Foreign workers who have a connection to Manitoba may be able to obtain Canadian permanent residence through the Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas (SWO) category of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). This category of the MPNP is scheduled to undergo some changes in the future, although Manitoba’s timeline for changes has been delayed several times.
For the first time since the introduction of the federal Express Entry system in 2015, Manitoba now offers a way for candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply to the province for provincial nomination through the Manitoba Express Entry Pathway, contained within the Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas category. Provincial nomination under the Manitoba Express Entry Pathway effectively guarantees an invitation to apply (ITA) in a subsequent Express Entry draw, as nominees obtain 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates who receive an ITA in an Express Entry draw can then apply to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.
A second pathway, the Manitoba Human Capital Pathway, was scheduled to come into effect in 2018, but has been delayed for more than one year. This pathway targets international applicants who have skilled work experience and training in one of the occupations on Manitoba’s in-demand occupations list (see below). The Human Capital Pathway will not be aligned with the Express Entry system, so potential candidates do not need an Express Entry profile and will not receive 600 CRS points if their application to the MPNP is successful – instead, they may apply directly to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.
The Moving2Canada PNP Live Tracker provides the latest information on the status of the MPNP and other Canadian immigration programs. With a major overhaul to the MPNP imminent, make sure to check back often to get the latest updates as they happen.
Immigration to Manitoba: the current situation
The criteria below apply to Expressions of Interest and applications received before the introduction of the planned changes, originally scheduled for 2018, but now delayed for more than one year.
While a connection to Manitoba is required in order to be eligible to apply through the Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas category, this is not a sponsorship program. Potential candidates still need to demonstrate that they are a skilled worker with English or French language ability, settlement funds, and the intention to settle permanently in Manitoba. As the Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas category has a points-based assessment, potential candidates also need to obtain a score of at least 60 points for language ability, employability, education, age, and adaptability.
Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas: existing categories
There are three ways to demonstrate you have a connection to the province.
If you have close family members or friends who are Canadian permanent residents living in Manitoba, they may be able to endorse your application. Your family member or friend must have been continuously living in the province for at least one year. You will need to demonstrate close ties to your supporter, and they must be able to endorse your settlement plan and provide their contact details for your application.
Close relatives can support more than one applicant at once, but friends or distant relatives are only eligible if they (and their household) are not supporting anyone else for any other immigration program, in Manitoba or elsewhere in Canada (for example, your friend cannot endorse you if his spouse is sponsoring her parents at the same time, even though the Parent and Grandparent Program is a separate Canadian immigration program).
If your supporter has endorsed a Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas candidate before, he or she will need to show that candidate successfully settled in the province permanently. You cannot be supported by immigration representatives, Canadian elected officials and their staff, or anyone who is not a close friend or relative of you or your spouse or partner. Additionally, children cannot support their parents through this category, and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident cannot support his or her spouse or partner.
If you have worked or studied in Manitoba before, this could be the route for you. Past workers require at least six consecutive months’ work experience in Manitoba, shown by a signed letter of reference from the employer and a copy of the work permit used. Past students need to show they attended and completed an authorized study or training program at a public or registered private post-secondary university or college in Manitoba. Graduates need to submit their study permit(s), transcripts, and certificate, diploma, or degree.
Through the Strategic Recruitment initiative (SRI), Manitoba can identify and invite candidates for immigration to Manitoba through the Manitoba Skilled Workers Overseas category. This is accomplished through two means: regular recruitment events overseas, linking Manitoba employers directly with job seekers; and exploratory visits, during which an applicant can research employment opportunities.
During these overseas recruitment events and exploratory visits, MPNP program officers interview likely candidates and issue Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) to those who seem likely to be able to settle successfully in Manitoba. If you want to make an exploratory visit to Manitoba, you need to submit an application during a designated intake period. In order to be eligible to receive a LAA through either an overseas recruitment event or an exploratory visit, you must:
- be aged 21 to 45;
- demonstrate employability and adaptability;
- have a diploma, degree, or certificate from the completion of a post-secondary study or training program of at least one year in length;
- have at least two years’ full-time work experience in the last five years, and demonstrate you are able to find a job in that occupation in Manitoba (including any licensing or certification that may be required for regulated occupations);
- show that you genuinely intend to settle in Manitoba (a Settlement Plan is required) and that your connection to Manitoba is stronger than your connection to any other province; and
- submit results of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in each language ability from an approved language test, taken within the last two years.