchewan.
  • Satisfy all the eligibility requirements of this sub-category.
  • Express a clear intention to establish permanent residency in Saskatchewan. It’s important to emphasize that all nominees holding temporary work permits are expected to make Saskatchewan their primary place of residence.

From this, you can see that the singular and most central trick to getting a place in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill program is to get a valid job offer from a prospective employer, among other things. Once this condition is satisfied, all other steps in the process are easy and quite straightforward. 

So, how can you get a job offer from an employer in Saskatchewan, so that you can get a work visa to enter the province of Saskatchewan as an immigrant worker?

How long does it take to get into the Saskatchewan hard-to-fill pilot program?

When it comes to the process of getting an employment offer in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill pilot program, there is no definite answer. The processing time for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot program can vary based on several factors, including the volume of applications submitted to employers and the complexity of your individual case. 

hard-to-fill skills pilot
hard-to-fill skills pilot

But, if one considers the evidence presented by others who have gotten job offers in the Hard-to-fill pilot program, the processing time for provincial nominee programs, including this pilot, typically ranged from a few weeks to a few months. This is because most of the job offers in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot program are up to be filled immediately, though some are looking for candidates who can join within two or three months.  

To get the most accurate and up-to-date processing time information for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot program, I recommend checking the official Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) website or contacting SINP directly. They can provide you with the latest information and any changes in processing times that may have occurred over time.

How do you qualify for Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill Pilot Program?

To qualify for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot program, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete your secondary school education (high school) or attain a higher-level qualification.
  2. Accumulate a minimum of one year of full-time work experience within the past three years, either in your intended occupation or a related, acceptable occupation. Alternatively, you can demonstrate six months (equivalent to 780 hours) of full-time work experience (at least 30 hours per week) with the employer who issued your Job Approval Letter. It’s worth noting that this work experience doesn’t need to be continuous.
  3. Obtain a language score equivalent to at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. Keep in mind that certain employers or regulatory bodies may stipulate higher language proficiency requirements.
  4. For nominations related to NOC 73300, Transport Truck Drivers, the nomination will be conditional until you provide evidence to the SINP that you’ve obtained the necessary licensing and endorsements from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). The specific type of vehicle you operate in your job will determine the specific license and endorsements required. You’ll need to supply proof of having completed Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) and holding a valid Class 1A license from SGI for driving power units, semi-trucks, and trucks with trailer(s) or vehicle(s) in tow when the gross vehicle weight of the towed unit(s) exceeds 4,600 kg. For all other types of transport trucks, you will need a valid Class 2A license issued by SGI.
  5. Secure a permanent, full-time job in Saskatchewan that is approved by the SINP. To demonstrate this, you must possess a valid SINP Job Approval Letter provided by your employer. Your job offer must also fall within specific occupations as designated by the program.

Which specific occupations are designated for Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot program

NOC Occupation Title
14400 Shippers and receivers
14401 Storekeepers and partspersons
14404 Dispatchers
32109 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
33102 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient associates
33103 Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
33109 Other assisting occupations in support of health services
44101 Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations*
64314 Hotel front desk clerks
65102 Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
65200 Food and beverage servers
65201 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
65310 Light duty cleaners
65312 Janitors, caretakers and heavy-duty cleaners
73201 General building maintenance workers and building superintendents
73300 Transport truck drivers
73400 Heavy Equipment operators (except crane)
75101 Material handlers
75110 Construction trades helpers and labourers
84120 Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
85100 Livestock labourers
85101 Harvesting labourers
85111 Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers
94105 Metalworking and forging machine operators
94106 Machining tool operators
94120 Sawmill machine operators
94140 Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated processing
94141 Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
94204 Mechanical assemblers and inspectors
94213 Industrial painters, coaters and Metal finishing process operators
95101 Labourers in Metal fabrication
95106 Labourers in food, beverage and associated Products processing
95109 Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities

Be aware that employers looking to hire Home Support Workers, Caregivers, and related occupations (NOC 44101) who live in the client’s residence or workplace are not eligible to participate in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill pilot. In such cases, employers in need of workers for this specific living arrangement may use Canada’s Caregiver Programs for their recruitment needs.

Who is ineligible for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill pilot

You cannot apply for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill Pilot if:

  1. In Canada seeking refugee status directly from the Canadian government.
  2. If you failed to furnish the necessary documents when you submitted your application.
  3. You were unable to demonstrate your intent to reside and work in Saskatchewan.
  4. You, or your authorized representative, purposefully misrepresented yourselves in the application.

How to apply for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill Pilot 

To be eligible for this pilot program, you must:

  1. Secure a job offer from a prospective employer. This is the most important factor to consider when looking for a visa under the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill Pilot program. To initiate your job search, please visit the official Saskatchewan job site here. Your prospective employer will be required to obtain a Job Approval Letter from the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). Additionally, please make sure to:
  2. Adhere to the Application Process guidelines.
  3. Thoroughly complete, scan, and submit all the necessary documents.
  4. Ensure that all documents are properly translated, as applications with missing or untranslated documents will not be accepted. In such cases, you will receive a notification letter, and you will be invited to reapply.
hard-to-fill skills pilot
hard-to-fill skills pilot

There are jobs in occupations including:

  • Management (497)
  • Business, Finance, & Admin (1339)
  • Engineers, Architects, IT, Natural Sciences (311)
  • Health (1336)
  • Social Science, Education, & Gov’t (1072)
  • Art, Culture, Recreation, Sports (53)
  • Sales & Service (7819)
  • Trades, Transport, Construction (3517)
  • Oil, Gas, Mining, Farming (606)
  • Processing, Manufacturing, & Utilities (428)

Do i need IELTS to apply for Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill program?

To qualify for a work visa in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot Program, you typically need to demonstrate your language proficiency in English or French. However, while it’s true that the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot Program often requires language proficiency, it’s essential to clarify that you may not necessarily need to take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam specifically. 

The focus is to attain a score equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4: CLB 4 is considered a basic level of language proficiency, where applicants can understand and participate in simple conversations, read and write short, basic texts, and follow simple instructions. This level of proficiency is typically adequate for many entry-level and semi-skilled jobs.

Can you get CLB 4 without IELTS?

The short answer to this is an emphatic yes. And there are a number of ways for you to achieve that.

The reality is that the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot Program typically accepts alternative language test results as long as they are equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4. This means that you can use other alternative language tests, as long as you achieve the prescribed benchmark in the long run. 

So, which equivalent language tests can you take in place of the IELTS?

Equivalent Language Tests

Besides the IELTS, there are other language tests that can be used to demonstrate language proficiency, such as the CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) for English or the TEF (Test d’Évaluation de Français) for French. 

These tests are designed to assess your language skills in various areas, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. If you take one of these tests and achieve scores that are equivalent to CLB 4, it should fulfill the language requirement for the Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Pilot Program. Plus these tests are relatively cheaper that the IELTS, so why not? You can also take them while in your current country of residence. 

Also, remember that, while achieving a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4 is generally the threshold for meeting the language requirement for the program, it is essential to verify the specific requirements for the job you intend to apply for. This is because some employers may set their own language requirements.


You must have realized by now that getting employed in the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill program is not hard, as long as you are able to get a job offer from a prospective employer.

You only need a secondary school certificate and some work experience and you will be well on your way to getting a job offer that can help you achieve your dreams of migrating to Canada through the Saskatchewan Hard-to-fill program.

So, what are you waiting for?

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