On April 30, 2015, the Canadian province of Manitoba opened its Skilled Worker Overseas stream as part of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) for Canadian immigration. This stream operates on an “Expression of Interest” model. Successful applicants can obtain a nomination and then proceed to apply for Canadian permanent residence. While the new MPNP Skilled Worker Overseas stream shares similarities with aspects of Canada’s federal immigration system, there are also important differences in how the two systems operate.
The MPNP Skilled Worker Overseas stream targets candidates with ties to Manitoba and a particular desire to settle in that province; whereas the federal government’s economic immigration programs, administered through the Express Entry application management system, are for candidates wishing to settle in any of Canada’s provinces or territories, except the province of Quebec.
Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas
Similar to the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, the Manitoba Skilled Worker overseas program uses a points-based system to assess candidates. Points are awarded for factors such as age, language proficiency, work experience, education and adaptability. Manitoba uses a unique point allocation system with a pass mark of 60, in contrast to the FSW program, which assigns points differently and has a pass mark of 67.
Connection to Manitoba Required
The important difference between the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas stream and the FSW program is that the Manitoba stream requires a connection to Manitoba, while the FSW program is open to eligible applicants who may not necessarily have a relative in or connection to any part of Canada. According to the government of Manitoba, applicants for the Skilled Worker Overseas stream “must demonstrate an established connection to Manitoba either through the support of family members or friends, through previous education or work experience in the province, or through an Invitation to Apply received directly from the MPNP as part of a Strategic Recruitment Initiative.”
Manitoba Expression of Interest
Manitoba has implemented an Expression of Interest system that is an entirely separate system from Canada’s Express Entry application management system.
Candidates who are eligible for any of the streams under the MPNP, including, but not limited to, the Skilled Worker Overseas stream, may submit profiles into the Manitoba Expression of Interest pool. Candidates are ranked according to the unique MPNP Ranking Points system and are given a score out of a maximum of 1,000.
Canada’s federal Express Entry system ranks its candidates with a different Comprehensive Ranking System and gives a score out of 1,200. Similar to the federal Express Entry system, draws from the Manitoba pool will be conducted and the highest scoring candidates may be issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA) for Canadian immigration through the MPNP. A federal Express Entry Invitation to Apply, on the other hand, is referred to as an ITA. After receiving an LAA, candidates will have only 60 days to submit a complete and accurate application to the province of Manitoba.
Risk Assessment Factors
In addition to assigning points in a different way than the federal Comprehensive Ranking System, the Manitoba Ranking System also contains a Risk Assessment section, where 100 points can actually be subtracted if a candidate demonstrates previous work, study, or a prior immigration application made to a Canadian province other than Manitoba. Another factor where a candidate can lose 100 points is if a candidate has a relative in another province and no close relative in Manitoba.
Immigrating to Manitoba
“For candidates with a connection to Manitoba through family or a friend, or through work or study experience in the province, this new version of the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas stream is highly attractive,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“It is quite likely that competition within the Manitoba Ranking System, or pool, would be lesser than competition within the federal Express Entry pool. Candidates with that all-important Manitoba connection may have the opportunity to immigrate to a province with bountiful employment opportunities and an exceptional standard of living. More than 130,000 newcomers to Canada have made Manitoba their new home over the past decade.
“Individuals who may not be eligible to make an Expression of Interest to the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas stream can take heart that the federal economic immigration programs are in full swing through Express Entry, and other Canadian provinces have created dynamic immigration streams over recent months.”
To find out if you are eligible for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.
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