Immigrating to Canada as a Physician

Published on: October 5th, 2021
Last updated: October 24th, 2022

Physicians are in high demand across Canada, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. To fill these labour market gaps, the Canadian government offers various federal and provincial immigration programs for Physicians that wish to settle permanently in the country.

Converting your credentials

To practice in Canada, foreign trained doctors will first need an approved medical degree from a university that is listed on the World Directory of Medical schools.

Next, foreign trained doctors must have their credentials verified by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) to receive an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) report. Once the degree and transcripts are verified, candidates must secure the ECA report from PhysiciansApply.ca.

Once a physician becomes a Canadian permanent resident, they may complete the required tests and training to receive a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).

On top of this, each province and territory also has their own medical regulatory authorities with additional requirements. As such, it is important to decide which province you intend to settle in before beginning the process.

Canadian Immigration Options for Foreign Trained Physicians

There are several immigration options for foreign trained Physicians. The fastest way to secure permanent residence status as a physician is to immigrate through Canada’s Express Entry system.

Express Entry

Express Entry offers an expedited pathway to permanent residence for for certain eligible skilled workers. Candidates immigrating through the Express Entry system must have work experience in skill types A, B, or 0. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) code for Physicians and specialized Physicians fall under skill type A and qualify under the Express Entry system through the Federal Skilled Worker program.

Express Entry is a points-based system that invites the highest-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence. If a foreign trained physician does not have enough points to qualify for Express Entry, they may choose to instead immigrate through a Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Each province operates their own nominee programs, which allow them a say in the process of selecting their newcomers. Most provinces base their nominee programs around labour market needs and target specific occupations that are in-demand.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia each have nominee streams specifically for Physicians with job offers in their province. Many others offer nominee programs for candidates that are either working in their province, or hold a full-time job offer from an employer in their province.

Some provinces also offer work permit support letter to nominees that allow them to apply for work authorization in lieu of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This removes an additional step for the employer in the process of bringing foreign Physicians to Canada.

Candidates that are eligible under an Express Entry aligned stream may receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score upon being nominated, allowing them to become Canadian permanent residents faster.

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