On November 15, 2017, important changes were announced for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). Applications submitted prior to that date are not impacted by the changes and will be processed according to the old rules.
Going forward, the MPNP will continue to have:
A Manitoba business immigration stream; and
A Manitoba skilled worker immigration stream.
The business immigration stream will change considerably. When it re-opens around January 2018, it will be similar to British Columbia’s Entrepreneur Immigration. Applicants will be invited to begin operating a business in Manitoba on a work permit. Then after a compliance period, applicants who meet the criteria will be nominated for permanent residence by the province. No deposit will be needed. Applicants will need a minimum net worth of $500,000. They must be prepared to invest a minimum of $250,000 if their business will be in the capital region around Winnipeg. They must be prepared to invest a minimum of $150,000 if their business will be in a more remote area of Manitoba. Further details on the new Manitoba business immigration program will be announced around January 2018.
The skilled worker immigration stream will change considerably and in many ways. Effective immediately, Manitoba has created an in-demand occupation list. Overseas applicants who have work experience in such an occupation, along with the demonstrated language skills to work in such profession in Manitoba will be selected in priority. For the time being, the selection system for workers already in Manitoba will not change. But beginning in 2018, additional options will open for skilled workers who want to work permanently in Manitoba.
As of January 2018, there will be an Express Entry stream for Manitoba. Applicants must have work experience in an in-demand occupation and have completed a post-secondary education program of at least one year. They must have a connection to Manitoba (such as a family member or friend in Manitoba). The official language requirements will be Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 6 for National Occupation Code (NOC) level B occupations and CLB 7 for managerial or high skilled occupations.
There will be an International Education Stream for certain graduates of Manitoba colleges and universities with strong language skills of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 7 or higher. Graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) programs who have completed an internship in Manitoba will be allowed to apply to Manitoba for nomination for permanent residence, even without a job offer or further work experience in Manitoba. Other graduates can also apply directly to Manitoba for permanent residence if they have a job offer for at least one year in an in-demand occupation. They will no longer have to wait for 6 months’ work experience to apply to the MPNP.
There will also be an International Graduates Stream. It will have somewhat more relaxed language requirements and will take effect no earlier than July 2018. The International Graduates stream will allow former international students to apply to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) on the basis of work experience. For Manitoba graduates, they will be able to apply after six months’ of work if it is in an in-demand occupation. For Manitoba graduates, they will be able to apply after twelve months’ of work if it is not in an in-demand occupation. For graduates from other provinces, they will be able to apply after twelve months’ of work if it is in an in-demand occupation and it is related to their previous field of studies.
Around July 2018, new rules for workers in Manitoba will come into effect. At that time, temporary foreign workers in Manitoba will be able to apply after six months’ of work in Manitoba if it is in an in-demand occupation. They will be able to apply after twelve months’ of work in Manitoba if it is not in an in-demand occupation. The language requirements depend on the occupation. Low skill work experience will qualify for nomination and for permanent residence, provided the applicant can demonstrate language skills equivalent to at least CLB 4.
At a similar time, around July 2018, Manitoba will re-introduce the Employer Direct stream. It will allow qualifying Manitoba employers to offer a job to overseas candidates and seek permission for that applicant to apply immediately for Manitoba nomination without waiting to start work. The employer must have been actively involved in operations in Manitoba for at least 3 years with minimum revenues of at least $250,000 per year. The candidate must have at least 3 years of relevant experience in the occupation in the last 5 years. Wages and working conditions must meet the local prevailing wage requirements. The English requirements will depend on the occupation. Low skill work will require a minimum English or French level of CLB 4, managerial jobs will require CLB 5 and restricted occupations will require CLB 7.
For those interested in demonstrating their English skills, they should take an IELTS-General or CELPIP-General test. The French equivalent is TEF or TEF-Canada.