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Manitoba International Students Protest

International Students Protest Calling For New Changes to Manitoba PNP

Last Updated On 21 March 2023, 2:42 PM EDT (Toronto Time)

On January 23, 2023 International students and work permit holders held a protest in the front of the Manitoba Legislative building.

The protestors demanded for the new changes to Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).

According to the protestors, the criteria for obtaining the permanent residence (PR) status is unachievable for individuals moving to Manitoba after graduation.

Manitoba PNP is designed in such a way that it penalizes by assigning minus 100 points to international students or work permit holders moving from another Canadian provinces.

Risk factorRanking points
Work experience in another province-100
Studies in another province-100

This is quite challenging for international students and skilled workers who moved to Manitoba from another Canadian provinces.

A former international student, Inderjit Gill said, Students who have worked in the province for the previous two years are awaiting an invitation to apply under MPNP.

He stated that since 2022, candidates must gather around 700 points based on education, experience, age, and language skills in order to get PR in Manitoba.

“Their temporary statuses are expiring soon. They are in stress, panic,” said Inderjit Gill

This higher cut off points to be selected for PR in Manitoba seems unrealistic for those who previously studied or worked in a different province of Canada.

What are the demands?

Skilled Workers and International Graduates raised two major demands:

  • Lowering the cut off points so that everyone has path to permanent residency (PR).
  • Work permit extensions for those that are expiring soon.

Advanced Education, Skills, and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes told CTV News that he anticipates new changes will be coming to the Manitoba provincial nominee program (MPNP).

He added that the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council has been looking into ways to strengthen current policies and programs, including the provincial nominee points system.

As per minister, the report from the advisory council including the recommendations is expected to be released soon.

Jon Reyes said, “I’ve spoken with many postgraduates who have created lives for themselves here in Manitoba, and I’m always open to suggestions if it helps the settlement of newcomers who can contribute to our province’s economy.”

Role of Federal Government

It seems like not everything is in the hands of Manitoba government. Province is allocated a set quota of provincial nominations by the Federal Government.

This quota was only 6,367 for the Manitoba PNP in 2022. The number of profiles in Manitoba’s Expression Of Interest (EOI) pool exceeds the allotment for yearly nominations.

As a result, not everyone who submits an EOI profile is chosen by MPNP. So, MPNP issues Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) based on priority by stream and the highest ranking points at the time of a given EOI draw.

Even work permit extensions responsibility is also assigned to the Federal Department for most of the part.

Manitoba protest is a wake up call as similar scenario is in almost all of the Canadian provinces in regards to provincial nominee programs (PNPs).

Repeatedly, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and other provinces have been seeking to increase their annual allocation for provincial nominations to fill the labour shortages.

Temporarily, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) can renew the temporary public policy extending Post Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) that expired in December 2022.

IRCC must also work on long term solution offering clear path to permanent residency (PR) for international students.

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