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The Skilled Workers in Manitoba (SWM) category of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) is aimed at helping skilled temporary workers in the province immigrate to Manitoba, Canada as Canadian permanent residents.

Manitoba recognizes that foreign workers and international graduates in Manitoba are among the best-suited newcomers to make a permanent life in the province, to establish themselves quickly and successfully, and to make a positive contribution to Manitoba’s economy and community.

Manitoba may be less well-known than populous provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia, but it should not be overlooked. Many newcomers find Manitoba is a fulfilling destination with plentiful career opportunities and a high standard of living. The province is actively looking to bolster its workforce by welcoming newcomers and their families.

The Skilled Workers in Manitoba category is not aligned with the federal Express Entry system. If you have an offer for a permanent and ongoing job for a company in Manitoba and you have been working for the company for at least six months, you could be able to apply for permanent residence — even if you are not eligible for Express Entry. You do not need an Express Entry profile in order to apply to the Skilled Workers in Manitoba category, and successful applicants will not obtain 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and enter the candidate pool, at which point they are assigned a points score out of 1,000. During periodic draws, top-ranking candidates in the pool are invited to submit a full application to the MPNP, and if they are successful, they can then apply directly to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.

The MPNP has been planning an overhaul of its immigration programs for the last several years. Changes were initially scheduled to come into effect in 2018, but have been delayed for several years. Among these changes, two new pathways will be added to the Skilled Workers in Manitoba category: Manitoba Work Experience, and Employer Direct Recruitment.

Skilled Workers in Manitoba criteria

In order to be eligible to submit an EOI through Skilled Workers in Manitoba category, you must:

  • be working in Manitoba for a Manitoba-based employer;
  • have worked for your current employer for at least six months (continuously) and have a long-term (or indefinite), full-time job offer from the same employer;
  • hold a valid temporary work permit (post-graduation work permits are acceptable);
  • have a sufficient language ability to fulfill your job duties;
  • show sufficient settlement funds and a connection to Manitoba that is stronger than any connection to another province; and
  • prepare a Settlement Plan to demonstrate your intention to settle in Manitoba.

Your employer will also need to demonstrate that it is an established company in Manitoba and able to offer you a long-term, full-time job.

International graduates who studied in Canada but outside Manitoba may still be eligible to enter the pool through the Skilled Workers in Manitoba category. However, graduates who studied in Canada but outside Manitoba and then moved to Manitoba to work need to work for their employer for at least one year (instead of six months) before they may become eligible.

It is important to note that some types of work experience cannot count towards the six-month (or one-year) work experience requirement. Time spent self-employed or as an independent contractor, working when unauthorized to do so (for example, working without a work permit), or working during full-time education cannot be included in the requirement.

Immigration to Manitoba: Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI)

Eligible candidates can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and enter the candidate pool, at which point they will be assigned a points score out of 1,000. Top-ranking candidates are issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA) in periodic draws from the pool, and may then submit a full application. The EOI submission is an electronic process, which involves answering some questions online and uploading supporting documents.

An EOI is valid for one year after submission – if you haven’t received a LAA after one year, your EOI will expire and you will need to submit a new one to remain in the candidate pool.

The EOI can be updated at any time, even after submission. This means that if you become eligible for a higher points score, you don’t have to wait until your EOI expires to update your situation. For example, if you take another language test or complete more work experience after you submit your EOI, you can update your profile and improve your points score.

An EOI is not an application for immigration; rather, it allows the government of Manitoba to determine candidates’ eligibility in various immigration categories. There is no limit to the number of candidates who can submit an EOI, and there is no deadline – the system is always open to receive EOIs. (Having said that, the province does reserve the right to limit EOIs from candidates in certain occupations, if there is a significant overload.)

After submitting an EOI, candidates receive a score out of 1,000 based on work experience, education, language ability, adaptability, and other factors. ‘Adaptability’ assesses a candidate’s connection to the province – for example, through relatives, work experience, or education – as such a connection may mean a candidate is likely to be able to settle successfully and long-term in the province.

EOI pool factor 1: Language

EOI pool factor 2: Age

EOI pool factor 3: Work experience

EOI pool factor 4: Education

EOI pool factor 5: Adaptability

EOI pool factor 6: Risk assessment

Manitoba Letter of Advice to Apply

The province conducts draws to invite top-ranking candidates to submit a full application to the MPNP. These candidates receive a LAA. Draws are conducted roughly every month, although historically there has been no regular schedule or advance notice for draws. Although candidates in the pool are scored out of 1,000, since draws began in May, 2015 the minimum score of any invited candidate in the SWM category has commonly been around 500 to 600.

Once you receive a LAA, you have 60 days to complete and submit an application to the MPNP. It is strongly recommended that candidates start preparing documents when they enter the pool, as it can take some time to gather the required documents in the right format.

Apply for Canadian permanent resident status

If your application to the MPNP is successful, you can then apply directly to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.

MPNP Skilled Worker in Manitoba draw history

PNP live tracker

Canada’s immigration programs and categories are highly active, and updates occur frequently – make sure you are up to date with the latest information on immigration programs across all the provinces and territories with Moving2Canada’s Canada PNP Live Tracker.

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