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    Online Processing at the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program

    Since July 2011, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has been offering an online application process for their priority immigration streams. This year, all applications to Manitoba will be accessible for online processing. Individuals looking to apply to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program should now consider online processing.

    How fast is online processing?
    According to statistics released by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program this month, the average processing for priority stream applications (temporary foreign workers, international students and strategic initiatives) was 2.2 months. In comparison, paper applications took 3.2 months. In comparison, family stream paper applications took 7.4 months while general stream paper application took 9.5 months to process.
    What are the advantages of online processing?
    Since the online process was launched in July 2011, approximately 3,500 individuals have applied online. One of the advantages of online processing is that it reduces the number of errors individuals make in applications. The reason for this is that if the online application is not completed correctly, it will not allow you to file an application. Only complete applications can be filed online and this can reduce the chances that an application would be refused or sent back because of being incomplete.
    Is there any disadvantage to online processing?
    One of the disadvantages of online processing is that the information required by Manitoba’s program is different than that required by Canadian visa offices abroad. Previously, when an individual filed a paper application, they could use the forms they filled out by paper for the application that eventually had to be sent to the visa office.
    However, there have been many recent changes in immigration forms over the last few months and more changes may be coming as Citizenship and Immigration Canada begins new immigration programs. As a result, the advantage in doing paper processing is quickly going away.
    What if I want legal advice before submitting my application?
    The online application system allows for individuals to hire lawyers and immigration consultants to provide them with legal advice before submitting an application. In a number of cases, this may be useful with new laws that may soon be coming that could result in false statements to immigration resulting in a 5 year bar from re-applying to Canada for any immigration purpose.
    Like paper applications, lawyers can prepare or review online applications before submission. Lawyers and consultants can also submit applications for their clients if this is what the client desires.
    This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.
    Reis is a partner with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at www.aikins.com, follow Reis on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/reispagtakhan

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