Premier Greg Selinger today announced changes to Manitoba’s successful Provincial Nominee Program that would make it faster and easier for international students to stay and work in the province.
“International students bring many benefits to our economy and communities, and we want to ensure we can continue to attract and retain the best and the brightest,” said Selinger. “We are making Manitoba a destination of choice for international students and meeting the needs of businesses by providing them with better access to highly skilled and well-trained employees.”
Beginning in 2011, international graduates from a post-secondary educational program of at least two academic years at a Manitoba institution will be able to apply immediately to the Provincial Nominee Program in advance of receiving an offer of employment. Previously, international graduates could only apply to the Provincial Nominee Program after working for a Manitoba employer for at least six months.
As part of the changes, international students applying for the fast-track program will also enrol in an employment-readiness program upon completion of their studies. The program will include job readiness, career coaching and job-matching services.
“By fast-tracking the immigration process for international graduates and helping them integrate into the job market, Manitoba will be well positioned to compete for and retain our highly skilled workers,” said Selinger.
In 2009, Manitoba welcomed 13,518 newcomers, 75 per cent of whom came through the Provincial Nominee Program. Last year, 203 international students were accepted to the Provincial Nominee Program, three times more than in 2005. The top source countries of International Students nominated to Manitoba are China (65 per cent), India (five per cent), Bangladesh (three per cent), Korea and Pakistan (two per cent each). The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has approved over 1,000 international students since 2005.
Manitoba had 5,384 international students studying at Manitoba institutions in 2009.