What is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada?

To properly define “what is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada”, we make reference to how the Canadian government intends on improving its workforce, by filling labour gaps.

According to a new study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), irrespective of the fact that Canada currently has an unemployment rate still above 7%, a rough 55% of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses in Canada still have struggles in finding the required workers that they need to support their workflow, thus causing delays in deliveries and limiting business growth.


The Canadian government hopes to reduce this by introducing the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) that favours new immigrants around the world that will be needed to fill up labour gaps in the country.

We hope to break all these down, thus giving you a better understanding of what is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada and how it affects your immigration to Canada today.

What is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada?

The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is still here; and not just in the health sector, but generally in the workforce of many countries around the world, including Canada. This has resulted in so many backlogs of orders as companies struggle daily to keep up with their manufacturing and distribution due to a shortage of workers in the labour pool.

The common definition as to “what is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada?” is sometimes confused with the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in Canada.

The Municipal Nominee Program in Canada is an economic immigration pilot program initiated by the Canadian government to allow various local communities, labour councils and chambers of commerce to sponsor permanent immigrants directly to their community.

The program was initially instigated by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, following the October 2019 elections, the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada is aimed at attracting and retaining the required skilled labour in smaller and mid-sized communities within the country, thus helping to improve its economy for the better.

Canada’s Prime Minister instructed its new Minister for Immigration, Marco Mendicino in a mandate letter to be in charge of the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) and help to implement Canada’s immigration plan of bringing one million new permanent residents into the country over the next period of 3-years.

The CBC reported that Mendicino claims that this new initiative of the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada is yet another very good example of innovation in Canada’s immigration programs and will help to create a new pathway to permanent residency within the country.

New immigrants to Canada are more interested in residing in the very popular larger cities (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Edmonton) within the country.

The massive exodus of young-minded individuals off to the larger cities in Canada led the Canadian government to introduce the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) in a way to attract visitors to the smaller towns and rural areas of Canada by offering them easy access to the country and better preference in getting their permanent residence.

This will also help to fill up the labour shortages in the smaller towns and rural areas within Canada.

As discussed earlier, the definition of what is Municipal Nominee Program in Canada is somewhat similar to that of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in the country.

So, what then is the difference between both immigration concepts?

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) vs Municipal Nominee Program in Canada

Both the Provincial Nominee Program and Municipal Nominee Program in Canada have a common goal of trying to fill out the labour gaps in the local communities within Canada

While the Provincial Nominee Program is successful in getting new immigrants into Canada, 80% of these immigrants still end up residing in the metropolitan (larger cities) of Canada. So, to further disperse these benefits, the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada hopes to give full autonomy to local communities and municipalities within provinces and territories to select their newcomers.

The key features of the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada are:

  • A minimum of 5,000 available spaces yearly for candidates
  • Reduction of Canada’s permanent residence physical presence from the current 4 years down to 3 years in the last 5 requirement.
  • Free application for Canadian citizenship by permanent residents in these provinces.

Possible Requirements for the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada

While a more detailed requirement for the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada is yet to be released by the federal government, one of the key criteria will most likely be related to immigrant retention.

Canada’s mid-sized communities face a major struggle in retaining new immigrants on arrival.

From the total number of stakeholders surveyed, more than half believed that a high retention rate in distinguished municipalities would be the most important factor for success in this program.

For a similar reason, most existing regional programs in Canada have a major focus on candidates with ties (such as a job offer or previous work or study experience) to the area or better still, a family member who currently resides in that area. But, research findings have uncovered that ensuring that new immigrants are provided with the necessary settlement services can serve as a pretty good and effective way of retaining new nominees.

You may also be required to submit proof of your intention to settle in the municipality once selected.

All these are what will help to make sure that a selected candidate will stay in the region on receiving his to her permanent residence status in Canada.

Benefits of Regional Immigration Programs for International Workers

While it’s quicker to move to Canada using the Express Entry System, it can as well be very competitive.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for the Express Entry Immigration Program provides a score with respect to various factors that include:

  • Age factor
  • Educational status
  • Work experience
  • Language proficiency
  • And other related factors

It’s really easy to have your Express Entry immigration application declined if you do not meet the CRS cut-off, and this is where the concept of regional immigration programs come in really handy.

Regional programs such as the Municipal Nominee Program in Canada are more focused on their selection of candidates and not their disapproval.

You are basically selected for your ability to fill out their local demographic and labour gaps. This tends to make their requirement much more flexible to meet their respective region’s needs.

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