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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott


Field testing the reconfigured MPNP

The reconfigured MPNP for overseas applicants is in place, as of April 1, 2013. All overseas skilled worker applicants to the Manitoba program must meet the new requirements. Who fits and who no longer fits in terms of potential for nomination? In order to provide a framework for measuring or understanding the impact of the change I shall isolate two potential applicants, based on real cases, in order to demonstrate how the reconfigured assessment model functions.

It is important to note that MPNP continues to change over time. Change is a challenge to us all. Overseas MPNP applicants must now score a minimum of 60 points on the Manitoba Points Grid in order to be considered for nomination. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they are serious about immigrating to Manitoba, have adequate settlement funds, education, work experience, English language skills, settlement supports and wherewithal needed to settle in the province. They must demonstrate that they are employable in their intended occupational area. In so many ways, they must be able to hit the ground running.

Case #1 is a 25-year-old, with secondary education, an incomplete college education, several short computer programming courses and over five years of work experience as a graphic designer. The subject has a first-degree aunt in Manitoba and roughly $2,000 Cdn equivalent in settlement funds. Case #1 took an IELTS general examination and scored: listening 5.5; reading 4.0; writing 5.0 and speaking 6.0 for overall band score of 5.0.

Case #2 is a 30-year-old with a BSc in Business Administration, eight years experience as an accounting clerk in Saudi Arabia. The applicant is married with a spouse who works as a seafarer, and two children back in the Philippines. Case #2 has a best friend living in Manitoba and over $18,000 Cdn in liquid assets and property back home. The applicant took an IELTS academic examination and scored: listening 6.0; reading 6.0; writing 6.0 and speaking 6.0 with an overall band score of 6.0. I excluded gender from both examples because Canada does not distinguish applicants on the basis of gender: all are treated the same.

Case #1 is not different from many past applicants. Many of the close family members and friends brought to Manitoba under MPNP are only undergraduates. This applicant scored the following on the Manitoba Points Grid: 25-year-old (10 age points); incomplete college education or secondary school graduation (0 education points); five years of work experience (15 work points); based on IELTS results CLB 5 (14 language points); and close relative in Manitoba (20 adaptability points). However, the adaptability score cannot exceed 15 because this equals the maximum 25% of the total points. The result is a rejection on points because the total is 54, which is six less than a passing grade of 60. Case #1 also has insufficient settlement funds and must do a number of things in order to have a chance for nomination by Manitoba.

Case #1 could upgrade his or her education by completing at least a one-year post secondary program of studies or earning a trade certificate (TESDA, for example). In either case the applicant would then receive 14 points for education and would easily pass the points assessment: age (10), education (14), work experience (15), ESL (14) and adaptability 20 (reduced to 15 because of the 25% limit) for a total of 68 points. Case #1 must first meet the minimum 60 points, possess sufficient settlement funds ($10,000+) and convince the MPNP assessment staff that he or she has a real intention of settling in Manitoba and has potential to integrate successfully.

Case #2 is also someone who fits the profile of many applicants from back home. This applicant scores the following points on the Manitoba Points Grid: age (10 points); education (20 points); work experience (15 points); ESL (18 points – again, reduced to 15 or roughly 25% of the total); and adaptability (10 points) for a total of 70. Case #2 passes the assessment, has sufficient settlement funds, and like the earlier example, must convince MPNP that he or she has a real intention of settling in Manitoba and has potential to integrate successfully

It is very important for all applicants, not just Case #1 and Case #2, to demonstrate that they are serious about immigrating to Manitoba and demonstrate that they have done the work needed to convince assessment staff of their sincere intentions and realistic chances of settling in the province. The MPNP is not a program for applicants whose destination is a province other than Manitoba. It is also not a program for persons who cannot demonstrate that they are employable in the province or have a real potential for successful integration. Supportive family and friends are important. All persons should be aware that the Settlement Plan, Part 1 (for the applicant) and Settlement Plan, Part 2 (for the Manitoba supporter) are not just meaningless forms developed by civil servants. The Settlement Plan is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their genuine intention and ability to establish themselves successfully in the local community and labour market. Applicants must demonstrate that they are employable based on your training and work experience, related to their intended/destined occupation. Furthermore, all applicants must demonstrate that their connections to Manitoba are stronger than to any other province in the country.

The provincial and federal counterparts have gone through great time and expense to develop online sources of information for immigration applicants. All applicants, even those with limited computer literacy, must begin to use the tools available to them. The federal government has provided a Going to Canada immigration portal and Working in Canada portal along with HRSDC who have made the National Occupation Classification (NOC) manual available to Internet users as the best source for information on occupational requirements in Canada. The MPNP has a great deal of employment-specific information available for those who are interested in applying to immigrate.

All applicants should do research into their specific credential recognition, trade recertification, and professional re-entry as part of their application process. Serious applicants are expected to know something about the certification process for overseas graduates, job requirements in Canada both immediate and long term, housing, medical care, housing, transportation, and education – to mention just a few areas. It is not too much of the MPNP to ask applicants to show that they actually know something about the real challenges that face them in Manitoba. It is one challenge for applicants to meet the requirements of the Manitoba Points Grid but another for them to convince the assessors that they will be a positive addition to the provincial economy. The onus is clearly on the applicant and Manitoba supporter to convince the MPNP that they deserve to be nominated.

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, (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. E-mail:

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