May 20, 2024 12:41 PM

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Manitoba’s MPNP Faces Criticism For Prioritizing Work Experience

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has come under fire from international students and others for excluding these students and putting work experience on a greater priority. 

In early February, the provincial government recently held the first Expression of Interest (EOI) draw for international students graduating from designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Manitoba. This was the 215th EOI draw, conducted on April 24, 2024. 

Surprisingly, turning away from established procedures, this draw prioritized applicants under the International Education Stream with at least four years of work experience in the past five years. 66 Letters of Advice to Apply were issued for this demographic.

This was met with criticism and protest from international students who failed to comply with this requirement.

To quell the disapproval, students were promised that more draws would be held shortly for international graduates with less than four years of work experience.

Manitoba will divide IES draws into smaller segments to process applications quickly and to ensure that Canada attracts skilled workers.

The federal government’s refusal to extend work permits for 18 months, as during COVID-19, has sparked concern among international students about their status. 

Allegations against Manitoba’s immigration minister, Malaya Marcelino, have further fueled tensions. While Marcelino denied the allegations, the Opposition claims she threatened protesters with immigration delays. 

Protesters gathered at Manitoba’s legislature, demanding action on delays in the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. 

The government plans to increase staff to process applications and explore options for post-graduate work permit holders to stay in Manitoba.

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