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If you are looking for a way to immigrate to Canada and have a connection to Manitoba, you might want to consider the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas Stream (SWO)

This is one of the immigration streams of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), which allows the province to nominate candidates who have the skills and qualifications that are in demand in the local labour market.

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I applied for the SWO stream last year and I am happy to say that I received my nomination and permanent resident visa earlier this month. In this blog post, I will share my experience with the SWO stream and some tips for anyone who is interested in applying.

What is the SWO Stream?

The SWO stream is designed for skilled workers who have an established connection to Manitoba through:

  • The support of family members or friends who are residents of Manitoba
  • Previous education or work experience in Manitoba
  • An invitation to apply from the MPNP as part of a strategic recruitment initiative

The SWO stream has two pathways: the Express Entry pathway and the Human Capital pathway. The Express Entry pathway is for candidates who have a valid profile in the federal Express Entry system and meet the eligibility criteria of one of the three federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class. The Human Capital pathway is for candidates who do not have an Express Entry profile but meet the minimum eligibility criteria of the SWO stream.

How Did I Apply for the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas Stream?

I applied for the SWO stream through the Express Entry pathway because I had a valid Express Entry profile and met the criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker program. I also had a close relative who lives in Manitoba and was willing to support my application.

The first step was to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the MPNP online. An EOI is not an application but a way of indicating your interest in immigrating to Manitoba.

You have to provide some basic information about your education, work experience, language skills, connection to Manitoba, and other factors. Based on this information, you will receive a score out of 1000 points.

The MPNP conducts regular draws and invites candidates with the highest scores to submit a full application. The minimum score varies depending on the number of candidates and available nominations. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) in one of the draws with a score of 620 points.

The next step was to submit a complete application to the MPNP online within 60 days of receiving the ITA. I had to provide supporting documents such as:

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  • Proof of identity and status
  • Proof of education and work experience
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of connection to Manitoba
  • Police certificates and medical exams

I also had to pay a non-refundable application fee of $500 CAD.

The MPNP assessed my application based on several factors such as:

  • The validity and accuracy of my information and documents
  • The demand for my occupation in Manitoba
  • The adaptability and settlement potential of me and my family
  • The availability of nominations

The processing time for my application was about six months. During this time, I received regular updates from the MPNP through email. I also had to update my Express Entry profile with any changes in my situation such as marital status, education, work experience, etc.

Finally, I received a confirmation email from the MPNP that I was nominated for permanent residence. This meant that I received an additional 600 points in my Express Entry profile and was guaranteed to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the next federal draw.

The last step was to submit a final application for permanent residence to IRCC online within 60 days of receiving the ITA from IRCC. I had to provide some additional documents such as:

  • Proof of settlement funds
  • Updated police certificates and medical exams
  • Biometrics

I also had to pay another non-refundable application fee of $825 CAD plus $500 CAD for the right of permanent residence fee.

The processing time for my final application was about four months. During this time, I received regular updates from IRCC through email. I also had to update my IRCC profile with any changes in my situation such as address, phone number, etc.

Finally, I received a confirmation email from IRCC that my permanent resident visa was approved. I had to print out a copy of the confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and a visa counterfoil (if applicable) and present them at the port of entry in Canada along with my passport and other documents.

What Are the Benefits of the SWO Stream?

The SWO stream has several benefits for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Manitoba, such as:

  • It is a fast and efficient way to obtain permanent residence in Canada
  • It does not require a job offer from a Manitoba employer
  • It allows candidates to leverage their existing connection to Manitoba
  • It offers a high chance of success for candidates who meet the eligibility criteria and score well on the EOI system
  • It provides access to settlement services and support from the MPNP and the Manitoba government

What Are the Challenges of the Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas Stream?

The SWO stream also has some challenges that candidates should be aware of, such as:

  • It is a competitive and dynamic process that depends on the number of candidates and available nominations
  • It requires candidates to have a strong connection to Manitoba and demonstrate their intention and ability to settle and work in the province
  • It involves multiple steps and fees that can be time-consuming and costly
  • It does not guarantee a job or a place to live in Manitoba

What Are My Tips for Applying for the SWO Stream?

Based on my experience, I have some tips for anyone who is interested in applying for the SWO stream, such as:

  • Do your research and make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and understand the process of the SWO stream
  • Create an Express Entry profile if you are eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs and keep it updated
  • Submit an EOI to the MPNP as soon as possible and try to improve your score by improving your language skills, education, work experience, etc.
  • Gather all the required documents and have them ready before you receive an ITA from the MPNP or IRCC
  • Check your email regularly and respond to any requests or updates from the MPNP or IRCC
  • Be prepared to move to Manitoba within six months of receiving your permanent resident visa and have a plan for finding a job and a place to live in the province

The Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas Stream is a great option for skilled workers who have a connection to Manitoba and want to immigrate to Canada. It is a fast and efficient way to obtain permanent residence in Canada, but it also requires candidates to have a strong commitment to settle and work in Manitoba.

Looking forward to you starting a new life in Manitoba soon.

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I hope this blog post was helpful and informative for you.

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I'm Ian, a travel blogger with a background in publishing. My hobby is exploring new places, and here, I share my discoveries from quaint towns and bustling cities. Each trip inspires my next post, inviting you to join me on this exciting journey.