How to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

June 1, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Doctor immigration to Canada is booming. This is due to medical professionals being some of the most sought-after skilled workers in many provinces in Canada.

To meet these needs, the Canadian government has created several immigration physician programs, streams, and work permit programs that allow eligible foreign doctors to get permanent residency in Canada.

This article will discuss two programs for physician immigration to Canada that are great options to use to apply

Step-by-Step Guide on How You Can Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

This presents a simple-to-follow breakdown of the steps you need to know about doctor immigration to Canada.

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Applying for a Canadian immigration program requires checking whether you are eligible. This requires you to answer several questions posed by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which revolve around your:

  • Nationality
  • Age
  • Language ability
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Income and access to settlement funds
  • Employment offer information

Step 2: Research Doctor Jobs in Canada

After determining your eligibility to apply, you must find doctor jobs in Canada. Are doctor jobs in Canada in demand? You may have to answer this question during the process of finding a job as a doctor in Canada which involves:

  • Finding your National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code
  • Researching open job posts
  • Drafting and Submitting a Canadian CV/Resume
  • Receiving an employment offer letter from a verifiable Canadian employer

Find Your NOC Code

The IRCC uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to assess a candidate’s work experience. Like any other occupation, doctor jobs in Canada have a NOC code. NOC codes assist with finding accredited, skilled, and qualified foreign workers eligible to apply for one of Canada’s in-demand posts. Simply put, NOCs make finding jobs for working as a doctor in Canada much easier.

Include your NOC code as part of your work experience when applying for doctor jobs in Canada and your application for a work permit. The NOC code for doctors is 31102.

Research Open Job Posts for Doctors

After finding your NOC code, search for job posts for doctors in Canada. Canada’s labor market is robust enough to absorb all eligible foreign applicants.

There are 855,890 job vacancies in Canada, according to Trading Economics. Finding opportunities for working as a doctor in Canada can be made easier by consulting provincial in-demand occupation lists, professional associations, and Canadian online job boards.

In-demand Occupations

Each province has an in-demand occupation list aligned with the province's unfulfilled local labor market needs. Through the receipt of a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), Canadian employers can employ foreign-eligible workers and professionals, including doctors.

According to Canada’s Job Bank, doctors are most in demand in the following Canadian provinces:

Canadian Online Job Boards

As doctors' immigration to Canada gains more applicants, Canadian job boards will increase the number of doctor job listings on their sites.

The most commonly used and dependable Canadian online job boards include:

Draft and Submit Your Canadian CV/Resume

Practicing medicine in Canada requires substantial occupational experience and educational qualifications. Canadian Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resumes have their requirements.

CVs include all your educational and professional qualifications, while resumes are more occupational experience-focused and concise.

Learn how to write the perfect Canadian CV and resume to attract Canadian employers and facilitate your immigration by consulting with one of our certified immigration consultants.

Step 3: Look for Immigration Visa Programs You’re Eligible to Apply for

For doctors, the permanent residency pathways that they can use to apply include:

Express Entry

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is designed for eligible foreign workers and professionals with the qualifications, skills, or work experience needed to contribute to Canada’s economy.

Eligibility criteria to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

You must have skilled work experience in a professional occupation, like a physician

  • Meet or exceed the pass mark on a points-based assessment
  • Your occupation must be NOC listed

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process for the Federal Skilled Worker Program here.

Doctor immigration to Canada is made easier If you have prior experience working as a doctor in Canada while holding a Temporary Resident Visa, then you can use the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) to move to Canada as a doctor permanently.

Find out more about the Canadian Experience Class eligibility requirements and application process here.

Provincial Nominee Programs

To meet the demand to move to those provinces, each province has a list of Provincial Nominee programs, pilots, and streams that doctors can use to immigrate to the province they want to work in.

Learn about the eligibility requirements and application process for the PNPs where doctors are most in demand below:

Immigration Pilots

The most suitable immigration pilots that doctors can use to immigrate to Canada are:

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is aimed at skilled workers who are seeking permanent residence in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces, namely:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • New Brunswick and
  • Nova Scotia

The pilot is also open to foreign graduates who have completed their studies in one of these four provinces.

It is no coincidence that doctors are in demand in these Atlantic provinces, as the pilot was created to meet the demands of these provinces.

If you can see yourself living and working along Canada’s coastal line, then this may be just the option for you.

What’s more, you will most likely stand a good chance at successfully applying through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot since doctors and other healthcare professionals are needed in Atlantic provinces.

Who can apply for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot?

To apply through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, you will need to meet several requirements, which include the following:

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is divided into three programs, namely:

  • Atlantic International Graduate Program
  • Atlantic High-Skilled Program
  • Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program

As a qualified doctor, you must apply for the Atlantic High-Skilled Program. The following requirements need to be met to apply for this program. You must have at least one year of experience working in one of the following positions:

  • Management
  • Professional or
  • Skilled job experi

You will also need to:

  • Have a foreign degree or diploma equal to a Canadian credential, for which you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report done.
  • Take an approved language test to prove you are proficient enough in English or French to live and work in Canada
  • Have proof of funds that meet the minimum required amount to support yourself and any dependents, regardless of whether they are joining you in Canada.

Learn more about how to apply for the AIP with the guide provided here.

Work Permits

If you want to temporarily move to Canada as a doctor, you can apply for a work permit. Foreign doctors can use the following work permits:

  • IEC Working Holiday (if they come from an eligible country)
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Permit (TFWP)
  • Post Graduate Work Permit

Learn more about how to apply for a Canada work permit.

Step 4: Start and Submit Your Application

Gather all the required documentation to support your application and certify them. For doctors, this includes:

  • A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level score of 7 for listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • A permanent, valid job offer for one year from a Canadian employer
  • A high school diploma and certified medical qualifications, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) received from the World Education Services (WES) or another eligible organization
  • A clear criminal record showed through a police clearance document
  • A document such as a bank statement that proves you can support yourself and your family in Canada
  • A medical examination report to demonstrate that you are in good health

What Are The Advantages and Benefits of Practising Medicine in Canada?

Healthy Salaries

Family doctors and general practitioners in Canada can earn an average base salary of 216,833 CAD per year, according to Jobbank. The average base salary for medical specialists in Canada is 273,510 CAD per year, according to Jobbank.

Health Insurance

As a doctor in Canada, you will be entitled to several health insurance benefits such as:

  • Full family benefits including health and dental plan
  • Extended health care such as prescription drugs, vision care, dental
  • Semi-private hospitalization
  • Life insurance

Paid holidays

You can receive four weeks of paid leave each year as well as sick days and other kinds of leave, like maternity and parental or bereavement or personal leave.

Are There Any Required Documents Needed to Practice Medicine in Canada?

Foreign doctors can practice in Canada as long as they meet the following criteria:

Now that you know more about how to immigrate to Canada as a doctor, you can start planning your next steps. Applying for permanent resident status in Canada can be complicated to take on alone. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are here to guide you through the visa application process every step of the way.


Are Doctors Eligible for Express Entry in Canada?

Yes. Express Entry offers a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residence for certain eligible skilled workers. The NOC code for doctors and specialized physicians falls under Teaching, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) 0 and 1, qualifying the occupation for the Express Entry system through the FSWP.

Which PNP is Best for Doctors?

The best PNP program for doctors is highly dependent on your individual eligibility and a job offer in the province. However, generally speaking, one of the best Provincial Nominee Programs to apply for as a doctor is the British Columbia (BC) Provincial Nominee Program, as doctors are in huge demand in British Columbia.