Manitoba is one of Canada’s most immigrant-friendly provinces and one of the first to institute its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is often noted for its low cost of living, warm people, and affordable housing; Manitoba has a dry climate that can experience sudden weather changes depending on the season. Most people who immigrate to Manitoba will do so in one of the province’s two main cities: Winnipeg (Manitoba’s capital) or Brandon.
Read on for essential information you need to know before moving to Manitoba.
Manitoba offers some of the most affordable housing options in the country, both for buy and rent. Additionally, the province’s two largest cities offer a variety of housing options including condos, duplexes, patio homes, and more.
This affordability is attributed not only to lower municipal property taxes and utility costs, but also to extensive housing programs in Manitoba. These programs offer various subsidized housing options to eligible residents. To qualify for these programs, in addition to having a complete application, residents must:
- Have a total adjusted household income that is equal to or less than rent Program Income Limits (PIL);
- Be in basic need of housing;
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Provide a rental history; and
- Pay any outstanding debt with the program or start an approved payment plan.
It is important to note that this housing program is not available to international students or permanent residents who gained their status through family class sponsorship. For more information on Manitoba housing programs, you can visit the link provided here.
In July 2023, the Manitoban government committed to investing C$67 million to support 89 capital housing projects across the province.
Much of Manitoba’s public transportation system is located in Winnipeg, the provincial capital. City residents have access to two main forms of public transportation: the city subway and public bus transportation.
The subway system, called the “BLUE Line Rapid Transit,” offers routes between downtown Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and St. Norbert, with multiple intermediate stations.
Winnipeg’s public bus system also offers fixed-route bus services that operate year-round and during overnight hours. Additionally, some buses offer limited routes from Winnipeg to other Manitoba cities.
Both systems work with a fare card known as a “peggo,” which travelers can use to pay for their trip. For more information about peggo cards, click here. For more information on fare prices in Winnipeg, click here.
Historically, Manitoba has had a strong demand for skilled workers. He Manitoba Provincial Candidate Program (MPNP), one of the first PNP in Canada, was created to address this demand by selecting skilled workers from around the world and nominating them for permanent residence (PR) in Canada.
Manitoba traditionally has a low unemployment rate and a high labor force participation rate. The province’s largest employment sectors are wholesale and retail trade, health and social care, and manufacturing. The minimum wage in Manitoba (as of October 1) is CAD 15.30 per hour.
Some of Manitoba’s largest employers include Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan, Canada Life Assurance Company, Bell MTS, the University of Manitoba, IGM Financial and Manitoba Hydro.
For more information on how to find and get a job in Canada, you can visit a dedicated web page here.
Manitoba offers a wide range of educational opportunities for K-12 students. Both public and private schools operate within the province, particularly in Winnipeg. Students typically begin kindergarten at age five and complete high school at age seventeen or eighteen.
Manitoba’s education system covers a wide range of subjects, including English and/or French language studies, arts, health, science and social studies. There are also programs and resources available to support students with various learning needs. Manitoba’s education system emphasizes active learning experiences, including field trips and outdoor activities. Indigenous perspectives and traditions are also integrated into the curriculum.
Parents, teachers and students can find detailed information about the curriculum and policies on the government’s education website. There are also resources available to help students learn. what to expect from school and how to make the transition smoothly between different levels of schooling.
Post-secondary education in Manitoba is offered by universities and colleges, offering a variety of programs ranging from practical training to theoretical degrees. These institutions offer certificate and diploma courses, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (including master’s degrees and doctorates). Pre-professional and professional degree programs are also available in various disciplines.
International students who wish to study in Canada must enroll in a school that is Designated learning institution (DLI) – The only schools in Canada that can accept international students. Visit our website at study in manitoba for a list of DLIs in the province.
In Manitoba, income tax rates can range from 10.8% to 17.4%. When combined with the federal tax, the total tax burden can range from 25.8% to 50.4%.
Instead of having a single harmonized tax on the consumption of goods and services, Manitoba has separate taxes for goods and services. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 7% nationally, while the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is also 7% specifically for Manitoba. It is important to note that the PST is applied to the original price of the product before calculating the GST.
For more information on how to file personal income returns in Canada, you can visit our dedicated webpage here.
Newcomer Settlement Services are services administered at the federal, provincial and municipal levels for newcomers to Canada. Please note that depending on your legal status in Canada and where you live, you may or may not be eligible for these services. While most services are available to permanent residents and some temporary residents, it is recommended that you contact the specific service provider you wish to visit to clarify eligibility.
The Manitoba government classifies its settlement services into the following categories:
- Arrival and settlement services for new arrivals;
- Neighborhood Immigrant Settlement Workers (NISW);
- Health and family supports;
- Employment Supports;
- Language training programs for adults;
- Services de soutien francophone (French support services);
- Colleges and universities;
- Libraries; and
- Other government services.
The Manitoba provincial government has compiled a list of service providers in an online mapping tool, which can be accessed here.
For more information on free settlement services for newcomers in Canada, you can visit our dedicated webpage here.