Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Province to cap number of overseas skilled workers

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IN an attempt to reduce processing times, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program says after Aug. 1, it won't accept any new immigration applications from skilled workers overseas until next year.

The province has received more than the 2014 nomination limit of 5,000 applications given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, an email from Manitoba Labour and Immigration said Monday.

It says it still will accept applications all year from the "skilled worker in Manitoba" stream that includes temporary foreign workers and applications that are part of a "strategic recruitment initiative."

The "skilled workers overseas" category has the largest, and fastest-growing volume of nominee applications, the province said. About 75 per cent of applications it receives are in the skilled worker overseas stream, it said.

The Manitoba Nominee Program says its new application-management strategy will help reduce processing times to less than six months by 2015.

It said it's not considering any changes to the nominee program criteria "at this time," or changes to the proportion of provincial nominees.

"Generally, about 20 to 30 per cent of nominations are from the skilled workers in the Manitoba category, 65 to 75 per cent are from the skilled worker overseas category and about five per cent are from the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business."

Numbers in the skilled workers in Manitoba category depend on the number of potential immigrants with temporary work permits who meet program criteria -- they've worked in Manitoba for six months and have a permanent job offer from a Manitoba employer, the province said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 15, 2014 B3

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