Canada to support internationally educated health professionals


The parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced nearly $1.5 million in funding to help newcomers work in the Canadian health sector faster.

The funds are intended to promote collaboration and information sharing in the health sector. Specifically, to help internationally educated health care professionals get their credentials recognized faster.

This expanded project will help internationally educated health care professionals fill key positions in the health care labour market. It will also enable N4 to serve as a platform where newcomers and internationally educated health care professionals can find information on foreign qualification and credential recognition in all provinces and territories outside Quebec.

The project will also aim to :

  • identify barriers faced by internationally educated health care professionals in having their foreign credentials recognized in Canada
  • provide practical policy recommendations to address gaps in the sector
  • help internationally educated health care professionals access credential and qualification requirements faster
  • remove barriers to working in Canada’s health care system

The plan includes action in six main areas:

1. Finding new talent

Quebec plans to spend some of the funding on identifying countries with similar professional training, in order to open recruiters up to diverse talent pools.

2. Support for regulatory bodies and professional orders

Regulatory bodies and professional orders are to be encouraged to improve skills assessment, develop refresher training and issue temporary restrictive permits to certain workers to practice their profession.

3. Personalized support for immigrants

Support services will be enhanced to offer help for specific skill recognition procedures. Candidates are to have access to services throughout the whole immigration process.

4. Funding for refresher training and internships

Immigrants to have access to refresher training and internships, from abroad and in Quebec to accelerate skills recognition.

5. Financial support for skills recognition

Candidates can benefit from specific financial support for refresher training, plus tuition fee exemptions.

6. Support for Quebec employers to evaluate foreign credentials

Quebec employers will be able to use an online tool to compare a foreign diploma to the Quebec school system.

Express Entry programs for health care professionals :

Health care professionals may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). These two federal immigration programs are managed by the Express Entry system.

Express Entry is an online system that manages immigration applications for the federal government. It uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank eligible candidates on their skilled work experience, age, education, and official language ability, among other factors. The highest-scoring candidates get invited to apply for permanent residence in bi-weekly Express Entry draws.

PNP for health care professionals :

Although IRCC gets the final say on who can immigrate to Canada, the provinces can nominate eligible candidates through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Some PNPs are dedicated specifically for health care professionals, while others have more general work experience requirements but may hold immigration nomination draws targeting candidates in the sector.

Here are some of the PNP pathways for health care professionals:

  • Ontario invites health care professionals to apply through its Human Capital Priorities Stream.
  • British Columbia offers a Health Care Professional category under its Skills Immigration and Express Entry pathways.
  • Saskatchewan has recently launched an International Health Worker EOI pool specifically for health care professionals.
  • Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream occasionally holds draws inviting health care professionals to apply for a provincial nomination.
  • New Brunswick’s Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) program is a pathway for foreign nurses who can speak English or French.

Quebec :

Quebec operates its own immigration system. Certain programs like the PNP and Express Entry are not available in Quebec.

Quebec offers its Regular Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Experience Program. Health care professionals may be eligible for either of these programs. Both of these programs require candidates to have a working knowledge of the French language

Caregiver pilot programs :

Caregivers may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot if they have a job offer to work in one of the two eligible occupations, and meet the other eligibility criteria. Work experience must fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412.




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