Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse in 2020

April 12, 2021


  • Reuben Walter

Quite possibly the most in-demand profession in Canada, and the world right now, is nurses. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a great number of countries just how ill prepared they are for a viral outbreak. While Canada has handled the crisis significantly better than nearly every country in the world, even we need more medical professionals, particularly nurses. Immigrating to Canada as a nurse will be in your best interest for a multitude of reasons, which we will look at shortly. Nurses are so highly in demand that there are no less than three major immigration programs which lay an easy to navigate pathway for nurses to immigrate to Canada. The Canadian Nurses Agency estimates a growing shortage of nurses in the country’s future, which means even higher demand. Let’s begin with a quick look over the steps required to practice once you arrive in Canada before we dig into the immigration process:

  • STEP 1: have your credentials assessed (you will need this for your visa application anyway) by a recognized agency
  • STEP 2: apply to the nursing regulatory body of the province or territory where you wish to live and work
  • STEP 3: register with either the Canadian Nurses Association (CAN) or the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR)
  • STEP 4: write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) or Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE). This exam can only be written in Canada.
  • STEP 5: Save lives, earn top dollar and have a great life

Life for Nurses in Canada

Immigrate-to-Canada-Express-Entry One of the most in-demand, if not the most in-demand professions in Canada means compensation that is in relation to that demand. Registered Nurses earn an average of $78,815 a year in Canada. This varies depending on provinces, rural or urban and of course experience. Even though you will be very much in demand, you will not be overworked. Typically nurses will work 8-12 hour shifts and 36-40 hours a week. This means you could end up working three days on, four days off! Given that Canada already offers all of its residents and citizens free healthcare, you will be entitled to the same benefits. Further, you will have access to comprehensive insurance plans to cover all the things that aren’t by the national healthcare system for you and your family. Most hospitals in Canada provide childcare, so if you do have children you will be able to have them close by all the time. Just another way the hospital ensures you have peace of mind and can focus on your patients while at work Hospitals match your tax contributions, giving you massive tax savings.

Immigration Options

Express-Entry-for-Nurses-Immigrate-to-Canada There are a number of ways to immigrate to Canada as a nurse, some are faster than others but require a more diligent approach. Others take more time but at the end of the day, if you have the qualifications, language ability and pass your CRNE, you shouldn’t have any problems obtaining permanent residency status in Canada.

Express Entry System

Nurses are classified as skill type A under the NOC. This means that they are eligible to apply as a skilled professional in the Federal Skilled Worker program. Your eligibility for this program is determined by:
  • Skilled work experience - one year of continuous work or 1,560 hours in total
  • language ability - your job will depend heavily on your ability to communicate effectively with patients, for this reason you will need to pass a Canadian Language Benchmark test and earn a minimum score of 7 in all four sections; reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Qualifications - as we mentioned above, you will need to have your credentials assessed to show they are equivalent to a Canadian qualification.
  • Eligible - you must be eligible to immigrate to Canada, this means you cannot have a criminal record, you must be in good health and you must have legal status in the country you are living in now.
All these factors and few others not core to your ability to effectively work in Canada will be used to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking Score on your Express Entry program profile. You will then be entered into a pool of applicants, from which a certain number of skilled foreign workers are invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada twice a month. The way to ensure you are sent an ITA in the very next draw after your application is submitted, is to earn a provincial nomination.

Provincial Nomination Program

You can apply for a provincial nomination in one of two ways. ONE, create an expression of interest in a particular province that you wish to live and work in on your Express Entry profile. If the province deems your skills to line up with their demands, they will issue you with a provincial nomination, which will contribute 600 points out of the overall 1,200 points available on your CRS, rocketing you to the top of the pool of candidates. TWO, create a profile on the province you wish to live and work in on the government website and submit an expression of interest directly. If they are in need of your skills, they will invite you to apply directly to the province and will motivate your application of permanent residency to the Canadian government. The requirements of the PNP’s are very similar to the Express Entry eligibility requirements, sometimes not being as stringent. There are provinces with immigrations streams under their PNP’s dedicated to nurses who wish to live and work in the province, such as:
  • Manitoba - rural in-demand stream,
  • British Columbia - healthcare professional category,
  • Nova Scotia - occupations in demand stream,
  • New Brunswick - nursing resource strategy; and
  • Yukon - Critical Impact Worker category.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Perhaps you are not fully qualified just yet and are thinking of finishing your studies, or even beginning them in Canada. If your CRS score is too low for the Express Entry program, or you don’t feel like waiting until you are selected from the pool of applicants, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) offers permanent residency to applicants with a valid full-time job offer under NOC 0, A, B, C & D. Pretty much any valid full time job offer could see you eligible for permanent residency under this immigration pilot. The AIP was designed to address the labour shortages in the four Atlantic provinces; Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. All occupations in the medical healthcare fields are in high demand in Atlantic Canada. So if you have a full time valid job offer in one of the four provinces listed above, you can apply for permanent residency at the same time as you apply for your Canadian work permit, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, there is no reason you should not be eligible for PR status, as a registered nurse, nurses aide or orderly or aspiring nurse with a valid job offer.

Become a Nurse in Canada

Study-to-be-a-nurse-in-Canada If you are still in high school or perhaps just looking for a fresh start, you should consider studying to become a nurse at a post secondary institution in Canada. It will enhance the number of available work opportunities and give you a firm footing before entering the professional world. Permanent residency will be very easily attainable as most provinces not only urgently need skilled nurses, but also do their best to keep their foreign graduates. After all, why would they want to train you only to have you take your expertise to use elsewhere, boosting some other country or province’s economy.

How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada

Immigrate-to-Canada-Permanent-Residency There are three ways to get your immigration journey started right now. The first is to create your Express Entry profile, and await an invitation to apply for permanent residency. The second is to apply directly to your province of preferences Provincial Nomination Program. The third is to obtain a valid job offer, get your work permit and apply to the relevant immigration program simultaneously. These are the three main pathways the Canadian government is allowing potential immigrants to enter Canada at the moment. With all these options to choose from, it can be hard to be sure which is best suited to your needs, and that is when you know what you’re doing! But it doesn't have to be. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the Canadian visa application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the Canadian government to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms and submit them for you. We handle the paperwork while you choose your dream job in Canada.  All you have to do is complete our online form by clicking the link below and we’ll take care of the rest. It's just that simple.