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Navigating the Path: Immigrating to Canada as a Healthcare Worker


a comprehensive review

Wed, 10th January 2024

Canada is facing a pressing issue - a shortage of healthcare workers. A recent incident in Clinton, Ontario, where teens had to travel extra miles for medical attention due to emergency room closures, highlights the severity of this challenge.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide for healthcare professionals looking to immigrate to Canada and acquire the necessary accreditation to contribute to the country's healthcare system.

Immigration Pathways

1. Express Entry - Category-Based Draws

Introduced in June 2023, category-based draws focus on specific occupational sectors, including healthcare. This initiative allows the federal government to strategically target candidates with relevant work experience and skills for permanent residence in Canada.

2. Express Entry – Standard

Standard Express Entry draws encompass the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). While open to various eligible candidates, healthcare professionals, especially nurses, may find eligibility under the FSWP and CEC.

3. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Operational in most provinces and territories (excluding Quebec and Nunavut), PNPs provide a pathway for local governments to address labor market challenges. Several provinces, including Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, offer PNP streams tailored to healthcare professionals.

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Accreditation Process

1. Contacting Regulatory Bodies

Upon arriving in Canada, connecting with the relevant regulatory body is the first crucial step. Identification of the specific nursing license required determines the appropriate institution, with a list of regulatory bodies available on respective websites.

2. National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS)

Most commonly, completing an assessment through NNAS is imperative. This step ensures the verification of credentials against Canadian standards and provides an Advisory Form for the subsequent application to the provincial regulatory body. It's important to note that Quebec and the three territories have distinct assessment methods.

3. Application to Provincial Regulatory Body

Following a successful NNAS assessment, applicants must proceed to apply to the provincial regulatory body in their intended practice location. This stage may involve additional educational programs tailored to meet specific licensing requirements in the region.

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Embarking on the journey of immigrating to Canada as a healthcare worker demands a strategic understanding of the available pathways and a commitment to navigating the accreditation process.

The demand for healthcare professionals in Canada underscores the significance of this endeavor, promising a fulfilling career and an opportunity to contribute to a nation grappling with healthcare workforce shortages.

As the accreditation process evolves, staying informed about updates and initiatives becomes crucial for a seamless integration into the Canadian healthcare system.

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Canada Express Entry Draw; June 2019
The latest Canada Express Entry draw was held on 12 June 2019, with 3,350 invitations issued. The lowest qualifying score on the comprehensive ranking system (CRS) was 465 points. The next draw is expected to have a similar minimum CRS score. The previous draw had a minimum cut off point of 470.

These scores are considered pretty high on the CRS system. The reasons can be attributed to the fact that a greater number of qualified candidates have entered the Express Entry pool, and an increased time period between the draws, allowing a greater number of candidates to enter the pool; thus making the Express Entry Draws very competitive.

Want to know if you qualify under Canada's Express Entry migration? Contact us today for a quick assessment!

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