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Pathways to settle in Manitoba: Immigration and Qualification Recognition in

Regulated/Non-regulated Professions and Trades.

Author: Asif Anwar


Brief Overview


In an immigration perspective, National Occupational Classification (NOC) is an exhaustive resource on the labour market in Canada. The titled job groups and related sub-groups are classified according to the level and types of skills. NOC outlines standardized basic description of each classification of occupation, having its own protected title. In a way, NOC depicts labour market trends analysis and practical career planning information for people who intend to immigrate and for Canadians themselves.      


To work in any profession or trade, regulated or non-regulated, there are basic eligibility requirements, and for internationally educated professionals it has a qualification recognition mechanism. The mechanism involves a process verifying education, training skills and practical experience gained in another country compared to the regulator's and the specific market standards set in Canada.


For credential recognition the regulatory bodies/associations issues licenses or certificates, giving individuals right to legally pursue their professions with the designated professional title. Otherwise, the individual is asked to improve his/her education and/or training skills in line with Canadian standards.       


For each profession and trade, respectively, there are federal and provincial regulatory bodies and professional associations, issuing licenses to practice or certificates of qualification. Not only for students and professionals already studying in Canada and/or achieving  the requisite benchmarks of qualification, these licences and certifications boost chances for qualified professionals and trade persons to immigrate and legitimately work in the related professions and trades in Canada.  


Immigration and Economic Opportunities Division of Province of Manitoba developed its Fact Sheet (updated on June 30, 2017) linking the regulators responsible for regulating the professions in Manitoba. To protect health and safety of Canadians, the professionals and trade persons must meet the educational and competency requirement in line with the recognised standards of practice. Once the credentials are assessed according to the legible standards, policies, and procedures; one could potentially pursue profession, trade and related occupation in Manitoba. 



Regulated Professions


Each profession in Manitoba has its own regulatory body, which could interchangeably be a college, association, institute or society. To get a license to work in Manitoba various criteria, processes and rules are enforced in each profession. If any profession is regulated in Manitoba, in all eventualities, there must be a provincial licensing body for qualification and/or experience assessment. The main purpose is to set standards for those who intend to pursue and later work in the area.


There is a list of "Regulated Professions" (mostly health related) in the Government of Manitoba's, The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act naming regulatory body for each regulated profession. 

Regulated Trades


In the like manner, the trades are also regulated and a person certified is titled "certified journeyperson." Manitoba has compulsory certification of qualification in nine (9) trades, granted by Department of Education and Training, Province of Manitoba.


The details of regulated Professions and Trades are:













Non-regulated occupations


The employers have their own standards for non-regulated occupations. The employers also have their own hiring criteria which likely could be job-specific training and/or relevant experience, and also could be an official assessment of academic credentials. Although, as such, there are no legal requirements to obtain a license to work in non-regulated occupation; however, non-Canadian credentials, there could be chances to get an assessment from the recognized assessment agency in Canada. The assessments for Manitoba can be done through the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada.


Non-regulated trades


For namesake, the non-regulated trades have no regulatory body to certify credentials. Resultantly experience is gained from training or for that matter know how, skill or working. The recognition of credentials; therefore, is at the discretion of the employer. In immigration perspective, candidates who have education, training, and experience in trade or sub-trades, have more chances to get jobs/work permits in the trades or sub-trades which are listed in the NOC list. Yet, there are also exceptions, for the candidate(s) already in Canada, to get a work permit from a particular employer, who could not find a suitable employee appropriate to the specific job requirement here.        




To meet employers’ need, Manitoba through its Manitoba Provincial Nomination Program nominates candidates on the basis of its In-Demand Occupations. These occupations are identified and regularly updated based on Manitoba Labour Market information and Occupational Forecasts, along with direct consultation with employers. If specific criterion and requirements of each occupation is met, priority is given to In Demand Occupations in the specific pathway listed in each stream of immigration.


List of In-Demand Occupations (Revised June 8, 2018)

   1.       Business, finance and administration occupations

   2.       Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

   3.       Health occupations

   4.       Occupations in social science, education, government service and religion

   5.       Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport

   6.       Sales and service occupations

   7.       Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

   8.       Occupations unique to primary industry

   9.       Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities

And rural In-Demand Occupations are:

   1.       Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

   2.       Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers





Manitoba has developed criteria for selection of economic immigrants in line with provisions of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement (represented by Manitoba Labour and Immigration Ministry). Manitoba was first to sign this agreement in 1996 and is implementing it ever since. 


In Manitoba, to get approval to become the provincial nominee, a coherent mechanism is designed to evaluate candidates on the basis of their qualification and experience. CIC, however, has the ultimate authority to issue permanent residence visa to those who are considered sound economic immigrants, pass the medical and security checks.


Among the various options to immigrate or settle in Manitoba (including Business/Entrepreneur Immigration), Manitoba Skilled Worker PNP is noteworthy. Whether via Federal Express entry or outside Express Entry program, candidates must have suitable skills and experience. In the latter case, a Manitoba Provincial Nomination Certificate is given to speed up the immigration process, for all those who graduated from Manitoba Educational Institution or currently working in Manitoba or for overseas applicants, subject to fulfillment of following conditions:


          ·Requisite educational qualification equivalent to Canadian Benchmarks;

          ·Requisite training and work experience in the designated profession;

          ·Requisite language capability to start job;

          ·Requisite Job offer in consonance with their training and work experience.


The overseas applicants, likewise, are assessed and are required to have adequate scores for age, education and training, work experience and language ability. The applicants also have to establish their worthy settlement plan, financial resources, strong connection and adaptability to Manitoba. Limited numbers of Certificate of Nominations are issued by Manitoba, selected mostly from the top scorers. The aim is to select the most suited applications for nomination.


From the above Manitoba In-Demand Occupations, if the occupation or a trade falls in the in-demand occupations and trades list and candidate meets the eligibility criteria for Manitoba PNP on credible and verifiable documentation, there are likely chances (based on scores) for candidates to get the Letter of Application to Apply (LAA). The nominated candidates may receive a letter as an Invitation to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residence. 


Manitoba Skilled Worker PNP has various assessment streams and relating pathways. In the express streams, the candidates based on their compatible skills and experience has more chances in getting their applications assessed successfully. In the general stream, strong connection to and employability in Manitoba, is a key to make a successful application. Professions and trades are prospectively explored using these streams to fit in the criteria to apply under the respective stream/pathway.


The entire Manitoba's provincial nomination selection criteria and initiative is based on annual Federal Government limits. According to the figures in Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecast 2016-2022, it is predicted that there would be a total of 167,700 new job openings (depending on circumstances like retirements, etc.), with approximately 24,000 job openings per year. Labour Market Information (ILM) is a good resource to research on the current labour market trends and opportunities in Manitoba. 





Manitoba International Student Graduate  

Manitoba recently restructured and renewed its MPNP programs for the international students who intend to work and reside in Manitoba. There is a great opportunity for the international students, who are in the process of getting the higher-secondary degrees/certificates in Manitoba. The international students whose credentials have already been assessed and are equivalent to Canadian standards have the option to find jobs in the regulated professions and trades.


The criteria to build a career in Manitoba and later become permanent residents is through three pathways:


Career Employment Pathway


  • Graduation (in the last 3 years) from the designated post-secondary institution in Manitoba;

  • Official Language proficiency of Minimum CLB/NCLC 7 or equivalent;

  • Full time job offer (1-year contract) from eligible current employer in Manitoba from In Demand Occupation List;

  • Full time employed, or you have settlement funds equivalent to Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for six months;

  • Residing in Manitoba at the time of application and intent to continue to reside in Manitoba.


The graduates from another Canadian province and/or not working in an In-Demand Occupation is eligible to apply through Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream.


There is a similar CIC initiative (Canadian Experience Class), intended for International student graduated from the Canadian Universities and are skilled foreign workers. To qualify, the applicant has to plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Quebec does not use Express entry and select their own skilled workers).



  • international students with at least two years of Canadian post-secondary education;

  • a minimum of one year of full-time Canadian skilled worker experience, gained with proper authorization;

  • work experience should be in managerial, professional or technical positions (NOC) within three years of applying;

  • must show that the applicant performed duties and got experience, in consonance with the description in the NOC;

  • Self-Employment and/or work experience gained while being a full-time student is not counted.


The eligible candidates must have to complete the Express Entry profile using the Come to Canada tool, as a first step under the requisite programs. 


Graduate Internship Pathway

This pathway is a faster nomination pathway for International Student Master and Doctorate Graduates through internships. The interested candidates are, however, required to attend information session before submitting their expression of Interest. 



  • Completed a Master or Doctoral program in Manitoba in the last three years;

  •  Minimum official Language proficiency of Min CLB/NCLC 7 or equivalent;

  • Completed a Mitacs Elevate or Accelerate internship or fellowship in eligible industry and research enterprise in Manitoba;

  • Full time employed, or you have settlement funds equivalent to Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for six months;

  • Residing in Manitoba at the time of application and intent to continue to reside in Manitoba.


Likewise, in this pathway too, the graduates from another Canadian province and/or not working in an In-Demand Occupation are eligible to apply through Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream.

Student Entrepreneur Pathway

This is a very distinct pathway designed for international graduates to pursue entrepreneurship rather than employment in Manitoba



  • Completed at least 2 years of the full-time post-secondary program in Manitoba;

  • Must be 21 to 35 years of age;

  • Have a valid open work permit or post-graduation work permit at the time of application;

  • Continuously residing in Manitoba since graduation and intent to continue to reside in Manitoba after nomination; 

  • Business Plan is a pre-requisite for application to MPNP; otherwise, with a valid work permit you have operated the business as a Senior Manager on a daily basis for at least 6 months (consistent with the requirement of Business Performance Agreement);

  • Minimum official Language proficiency of Min CLB/NCLC 7 or equivalent (including IELTS-for this pathway);

  • Enough funds to successfully execute your business plan or settlement funds equivalent to Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for 12 months.


The international students from other Canadian provinces, may be eligible to apply under the Business Investor Stream, Entrepreneur Pathway of Manitoba.

Subject to the approval of MPNP, in each of above applications under each pathway, candidates as Manitoba Provincial Nominee can apply for permanent residence at CIC. 



There are new and revised streams for skilled workers based on the needs of Manitoba employers, encouraging the skilled force already in Manitoba and new immigration.


Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream (SWM)

Skilled Worker Overseas Stream (SWO)


Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream (SWM)

This stream is intended to nominate applicants who are already working in the province and have sufficient skills, education, training, work experience and demonstrate official language proficiency.



          · Applicant with temporary work permits (LMIA, LMIA-exempt and MPNP-supported work permits), or International students                 (out of province graduates, who worked in Manitoba for 12 months) or International students (Manitoba graduates working               in job not in the Manitoba published In Demand Occupation List);

          · Must be residing and/or working/full-time job offer in Manitoba at the time of application;

          · Minimum official Language proficiency: Min CLB/NCLC 7 (Regulated Professions): Min CLB/NCLC 6 (Compulsory Trades): Min               CLB/NCLC 5 (NOC 0, A, or B occupations) or Min CLB/NCLC 4 (Semi-Skilled Occupations-NOC C or D);

Skilled Worker Overseas Stream (SWO)

This stream is intended for internationally trained and experienced workers who have compatible and In-Demand skills according to eligibility criteria and Manitoba’s local market needs. There are two pathways under this stream.


Manitoba Express Entry Pathway

This pathway nominates qualified applicants with high human capital with skills, training and experience as per Manitoba In-Demand Occupations. The pathway is open for applicants who:

        ·  meet the Express Entry criteria;

        ·  have active Express Entry profile (with verification code);

        ·  have their foreign educational credentials assessed;

        ·  have sufficient proof of funds.

The pathway also gives priority to candidates who have close family members settled in Manitoba. Specific priority is also given to those applicants with spouses who have legible language proficiency, experience and training in the In-Demand occupation for them to find jobs.


          · Acceptance into the Express Entry pool with valid Express Entry ID and Job Seeker Validation Code;

          · Minimum 18 year of age;

          · Must have one year post-secondary education (Canadian Equivalent). If required, the licensure or certification must be       

            assessed by the regulatory body and/or pass an examination;

          · Minimum 6 month of work experience in an occupation from the In-Demand Occupation list and provide complete Career                  Plan;

          · Official Language proficiency: Min CLB/NCLC 7 (NOC 0 or A) or Min CLB/NCLC 6 (NOC B);

          · Ability and intent to establish and reside in Manitoba and have confirmed support of a friend or family residing in Manitoba                   for at least one year; otherwise, hold a valid Invitation to Apply from MPNP;

          · Liquid settlement funds equivalent to Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for 6 months.


Human Capital Pathway

This Pathway is intended for International skilled workers who have skills and training aligned with Manitoba In Demand Occupation list. The main goal of this pathway is to invite skilled workers who demonstrate a potential to establish strong labour market attachment on their arrival.



          ·  Minimum 18 year of age. No points awarded if age is over 45 years;

          ·  Points awarded for minimum one year of work experience in the In-Demand Occupation and provide complete Career Plan;

          ·  Must have one year post-secondary education (Canadian Equivalent). If required, the licensure or certification must be                         assessed by the regulatory body and/or pass an examination;

          ·  Official Language proficiency: Min CLB/NCLC 7 (Regulated Professions), Min CLB/NCLC 6 (Compulsory Trades) or Min                             CLB/NCLC 5 (NOC 0, A, or B occupations);

          ·  Ability and intent to establish and reside in Manitoba and have confirmed support of friend or family residing in Manitoba                  for at least one year; otherwise, in the last 5 years completed post-secondary education in Manitoba or in the last 5 years                    have Manitoba work experience or hold a valid Invitation to Apply from MPNP;

          ·  Liquid settlement funds equivalent to Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for 6 months.

Employer Direct Recruitment Pathway

In this specific initiative, at MPNP's sole discretion, only qualified Skilled Workers are identified and issued an Invitation to Apply and is not an applicant's self-select for eligibility with his/her connection to Manitoba. As part of Manitoba Immigration promotion and recruitment strategy, Manitoban employers interview face-to-face, in the international events/job fairs, to target prospective overseas skilled worker, tradespeople, and professionals showing willingness and competence to move to Canada.   


For this initiative, the candidates are first interviewed. That could be overseas recruitment mission (Employer Direct program) or MPNP interview included in candidate's exploratory visit (pre-arranged to research communities and employment opportunities) to Manitoba. If invited, MPNP issues Letter of Invitation (LOI), which establishes a requisite Manitoba Connection. To apply, candidates must upload LOI in MPNP online.   


  • Must be 21 to 45 years of age;

  • Must have post-secondary education and/or training in the recruited occupation or identified by the employer. The licensure or certification must be assessed by the regulatory body and/or pass an examination;

  • Work experience of Minimum 2 years in the last 5 years relevant to occupation being recruited or identified by the employer;

  • Full time job offer according to Manitoba Employment, wage standard and working conditions consistent with Canadian Citizens/Permanent Residents of Canada;

  • Official Language proficiency: Min CLB/NCLC 7 (Regulated Professions): Min CLB/NCLC 6 (Compulsory Trades): Min CLB/NCLC 5 (NOC 0, A, or B  occupations) or Min CLB/NCLC 4 (Semi-Skilled Occupations-NOC C or D) and the employer has to provide workplace language training;

  • Ability and intent to reside in Manitoba;

  • Employer is a registered commercial business for the last 3 years.  


In the employers' perspective, the employer must prove that a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident is unable to fill in the vacancy, and that employer is offering a permanent job on a full-time bases. To issue permit support letter, the employer must be registered on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) employer portal and there is also an allied compliance fee.



These pathways increase the chances of acceptance, if applicant has Manitoba family or friend who are established resident of the province and are willing and able to review and endorse, a friend or relative plan to settle in Manitoba. Applicants with requisite professional and trade-related education and/or experience have potential to get a Canadian accreditations. To act as a Manitoba Supporter, one must be:

          ·  a permanent resident or Canadian citizen;

          ·  documentary proofs establishing that the Manitoba Supporter have been living in the province continuously for at least one               year (Copy of Manitoba Health Card is given priority);

          ·  able to amply demonstrate close ties with friend or relative and to Manitoba as well. For close relatives, documents proving                their familial relationship is a must;

          ·  able to support friend or relative application.



Manitoba Express Entry & Sponsorship

Manitoba residents can support one or more friends and/ or relatives if one adequately establishes it. A friend or relative, to be eligible for the MPNP, must have sufficient points while assessing language, employability, education, age and adaptability in accordance with MPNP criterion.

Apart from these pathways, under the Family Class sponsorship, Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents who are at least 18 years old can also sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada like Spouse, Conjugal or Common Law Partner, Dependent Child (including adopted child) or eligible relatives.   



Manitoba PNP and Trade

Certification of qualification in your trade is not mandatory to immigrate to Manitoba, but you have to demonstrate satisfactorily that your education/training and work experience qualifies you to work in your trade in Manitoba. For people who have their education/training and work experience from other countries, trades have their own certification processes. If the credentials are recognized, one is qualified to work in the trade in Manitoba. Otherwise, to get the "certified journeyperson" certification, one has two options: either through supervised training known as apprenticeship or person who has some experience by appearing in the challenging exam for certification. Adopting either certification process elevates chance to get a related job in the trades, leading to the eligibility, to apply under MPNP.

There are numerous regulatory bodies/associations issuing registrations, licenses, and certificates, specific to designated profession or trade. Getting your credentials recognized, especially, in case of the international candidates is a difficult task. Applicants should be aware of the fact that international credentials (educational and/or experience) may not be recognized equivalent to the standard set in Canada. To make a viable career planning and settlement judgment, adopt a realistic approach by research and getting to know all levels of the settlement process. Practicably, determine all matters relating to credential evaluations, costs, time and especially pertinent profession or trade's registration/certification pre-requisites. These measures would advantageously help plan and determine, a right approach to be a recognized professional or a trade person in Manitoba, leading to a permanent settlement in Manitoba.     

The contents of this paper are intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter.

All queries relating to regulated profession/trade should be directed to the designated body.

Legal advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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