Next in the Crosshairs: The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program?

By Andy Semotiuk | June 24, 2014

Provincial nominee program lawyer Andy Semotiuk
Toronto immigration lawyer Andy Semotiuk: Uh-oh. On the heels of the Temporary Foreign Worker program getting bad press, it looks like Manitoba’s provincial nominee program is next:

Manitobans may be surprised to find out how easy it is for immigrant investors to buy their way into Canada through Manitoba’s troubled nominee program.

For a $100,000 deposit and a half-baked business plan, non-Canadians can come to Manitoba and get permanent residency for themselves and their immediate families without spending a dime in the local economy.

Once they’re here, they have the constitutional right to settle anywhere in Canada they want.

In fact, almost a third of applicants accepted into Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program for Business don’t get their deposits back because they fail to follow through on their plan to establish a business here. Since non-compliance with the program doesn’t affect their permanent residency status, they’re free to stay here or move to another part of Canada.

Apparently, some of the wheels on this wagon are loose. Still, before we pronounce the Manitoba provincial nominee program dead, we need to note that not every investor is eligible to apply for it. The program is not as much of an “investor free-for-all” as this article makes out.
There is a selection process under which either:
1) the province invites an applicant to apply to the program. Generally, this happens after the applicant has visiting the province.
2) there is an expression of interest in the upcoming federal Expression of Interest system, followed by an invitation to apply.
Further, an investor must have a net worth of at least $350,000 and score 60 points on an eligibility grid. These are more effective screening obstacles than simply the “$100,000 and half-baked ideas” noted above.
Let’s see how the province handles the flak it is now encountering. If the reaction is anything like that of what’s happened to the Temporary Foreign Worker program, then big changes are ahead.
Andy Semotiuk is a Canadian and US immigration lawyer with immigration law firm Pace Immigration. You can learn more about Andy at My Work Visa.