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Immigration Minister Announce First Category-Based EE Draw for Healthcare Workers

Published on: June 28th, 2023

On June 28th, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that healthcare occupations will be the first industry targeted in the category-based selections draw. The first draw is expected to take place later today.

In today’s announcement, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that IRCC will holding the very first category-based selection draw later today. They will be inviting 500 healthcare workers under the new Express Entry category-based selection draws. He said 1,500 more would be invited in the next week. 

In addition to the Category-based selection of healthcare workers, the healthcare sector in conjunction with the Nova Scotia College of Nursing, has committed to facilitating the licensing requirements for foreign-qualified healthcare workers, ensuring they can enter the industry faster and easier than before.

Another category-specific draw inviting eligible candidates from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions is also expected to occur in the same week.

According to Employment and Social Development Canada’s Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), health care will become the largest employing sector in Canada, with more than 2.5 million workers by 2031 (up from 2.2 million in 2021).

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Category-Based Selection & 2023 Categories

Category-based selections will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to prospective applications with specific skills, training or language abilities. This will better allow for the selection of applicants with the most in-demand skills to be chosen to receive permanent residence.

For 2023, the categories that have been chosen are:

  1. French-language proficiency
  2. Healthcare occupations
  3. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
  4. Trade occupations
  5. Transport occupations
  6. Agriculture and agri-food occupations

To benefit, applicants must demonstrate that they have at least 6 months of work experience in the last 3 years in a qualifying occupation. Further information about individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks 

What are the 35 Healthcare Occupations Being Targeted?

There are a total of 35 healthcare occupations in total:

Occupation2021 NOC Code2021 TEER Category
Audiologists and speech language pathologists311121
Dieticians and nutritionists311211
Education counsellors413201
General practitioners and family physicians311021
Instructors of persons with disabilities422032
Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment312041
Licensed practical nurses321012
Massage therapists322012
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations331013
Medical laboratory technologists321202
Medical radiation technologists321212
Medical sonographers321222
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates331023
Nurse practitioners313021
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors313001
Occupational therapists312031
Other assisting occupations in support of health services331093
Other practitioners of natural healing322092
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating312091
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment321092
Paramedical occupations321022
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants331033
Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals313031
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses313011
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists321032
Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine311001
Specialists in surgery311011
Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies413011
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists322002

Healthcare Occupations Make-up the Largest Number of Eligible Occupations

While all the categories have a number of in-demand jobs, healthcare occupations are especially needed. In the fourth quarter of 2022, there were over 143,000 job vacancies in the Healthcare and Social Assistance category, making the job vacancy rate 6%, one of the highest vacancy rates across all categories.

All provinces across Canada are facing labour shortages in the healthcare sector, and are struggling to fill essential health care roles. The IRCC has already enacted some new measures to assist with meeting labour demands in the healthcare field. Earlier this month, the immigration minister announced the creation of new pathways under the Economic Mobilities Pathway Pilot (EMPP) that would make it possible for refugees with in-demand skills, such as those in healthcare related fields, to immigrate to Canada.

Newcomers already make up a significant number of physicians and nurses. As of the end of 2022, 36% of physicians were born outside of Canada. With Canada’s aging population, newcomers are essential to helping to filling these critical roles.

Interested in learning more about how you can immigrate to Canada? Complete our free online assessment today for a full evaluation of your immigration options!

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