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Saskatchewan to attract immigrants with new entrepreneur cateogry

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Saskatchewan -- The province has launched a new entrepreneur program that is expected to bring 100 and 200 business immigrants yearly to Saskatchewan by 2008. Effective May 18, 2006 immigrants can now establish businesses in all economic sectors. Previously immigrants were limited to certain sectors such as agriculture and energy.

"Entrepreneur immigrants must post a $75,000 'good faith' deposit to secure their intentions to live and work in Saskatchewan. Analysis of similar immigrant programs elsewhere in Canada indicate this deposit strengthens the sincerity of entrepreneurs' intentions to stay in the province," Atkinson said.

The province plans to invest $6.3 million this fiscal year, up from $1.7 million in 2005/06, for a comprehensive immigration strategy that attracts more immigrants to Saskatchewan and helps them settle in communities and secure work.

Other requirements that entrepreneurs wishing to take advantage of this program will have to meet include:

  • A personal net worth of at least $250,000 (CDN);
  • An investment of at least $150,000 into a viable business within two years of arrival in Saskatchewan;
  • An active role in the business operations;
  • A minimum of one-third ownership in the Saskatchewan business; exceptions may apply if the investment exceeds $500,000;
  • Exclusion of passive investments such as those in loan companies, property rentals and leasing companies; and
  • An exploratory minimum five-day visit to Saskatchewan prior to nomination.

"This new program will make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to establish businesses here while helping our economy to expand," Atkinson said. "This is part of our bold new immigration strategy to bring 5,000 additional immigrants a year by 2008 under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.

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