Manitoba's Provincial Nominee Program continues on the right track
by Hon. Jennifer Howard, Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration
|Hon. Jennifer Howard, Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration
Editor’s note: The Pilipino Express offered the Hon. Jennifer Howard, Manitoba’s Minister of Labour and Immigration, a chance to respond to Kevin Lamoureux’s article, “Provincial Nominee Program changes cause concern." The following article is the minister’s response.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide some information about Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).
Manitoba’s successful Provincial Nominee Program
Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program continues to be the largest, most accessible and most successful program in Canada. The program selects skilled workers and their families for permanent immigration to the Province. In 2009, Manitoba received 13,520 immigrants. This represents an increase of 20.5 per cent, as well as being the highest number of immigrants received since the start of modern records in 1946.
Manitoba’s growing Filipino community
More immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than any other country, with Filipino newcomers accounting for more than 30 per cent of the province’s total immigration In fact, the Philippines has been the number one source country for Manitoba for 11 consecutive years. The government of Manitoba continues to work with the Filipino community to enhance and foster this special relationship. For example, we’ve been pleased to build on our partnership with the Philippines through a recent nursing recruitment initiative.
Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program is based on an agreement with the federal government. Criteria established under the program, including the requirement for immigrants to have the ability to become economically established in Canada is set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has the right to refuse someone’s entry into the country as a Provincial Nominee if the individual is unable to demonstrate he/she has sufficient settlement funds in their names upon arrival in Canada. The funds are required to help to ensure that no one is put in a vulnerable position when trying to settle in the province.
In-trust accounts opened by relatives in Manitoba have become a challenge for the purposes of assessing applicants’ financial ability, because it is impossible for the MPNP to determine if the money is still in the account or will be made available to the applicant upon arrival as it is the relative’s account at all times. The MPNP is not able to ensure that in-trust accounts are available to applicants on arrival.
The MPNP has always considered all aspects of an application, including funds and settlement supports when assessing an application and will continue to do so.
English Test requirement
For the past 20 months the MPNP has been recommending and encouraging applicants to provide IELTS results with their applications under the Family Support and General streams. Moving forward, the MPNP will continue to recommend individuals to include this test with their applications, to ensure they receive an accurate and fair assessment of their English proficiency.
The MPNP recognizes that applicants from the Philippines would in most cases have some English proficiency. Consistently, applicants from the Philippines that have completed secondary and post-secondary programs using English as medium of instruction are awarded 7 points for this factor, even without providing IELTS results. IELTS is a world-recognized English test written by over 1.4 million candidates and is recognized by more than 6000 institutions, including Citizenship and Immigration Canada, in over 135 countries.
Notice of Appeals Decisions
The MPNP is working to provide its decisions to applicants within 60 days. All applicants are advised of the result of the formal review process in writing by mail. The response is mailed to the mailing addressed provided with the original application. Because of privacy considerations, the MPNP will share the appeal decision with the applicant only, unless the applicant has signed the appropriate release allowing the information to be shared with supporters.
Thank you again for allowing me to share some important information about the Provincial Nominee Program. My colleagues and I are pleased to work with the Filipino community and look forward to building on our positive partnership.
If readers have any questions, please feel free to contact the Provincial Nominee Program at 945-2806.
Click here to read Kevin Lamoureux's article, Provincial Nominee Program changes cause concern.
For more about recent issues concerning the MPNP, see Michael Scott's article in the July 16 editon of the Pilipino Express,
How to read a refusal or results letter from the MPNP.