Improvements Designed To Strengthen Program:  Melnick

Improvements designed to significantly strengthen the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business (MPNP-B) were announced today by Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick.

“Through this program, a significant number of newcomers have already successfully established their businesses in Manitoba, creating jobs and contributing to the economic prosperity of our province,” said Melnick.  “The improvements announced today significantly strengthen our program and ensure that it is well positioned for immigration success for years to come.”

The program improvements introduce a new process whereby potential applicants will have the opportunity to submit an expression of interest and then be placed in a qualification group to be assessed against a points based system.  The strongest applicants will be invited to submit a complete application.  This process replaces the previous application system that required all applicants to first undertake an exploratory visit to Manitoba before applying.

The program changes respond to recent recommendations from the auditor general and are in addition to the strengthened integrity and quality assurance reviews that the department implemented in 2011 and include:

             

* establishing more stringent procedures to verify the validity of applications

* providing more efficient monitoring of applicants once they arrive. 

* increasing the deposit required to $100,000 from $75,000, and

* introducing a new Farm Recruitment Initiative to facilitate the recruitment of farmer immigrants who are most likely to succeed in Manitoba.

“The changes are intended to attract quality entrepreneurs with the strongest commitment to Manitoba and the highest potential to contribute to the economic growth of the province,” said Melnick.  “We believe that these changes will strengthen the integrity of our program as well as the number of business startups and retention rate.”

The improvements will come into effect in the fall of 2013.  There will be a pause placed on the submission of new applications until the new criteria are in effect which will allow for the continued processing of the many interested people who have already applied to the program.  While Manitoba is responsible for selecting those who are invited to apply to the program, the federal government ultimately processes and approves all applications for permanent residency.

Since the introduction of the MPNP-B program there have been over 593 businesses started and over $214 million in investments in the province.  This is a major contributor to maintaining vibrant regional communities in Manitoba with 31 per cent of investments made outside of Winnipeg including $98 million invested in farming.

More details on program improvements are available online at www.manitoba-canada.com.