Last Updated on December 20, 2010 by Steven Meurrens

When the federal immigrant investor program closed, and it became common knowledge that program requirement were doubling, lawyers and consultants began looking at other programs for their clients.  Evidently, they found the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business (“MPNP-B“) to be the most attractive.

There are two steps to the MPNP-B.  The first is to make a request for an exploratory visit.  If successful, applicants are required to visit the province for at least one week to explore business opportunities.  During this time, they are required to attend presentations in either Mandarin, Korean, or English. After their exploratory visit is completed, applicants can then apply to immigrate to Manitoba and establish a business.

On December 15, 2010, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business (MPNP-B) posted current processing times.  As the table below demonstrates, for Chinese applicants, the wait time for an exploratory visit is huge.

Estimated waiting time for an exploratory visit request (starting from December 15, 2010):
Month received July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
1-5 mths 5-9 mths 9-14 mths 14-18 mths 18-30 mths > 30 mths
n/a n/a n/a n/a 2-4 weeks 4-6 weeks
n/a 1-3 weeks 3-5 weeks 5-7 weeks 7-10 weeks 10-12 weeks

For Chinese applicants who have yet to apply, it will now take 30 months to get an exploratory visit.  After that there will be at least an additional month to receive a visitor visa and to complete the exploratory visit.  After the exploratory visit, processing times for the full MPNP-B application take between 6 to 12 months.

Applicants looking at applying to immigrate through the MPNP-B program can thus expect to wait almost 43 months for a visa.   That works out to roughly 3.5 years.  Over half that time will be spent at the preliminary stage.  This will make the MPN-B one of the slowest ways to immigrate to Canada.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, and if the program changes to meet the growing demand.