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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

MPNP backlog, complaint and resolution

by Michael Scott

There has been much public discussion about the alleged actions of the Manitoba Minister of Immigration Malaya Marcelino. The Minister has been accused by the PC immigration critic of threatening MPNP applicants and program officials. This may just be a lot of political talk or ways to control the decisions of the immigration department. Minister Marcelino to her credit stood her ground and did not run from the accusations. She is responsible for her decisions and outcomes. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt “the buck stops here.” Let us examine for one moment the political landscape.

1. The NDP inherited a MPNP program, which was being revamped by the outgoing PC government. If the PCs cut 1/3 of the assessment staff, is it surprising that the program ended up with a backlog of files? The problem was laid before the change of governments.

2. The federal government changed the temporary provision of PGWP (post graduate work permit) holders at the end of December 2023. They were no longer able to apply for an extension of the PGWP and faced a crisis in their legal status in the country.

3. The federal government was in a crisis of their own; a housing crisis, and the opposition was quick to blame international foreign students and overseas foreign workers.

4. Many foreign worker applicants tried to find a way through by submitting an Expression of Interest to the Express Entry, specifically the Canadian Experience Class. They ended up on yet another backlog of submissions, hoping for relief.

5. The months of April and May saw the opposition raise the question of MPNP backlog. There was something familiar with the public accusations. The PCs blamed Minister Malaya Marcelino for threatening MPNP staff and applicants with a cut in nominations. This is familiar with Prime Minister Trudeau being blamed for the housing crisis because of his immigration policy. Did the Manitoba Minister use harsh or unfair language? Or did she try to get a straight answer about the backlog? I have learned over the years that sometimes where there is smoke there is no fire but only smoke.

Minister Marcelino to her credit did not panic in the face of political challenges but pursued other actions to resolve the immediate challenge faced by thousands of expiring permit holder. She directly negotiated with her federal counterpart Minister Marc Miller.

Temporary public policy for Manitoba’s Post Graduate Work Permit holders

On May 8, 2024, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced a temporary public policy to help address Manitoba’s labour market needs and enable post-graduate work permit holders to maintain ongoing employment in the province. 

This temporary public policy allows post-graduate work permit holders employed in Manitoba with work permits expiring in 2024, who are eligible to apply to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) and who have submitted a valid MPNP Expression of Interest (EOI) profile prior to May 10, 2024, to be eligible to apply for a province-specific open work permit that will be valid for up to two years. Additional details regarding this temporary public policy and associated processes will soon be available.

EOI submissions to MPNP to be prioritized

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program will temporarily prioritize assessments of submitted MPNP applications with expired or expiring work permits. MPNP applicants whose work permits have expired or are expiring within the next 45 days are asked to inform the MPNP by using the Skilled Worker Webform. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the MPNP with accurate, up-to-date information and to notify the program of any changes to their application or status in Canada.

Please note that all applicants must ensure their immigration status in Canada remains valid. You can check with the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website for further information or contact a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer to ensure you remain in status. I can happily report that several cases, which were part of the MPNP backlog, have been given a positive assessment and an invitation to apply. Thank you, Minister Marcelino and the MPNP staff for their efforts.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: