How to read a refusal or results letter from MPNP
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has been very beneficial for many families in Manitoba. The number of newcomers who can trace their immigration success to the nominee program is staggering. Many local family supporters and applicants, however, are discovering that being nominated is not automatic and many applications are being refused. Local community members who had success in past submitting applications to MPNP are now surprised to find their relatives and good friends being refused. One can debate whether or not the numbers of refusals have gone up dramatically in the past few months but the question that all who have been refused should ask is why they were refused and what they can do to change the outcome.
It is very important for refused provincial nominees to read the results letter to determine why they have been refused. All results letters contain a statement to explain why their application was refused. If the reason for the refusal is a failure to score sufficient points under the General Stream, applicants must be aware that a refusal at 54 points is not that different from one at 49 points. If the MPNP strictly applies the rule that General Stream applications must score a minimum of 55 points for consideration, then the answer is clear – miss by 1 or miss by 6, the outcome is the same: you are refused.
What a refused applicant must understand is why their assessment score was less than the required 55. Sometimes the MPNP officer provides additional information such as a statement that the applicant must complete more education than just secondary school. This additional information should be taken into consideration when or if the applicant decides to reapply or complain about the decision. Age, education, work experience, English language proficiency, possible destination in Canada and adequacy of settlement funds are all real indicators of how well an applicant will do at the assessment stage and also how well they can settle in Manitoba.
Can you appeal a refusal decision? Technically, no – because “appeal” is not a word that applies to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, which is an administrative program. However, you can question the fairness or appropriateness of the refusal decision within sixty days of the issuance of the results letter. You do then have an opportunity to question, but you must be aware that MPNP puts limits on who can successfully challenge their refusal:
“You may submit a written request signed by you (the applicant) within 60 days of the date on the results letters, AND if the request provides sufficient details to indicate that the program officer may have made an error in the assessment of the application based on the reasons described in the results letter and documents included in the application at the time of the assessment.” (MPNP kit, page 20).
In other words, unless you can demonstrate that the MPNP officer made a mistake in the assessment of the application as it was originally submitted and explained in their results letter, nothing will change and the refusal will stand. It is not enough to say that the MPNP officers have become harsh or strict in their judgments, but rather, whether or not they were fair and made decisions consistent with the stated requirements of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program.
If you are looking at a refusal letter and still think you have been treated unfairly or the decision is wrong, then you do have recourse to submit a request for a review of the decision. You can always enlist the assistance of a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer to determine if you stand a realistic chance of overturning the decision. In some cases the request for a review makes sense but in most instances, the answer lies in understanding the reasons for the refusal and the ways you can improve your application and chance for nomination. The challenge of today is not only to submit applications and hope for a good outcome but rather to ensure that the application fits the framework of the program and has a realistic chance for success at the time of submission.
Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. He can be reached at 838 Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba or by telephone at: (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. Note that the content of this article is intended for information purposes only and not intended as legal advice. He invites all readers to contact him directly.
For more about recent issues concerning the MPNP, see the following articles:
Provincial Nominee Program changes cause concern
by Kevin Lamoureux, MLA for Inkster
Manitoba's Provincial Nominee Program continues on the right track
by Hon. Jennifer Howard, Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration