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  • Writer's pictureC&A Insights Team

Navigating Canada's Immigration Programs for Healthcare Professionals

Updated: May 14

Canada is renowned for attracting immigrants in healthcare occupations due to its world-class healthcare system and emphasis on universal access to quality medical services.

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Canada's Immigration Programs for Healthcare Professionals

The country offers excellent job opportunities and career growth prospects for healthcare professionals, making it an attractive destination for those seeking to enhance their careers in a supportive and progressive environment.

Thus, Canada's inclusive immigration policies and diverse, welcoming society make it a desirable choice for immigrants, ensuring a smooth transition and integration into the Canadian healthcare workforce and communities.

These permanent residency immigration programs cater to the immigration needs of healthcare professionals who want to work and settle in Canada:

Express Entry

Express Entry is one of the perfect immigration programs for healthcare professionals in Canada due to its efficient and streamlined process, allowing skilled professionals in the healthcare sector to apply for permanent residency in Canada more quickly. Moreover, Express Entry draws prioritize candidates in high-demand fields like healthcare, increasing their chances of receiving Invitations to Apply (ITAs) and ultimately fulfilling their aspirations of contributing to Canada's esteemed healthcare system. The new Category-based draws that have been recently implemented under the Express Entry system target healthcare workers.

On June 28, 2023, IRCC conducted the first Health Care Draw inviting 500 applicants and on July 6th, 2023 IRCC conducted the second draw inviting 1500 Candidates under the Health Care Category.

Applicants from all over the world can apply for Express Entry. Applicants having experience in the following NOC Codes were invited:

  1. Audiologists and speech language pathologists

  2. Chiropractors

  3. Dentists

  4. Dieticians and nutritionists

  5. Education counsellors

  6. General practitioners and family physicians

  7. Instructors of persons with disabilities

  8. Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment

  9. Licensed practical nurses

  10. Massage therapists

  11. Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations

  12. Medical laboratory technologists

  13. Medical radiation technologists

  14. Medical sonographers

  15. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

  16. Nurse practitioners

  17. Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors

  18. Occupational therapists

  19. Optometrists

  20. Other assisting occupations in support of health services

  21. Other practitioners of natural healing

  22. Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating

  23. Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment

  24. Paramedical occupations

  25. Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants

  26. Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals

  27. Physiotherapists

  28. Psychologists

  29. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

  30. Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists

  31. Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine

  32. Specialists in surgery

  33. Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies

  34. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists

  35. Veterinarians

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is one of the perfect immigration programs for healthcare professionals in Canada or outside Canada because it allows provinces and territories to nominate candidates with specific skills and expertise in healthcare, addressing regional labor market needs. Healthcare professionals often receive enhanced opportunities for nomination through dedicated streams within various PNPs, streamlining their path to permanent residency. With a growing demand for healthcare services across different provinces, the PNP provides a tailored and expedited route for healthcare workers to contribute to local communities and enhance their careers in the Canadian healthcare system. Several provinces in Canada have specific streams under their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) dedicated to healthcare professionals. These streams aim to address the shortage of healthcare workers in rural and remote areas of the provinces. For example, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has a Healthcare Professional Stream, and Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker – Health Professionals category under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). The Healthcare Worker Stream which is a part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP), is specifically designed to attract and retain internationally trained healthcare professionals. The stream is open to health professionals across a wide range of occupations including, but not limited to, registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, specialist physicians, allied health professionals, and health technologists. Applicants must have a full-time, indeterminate job offer from a public health authority in one of the eligible occupations. They also need to demonstrate their ability to become economically established in British Columbia, meet minimum language requirements, and possess the appropriate certification or licensing for their occupation.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) allows eligible healthcare professionals to secure job offers from employers in these regions, providing a direct pathway to permanent residency. By participating in the RNIP, healthcare workers can make a significant impact on underserved communities, while also benefiting from a more streamlined immigration process tailored to the specific needs of rural and northern regions.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) allows designated healthcare employers to hire skilled workers from abroad, providing a direct route to permanent residency for healthcare professionals who receive a job offer in one of the participating provinces. The AIP offers a streamlined and employer-driven process, making it an attractive option for healthcare workers seeking to contribute their expertise to the healthcare sector in the vibrant and welcoming communities of the Atlantic provinces.

Employer-Specific Work Permit and obtaining an eligible job offer

Healthcare workers can become temporary residents in Canada through an Employer-Specific Work Permit by securing a valid job offer from a Canadian employer in the healthcare sector. The employer must obtain a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker is necessary due to a shortage of qualified Canadians for the position. Once the LMIA is approved, the healthcare worker can apply for a work permit, allowing them to work in Canada temporarily while contributing their skills and expertise to the Canadian healthcare system. Having an employer-based job offer can assist in adding 50 to 200 points to the express entry.

Some of the NOC Codes for Healthcare Occupations

Here are some of the NOC codes for healthcare occupations, which serve as a reference for immigration programs for healthcare professionals in Canada.

  • 31100 Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine

  • 31101 Specialist Physicians

  • 31102 General Practitioners and Family Physicians

  • 31110 Dentists

  • 31103 Veterinarians

  • 31111 Optometrists

  • 31201 Chiropractors

  • 31112 Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

  • 31120 Pharmacists

  • 31121 Dietitians and Nutritionists

  • 31202 Physiotherapists

  • 31203 Occupational Therapists

  • 31204 Other Professional Occupations in Therapy and Assessment

  • 32120 Medical Laboratory Technologists

  • 33101 Medical Laboratory Technicians and Pathologists' Assistants

  • 32104 Animal Health Technologists and Veterinary Technicians

  • 32103 Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists and Cardiopulmonary Technologists

  • 32121 Medical Radiation Technologists

  • 32122 Medical Sonographers

  • 32123 Cardiology Technologists and Electrophysiological Diagnostic Technologists

  • 32129 Other Medical Technologists and Technicians

  • 32110 Denturists

  • 32111 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists

  • 32112 Dental Technologists, Technicians, and Laboratory Bench Workers

  • 32100 Opticians

  • 32209 Practitioners of Natural Healing

  • 32101 Licensed Practical Nurses

  • 32102 Paramedical Occupations

  • 32201 Massage Therapists

  • 32109 Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment

  • 33100 Dental Assistants

  • 33102 Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates

  • 31301 Psychiatric Aides

If you are a healthcare worker aspiring to live and settle in Canada, our specialized immigration consultation services are designed to support your journey to success.

With a deep understanding of the Canadian immigration system and its various pathways for healthcare professionals, we can offer expert guidance and personalized assistance throughout the application process. From identifying the most suitable permanent residency programs to ensuring that all necessary documentation is complete and accurate, our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) is dedicated to maximizing your chances of a successful application and helping you realize your dream of starting a new life in Canada. Let our expertise in immigration consultation pave the way for your future in the Canadian healthcare sector.

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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