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Manitoba announces new Business Category

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Manitoba has recently included a special category for “business persons” in its Provincial Nominee Program. The new regulations aim to attract individuals who intend to reside in Manitoba and propose to set-up or purchase a business in Manitoba.

The applicant will be expected to provide “active and ongoing participation in the management of the business.” Although there is no specific list of eligible business sectors, the proposed business should have an active value-addition profile (e.g. manufacturing, food processing, provision of basic services, etc.) and it must contribute positively and significantly to the economy of Manitoba through employment creation. Passive businesses (e.g. finance companies, rental agencies, etc.) are considered ineligible.

The applicant must submit to the provincial government a “business plan” which clearly sets out the specific business proposal, and should preferably be supported by a prior exploratory visit where preliminary market research has been undertaken. The applicant must demonstrate a strong management background (between 3 to 5 years of significant management experience), although it is not necessary to have owned a business. The applicant should be able to commit to a $150,000 investment into the proposed business, and should provide a net worth assessment of $250,000 excluding jewelry, furniture, etc. The Business Category applicants will also benefit from adaptability factors, e.g. relatives, previous business dealings, employment, or studies in Manitoba. Lastly, the applicant will be required to provide a Letter of Credit confirmed by a Canadian Bank in the amount of $50,000 to the Provincial Authorities. The Province of Manitoba will call on this credit in the event of failure to start the proposed business.

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Office will issue a Certificate of Acceptance to eligible Business Applicants, who will then have 180 days to submit an application for permanent residence. The applicant will be required (a) to score a minimum of 25 points under the federal selection grid, and (b) to demonstrate sufficient cash availability equal to $10,000 plus $2000 per dependant. The Provincial Nominee Office will submit complete applications to Citizenship & Immigration Canada, who retain the right to interview applicants to verify the contents, and may refuse the application due to medical reasons or criminal concerns. CIC must provide reasons for refusal (if any) to the Provincial Nominee Office, who retains the right to respond to the visa office to address the grounds of refusal. There is a Federal/Provincial agreement to consider applications under the Provincial Nominee Program in an expeditious manner.