How to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

DEC 22, 2021

|

NADINE WOLFE

Doctors are sought-after professionals in many provinces in Canada and the demand for doctors has increased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. To meet these needs, the Canadian government has created a number of immigration programs as well as work permit programs to allow foreign workers to get permanent residency in Canada.

If you want to know how to immigrate to Canada as a doctor, you can apply through one one the many programs available. We’ll discuss two immigration programs that are great options for doctors who want to pursue their careers in Canada, namely:

  • Federal Skilled Worker program and
  • Atlantic Immigration pilot

Canadian Immigration for Doctors

Canadian passport

To be able to work in Canada, you will need a Canada work permit, unless you already have resident (PR) status in Canada. There are two main immigration programs that allow successful applicants to obtain PR status. If you want to immigrate to Canada as a doctor, you can apply through the following programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • The Atlantic immigration pilot

Here is what these programs offer.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is part of the Express Entry system which is a popular immigration option because it fast tracks the visa application process and can process applications in as little as six months.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is designed for people who have the qualifications, skills, or work experience to contribute to the Canadian economy.

Who can apply through the FSWP? Let’s look at the requirements you need to meet in order to apply.

Requirements to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

You must have skilled work experience in one of the following positions:

  • Managerial
  • Professional
  • Trade/technical occupation
  • Meet the pass mark on a points-based assessment

Your occupation must be listed in the National Occupation Classification (NOC)

If your application is successful, you will be able to obtain permanent resident status in Canada, which will allow you to live and work in the country.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot 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 having a successful application if you apply through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot since doctors and other healthcare professionals are needed in Atlantic provinces.

    Who can apply for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot?

    In order to apply through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, you will need to meet a number of 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 would need to apply for the Atlantic High-Skilled Program.

    To apply for this program, you must meet the following requirements:

    You must have at least one year of experience working in one of the following positions:

    • management
    • professional or
    • skilled job

    You will 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 as well as any dependents regardless of whether they are joining you in Canada or not

    Canadian Provinces That Need Doctors

    Aside from knowing how to immigrate to Canada as a doctor, another important thing to know is where in Canada doctors are most in demand. Let’s look at the top Canadian provinces where doctors are most needed.

    Doctors are most in-demand in the following provinces in Canada:

    • Nova Scotia
    • Newfoundland and Labrador
    • New Brunswick
    • Prince Edward Island
    • British Columbia
    • Saskatchewan

    Let’s have a closer look.

    Nova Scotia

    There is a growing demand for doctors in Nova Scotia, especially family doctors, who are also known as general practitioners.

    Reports show that a high number of people living in Nova Scotia are waiting for doctors. A number of doctors in Canada are retiring and it often takes a long time for their position to be filled by a new doctor. The government also warns about personnel(staff) shortages in Nova Scotia’s health-care system.

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    Family physicians are also needed in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the province has been facing shortages, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.

    New Brunswick

    Similarly to Nova Scotia, people in New Brunswick are also struggling to find family doctors due to doctors retiring. People of New Brunswick are often faced with long waiting lists if they turn to emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.

    Prince Edward Island

    Family doctors are also needed here. Specialist physicians, particularly, infectious disease specialists, are needed in Prince Edward Island.

    British Columbia

    Another province facing a shortage of doctors doing community-based family medicine is British Columbia. This is also mainly due to the fact that doctors are retiring and new family physicians are not replacing them.

    Saskatchewan

    Up to 52 percent of all Saskatchewan’s doctors are foreign medical graduates and the need for doctors is still on the rise, so you can be assured that there is plenty of opportunity here for foreign doctors and Canadians alike.

    The Benefits of Working as a Doctor in Canada

    Doctor consultation

    Healthy salaries

    Family doctors in Canada can earn between $211,000 to $281,000 per year, depending on the province they work in. The average salary for medical specialists in Canada is $360,000 per year and 481,000 per year for surgical specialists.

    Health insurance

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

    • li>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 leave or, bereavement leave or personal leave.

    FAQs

    1. What do I need to practice in Canada as a foreign doctor?

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

    • have an approved medical degree from a university listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools
    • apply for and qualify for a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada
    • complete at least 1 year of postgraduate clinical medical training

    3. 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 National Occupation Classification (NOC) code for doctors and specialized physicians fall under skill type A and qualify under the Express Entry system through the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

    2. Which PNP is best for doctors?

    One of the best Provincial Nominee Programs to apply for as a doctor is the British Columbia (BC) Provincial Nominee Program as British Columbia is one of the Canadian provinces where doctors are in demand.

    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 RCICs are here to guide you through the visa application process every step of the way.

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