Manitoba Announces New Immigration Pathways for International Students

The province has introduced two new pathways for international students under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), Education and Training Minister Kelvin Gerritsen announced today.  The International Student Entrepreneur Pathway and Graduate Internship Pathway are now open to international student graduates in Manitoba.

“By providing students a fast track to nomination for permanent residency, we hope to attract and retain more talented innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Gerritsen.  “International students bring new ideas, global connections and an entrepreneurial spirit to our province and when they create opportunities for themselves, Manitoba becomes more competitive and innovative.”

The International Student Entrepreneur Pathway will help graduates establish and operate a business in Manitoba.  To be eligible, a student must complete a minimum two-year program at a Manitoba post-secondary institution, invest in and actively manage a business.  Under a two-year pilot program, entrepreneurs accepted through this pathway will receive a temporary work permit.

The Graduate Internship Pathway is open to international students who complete a master’s or PhD degree program at a Manitoba university and a qualifying internship supported by Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between universities and industry and receives funding from the Manitoba government.

“Manitoba’s Graduate Internship Pathway is a significant step in attracting, developing and retaining the best talent from around the world,” said Alejandro Adem, CEO and scientific director, Mitacs.  “Mitacs is proud that our programs can support this endeavour, which in turn leads to economic growth in the province.”

The minister noted the province anticipates more than 70 graduates will qualify for the Graduate Internship Pathway in 2018-19.

The provincial nominee program was created in 1998 to attract job-ready skilled workers and business investors to Manitoba. In April 2018, the province announced an International Education stream with a Career Employment Pathway for graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, as well as waived the six-month waiting period for students to apply to MPNP when they find long-term employment in their high-demand occupation.

Submitting an EOI

An EOI is not an application but is rather a way for interested candidates to make it known to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) that they would like to be considered for a provincial nomination for permanent residence under a given immigration pathway.

Eligible candidates answer a series of questions online that pertain to their education, work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors. Profiles are given a ranking score and entered into the pool of eligible candidates for the given pathway.

A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are then issued Letters of Advice to Apply for a provincial nomination from the MPNP during regular draws from the pool.

The MPNP says it may impose program or occupation-specific limits when issuing LAAs for the Career Employment Pathway.

The pathway’s opening on November 30 brings the number of immigration options for international students in Manitoba to three under the MPNP’s new International Education Stream.

The other two pathways — the International Student Entrepreneur Pathway and Graduate Internship Pathway — were unveiled on November 1.

The International Education Stream was created as part of a general overhaul of the MPNP that was announced last November.

At that time, the MPNP stated that attracting and retaining international graduates from Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions with the training to support innovation was a key element of the MPNP’s renewal program.

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