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On May 7, 2024, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that Canada will introduce a public policy to give open work permits to eligible temporary workers in Manitoba. This comes within weeks of Manitoba’s announcement that they will prioritize the assessment of Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) applications with expiring permits.

Key Takeaways

  • Eligible temporary workers will be able to apply for an open work permit. 
  • There is limited information available on what makes an applicant eligible but Minister Miller’s announcement suggests that the majority of those will be P0st-Graduation Work Permit holders. 
  • Applicants who are eligible to benefit from this can expect to receive an official Provincial Nomination from Manitoba within two years, helping them to become Canadian permanent residents.
  • As confirmed in a May 8th 2024 update, approximately 6,700 temporary workers in Manitoba will benefit from this.

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What Do We Know About This New Public Policy?

Accompanying a letter addressed to the Minister of Immigration and Labour for the Government of Manitoba. Minister Miller writes: 

‘I am introducing a public policy to give open work permits to eligible temporary workers in Manitoba’s Expression of Interest pool under PNP. Within 2 years, we expect eligible candidates to receive an official nomination from Manitoba and become permanent residents’.

Immigration Marc Miller @MarcMillerVM, 2024 May 7,  via official X account.

Here is what we take from the letter.

Although Minister Millers intent is to introduce a time-limited open work permit to nomination-ready temporary residents employed in Manitoba, it is likely that the policy will be available to Post-Graduation Work Permit Holders only given that this policy is designed to address the worrying number of PGWP due to expire in 2024, which could have devastating effects on Manitoba’s labour needs. It is possible that other temporary work permit holders will also be eligible based on how the province of Manitoba has reported on this issue.

In follow up to this matter, on May 8th 2024, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided more information on this confirming eligible individuals are mainly post-graduation work permit holders who are currently in the Manitoba Skilled Worker Provincial Nominee Program Expression of Interest pool. From this, we can assume that the lion’s share of these permits will go to PGWP holders with some going to other work permit holders.


Who Will Be Eligible Under This Public Policy?

The letter is somewhat vague when it comes to the particulars of who will be eligible, however, it looks like this Public Policy will target the following applicants who are able to demonstrate all of the following: 

  • Temporary Residents with an expiring permit. 
  • Currently employed in the province of Manitoba.
  • Have an active Expression of Interest in Manitoba’s Skilled Worker PNP pool.

This is our interpretation of an official letter. We will know the exact eligibility requirements when the Public Policy comes into force. 

When Will This Public Policy Come into Force?

There is no information on when we can expect this public policy to come into force, nor do we know how long it will remain open for applicants to benefit from it. We can expect to receive further updates in the near future. Minister Miller has a meeting scheduled with the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration on May 10th, 2024 where this topic will surely be discussed.

What About Expired Temporary Work Permit Holders, Will They Still Benefit From This?

Minister Miller refers to PGWP holders whose permits expire in 2024 however it does not say whether those whose permits have already expired in 2024 will be eligible, nor does it specifically mention other types of work permit holders. 

One condition is that the applicant is employed therefore what we can take from this is that the applicant must have hold legal authorization to work, whether that is on a PGWP or other work authorization.


Will Those Outside Manitoba but With Employment in Manitoba be Eligible?

Given the remote nature of some types of work, some prospective applicants may find themselves employed by an employer in Manitoba but working remotely outside the province. From the letter, it is not clear whether those falling into this category will be eligible.

Will Future PGWP/ Temporary Resident Holders be Eligible for This?

This public policy will be designed to target those with a permit expiring in 2024. If you have a permit expiring in 2025, you will need to explore other options to remain in Canada. 

Which Manitoba PNP Program Must an Applicant be Eligible for to Apply under This Public Policy?

The letter does not state the specific PNP program the temporary resident must be eligible for however to request expedited assessment of their Manitoba Expression of Interest, applicants must qualify for the Skilled Worker Stream and International Education Stream. In their later announcement on May 8th, 2024, IRCC confirmed that applicants must have a Manitoba Skilled Worker Provincial Nominee Program Expression of Interest pool.

What Should You Do If You Believe You Are Eligible for This Public Policy?

If you think you will be eligible for this public policy, hang tight and wait for further information to apply. If you do think you are eligible for this public policy then you may also be eligible to request a prioritized assessment from Manitoba. For this, you must have an expired or expiring work permit within the next 45 days. To request a prioritized assessment of your MPNP expression of interest, complete the MPNP Skilled Worker Form.

How Many Applicants Will Benefit from the Public Policy?

In the announcement on May 8th, 2024, IRCC commented that 6,700 temporary workers will benefit from this Public Policy. The announcement also implies that these 6,700 workers have already been identified.

Will a Similar Public Policy be Available for Temporary Residents in Other Provinces?

The letter specifically targets the need for Manitoba to retain temporary residents in their province however all provinces are facing the risk of losing temporary residents therefore we may see similar Public Policies targeting other provinces in the future.

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About the author

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Rebecca Major

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Moving2Canada.
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