Who is the HIIC and the MPNP?

The Hellenic Immigrant Initiative Committee (HIIC) and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) are collaborating to assist Greek or Cypriot nationals who wish to immigrate and move permanently to Manitoba, Canada. The HIIC is one of the Committees of the Greek Community of Winnipeg. The MPNP is a program of the Provincial Government of Manitoba. HIIC consists of mostly Hellenic-Canadian volunteers who assist those interested, at no cost. As volunteers who live in Manitoba, we work with MPNP to assist Greek or Cypriot nationals like you to move here and be nominated to the Government of Canada to become permanent residents. The immigration process through MPNP and HIIC is fast tracked - we help open the door to Greek or Cypriot nationals wishing to immigrate to Manitoba.

The HIIC pre-screens applicants with the aim of providing MPNP with Greek or Cypriot national candidates who closely match the criteria for an Exploratory Visit. If you are invited for an interview and an Exploratory Visit, your connection to Manitoba is the Greek Community of Winnipeg, through HIIC (Factor 5 of the Points Worksheet).

There is no need to pay agents, lawyers, or consultants who ask for a service fee and might claim that they can expedite the process or assure a successful result. It is strongly recommended that those who are interested in immigrating to Manitoba, should do their homework, and read carefully the material in the following websites:

  1. MPNP (www.immigratemanitoba.com),

  2. HIIC (www.hiic.ca)

  3. Greek Community of Winnipeg (www.stdemetrioschurch.com)

  4. Immigrant Centre (www.icmanitoba.com)

  5. Manitoba Start (www.manitobastart.com)

 

What is an Exploratory Visit?

The Exploratory Visit option allows you as a Greek or a Cypriot national to visit Manitoba and see if you wish to immigrate and work here. All costs for travel, accommodation, meals, and incidentals are the applicant’s responsibility. The MPNP interview is free.

An Exploratory Visit is a formal, pre-approved and pre-scheduled visit to Manitoba, during which you are interviewed by an MPNP officer. Following the interview, you may be invited to apply through MPNP to become a permanent resident. HIIC members, all volunteers, assist the MPNP in pre-screening Greek or Cypriot nationals expressing interest in an Exploratory Visit.

 

What to do during your Exploratory Visit:

  • explore opportunities in your field of work and meet with prospective employers

  • consult with employers and regulatory bodies (if necessary) about your employability

  • explore the housing, school and lifestyle opportunities in your intended community, including the local labour market and services

  • meet with people, organizations, cultural centre and church of the Hellenic Community in Manitoba

 

Requirements

To be considered for an Exploratory Visit and interview you must:

  • be age 21 to 45

  • have completed at least a one-year post-secondary (8 months) academic or training program for which you received a diploma, certificate or degree

  • have worked at least two years full-time in the past five years and be able to demonstrate that you can find a job in that occupation soon after arriving in Manitoba (considering local qualification requirements such as language and professional or trades licensing or certification, and labour market demand)

  • be job-ready

  • English proficiency demonstrated by scoring at least 5 on a recent IELTS test**

  • demonstrate your genuine intention and ability to settle in Manitoba as a permanent resident, including funds***

  • satisfy the MPNP that you do not have a stronger connection to another Canadian province

 

Length of Stay

As a condition of an Exploratory Visit, the required stay is 10 days. An interview with immigration is normally scheduled near the end of your stay. For less problematic immigration outcomes, as well as diminishing your financial hardship, it is recommended that you plan to stay no longer than a month, even though as a visitor with a Hellenic or Cypriot Republic passport, you may stay up to 3 months, which may be extended for another 3 months. Furthermore, it is recommended that successful candidates return to their country and wait until their permanent residency is approved, before returning to live and work in Manitoba.

 

Skilled workers are in demand

In Manitoba’s high-powered economy, skilled workers, trades people and professionals are in demand. Manitoba is growing through immigration. Over the last 10 years, almost 130,000 people from all over the world have made Manitoba, Canada, their new home. The Government of Manitoba projects a labour shortage of over 20,000 skilled workers by 2020. The MPNP selects internationally trained and experienced workers who have the skills needed to succeed in the local labour market, and nominates them to receive Canadian permanent resident Visas to settle and work in Manitoba.

Check the MPNP website for professional and trade worker certification requirements. To qualify as an applicant under the MPNP, you must be a professional or a skilled worker who can make an immediate economic contribution to the Province of Manitoba. A professional or a skilled worker has specialized education and training, as well as work experience in their occupation. In Manitoba, professionals and skilled workers can receive excellent salaries and benefits.

Regulated Occupations

The challenge immigrants face, however, is getting their qualifications – international education and experience – recognized by Canadian employers or the organizations that regulate professions. Each individual is responsible to research what the requirements are for certification in their profession or trade. Initially you may be able to obtain a job in a related field, while you work towards upgrading your certification.

For example, an engineer from another country is not able to start practicing right away as a professional engineer. Credentials must be assessed to see if they are equivalent, and some upgrading may be required to obtain professional engineer status in Manitoba. However, an engineer may work initially as a technician or other related job, while working towards obtaining designation in Manitoba. HIIC can provide you with contacts to speak to regarding certification requirements for your profession.

Another example, to work as a nurse your education and experience must first be evaluated by one of professional regulatory bodies in Manitoba before you are licensed (registered) to work as a registered nurse

(RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered psychiatric nurse (RPN). The regulatory body responsible may ask you to: provide documentation of qualifications, undergo a language examination, complete a technical exam, do supervised work, complete further study or training. Again HIIC can provide you with contacts to speak to regarding certification requirements for your profession.

 

NonRegulated occupations

For non-regulated occupations, there are generally no set requirements for certification. Examples would be working as a server in a restaurant, working in a retail store, working in a warehouse. You may be able to start working immediately in these types of occupations without licensing.

You may apply for the MPNP with or without credential assessment and licensing

Manitoba has a low unemployment rate, and there are many jobs available, however because of licensing and certification, you may not be able to immediately work in your profession. However, you may initially work in a job related to your skills and qualifications while you work on obtaining Canadian certification for your profession if it requires licensing. Finding employment in Manitoba, Canada requires research and planning.

You should obtain as much information as possible before you apply to immigrate. Credential assessment and licensing are not required for your Manitoba provincial nominee application. HIIC has offered assistance to newcomers where possible, however HIIC is not able to provide jobs – we open the door to Manitoba, and offer as much help as we can. At least 90% of our newcomers in Manitoba are employed within a few weeks or months.

If you are interested in applying for an Exploratory Visit, please fill in the HIIC Form and send back to me for review.

 

Sincerely, Katy Louridas,

 

HIIC coordinator