A brief overview related to immigration program of Canada that helps nurses to become permanent residents along with new temporary PR immigration pathways that are available for the workers in healthcare industry across Canada


April 25, 2021


The pandemic situation has increased the demand for nurses as well as other healthcare professionals in various parts of Canada. Even before the COVID-19 made its presence across the globe, Canada was experiencing a dearth of nursing professionals and therefore in these new times there are a number of immigration pathways that are specifically targeting the skilled and professional workers in the healthcare industry.


Nurses fall into one of the two occupation categories of the government of Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC). These are registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses which are considered under the NOC 3012, which is Skill Level A. While, the other, licenses practical nurses are considered under the NOC 3233, which is Skill Level B. These skill levels are of great relevance, as they help in determining the immigration programs for which nursing professionals are eligible for.


Due to the pandemic, a very fewer number of immigrants arrived Canada in the year 2020 than was being expected. However, the Canadian government has clarified a rather great demand of immigrants in the current year and the next 2-3 years that follows. Further to the same, it has recently announced an increment in its overall immigration targets to its highest levels which is above 1.2 million starting from now and to be achieved until 2021. One of the ways to reach this targeted figures is by considering the individual that are already inside the country and to convert their temporary resident visa status into permanent.


Limited-time immigration pathway for students in Canada and healthcare workers


On April 14 of this year, the Government of Canada launched six new immigration streams for all those candidates that are currently employed in various professionals across Canada. Two of these immigration categories that are dedicated to the healthcare professionals, which specifically includes nurses. One of these immigration streams is for Bilingual candidates or French speakers. Graduates that have completed their studies in nursing might be able to take complete advantage of the new immigration pathways for the foreign students.


Canada is accepting approximately 20,000 new permanent resident applications under the category of healthcare industry in the country, through a temporary resident program which is starting from May 6. The application window for this temporary immigration pathway will close on November 5 or when the intake will achieve its maximum level, whichever comes first. The immigration pathway for French speakers is open to be accepted in a large number for the permanent residents. Eligible applicants need one year of Canadian employment experience in one of the selected and recognized 40 eligible healthcare professions and they require to be working at the time of their application. For their language requirements, they require a CLB or NCLC of minimum 4 in order to become eligible for the same.


Express Entry Program for nurses


Two of the most promising and existing federal economic immigration stream of Canada is the Federal Skilled Worker Programs (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). In order to become eligible for any of these two immigration programs, it is crucial to have completed a minimum number of years working in a skilled profession and possessing skilled work experience.


The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) requires the applicant to have a minimum of one year of continuous employment experience in any occupation which falls under the NOC Skill Level of 0, A or B. This work experience can be any field, but must be within the last ten years only. An FSW applicant also is required to score CLB 7 in their English proficiency Test or NCLC 7 in the French language test in all the four language modules that are, reading, writing, speaking and listening. They should additionally score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 points on the six-selection factors eligibility test which assesse the applicant’s education level, language proficiency and whether they have a prior job offer from Canada.


The other immigration pathway, that is, CEC, on the other hand, requires a total of one year of work experience in the NOC level 0, A or B in Canada, within the last 3 years. Here also, the applicant must prove their eligibility scores in all the four language modules, where CLB 7 or NCLC 7 is requires for candidates that are applying within the NOC 0 or NOC A level occupations, or CLB or NCLC 5 is for those candidates that are applying under the occupations that fall in the Skill Level Category B. Neither of these two subcategories requires the person to have a prior employment offer letter, however by having one, a candidate can significantly increase their chances to getting considered to receive an ITA.


Immigration, Refuges and CC operates and manages both, the FSWP and the CEC immigration programs using the Express Entry System, which is specifically being designed to process approximately 80 percent of the total applications received from the skilled and professional candidates in a time duration which is within six months or even less. Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score to rank these eligible applicants. The CRS score assigns a minimum score to its candidates on the basis of a range of human selection factors that are similar to that of six-selection factors eligibility factor of the FSW immigration program. IRCC conducts immigration draws on a frequent basis and selects candidates from the Express Entry pool, in which it selects the highest scoring profiles and sends them an Invitation to Apply (ITA).


PNP Programs for Nurses


There are various Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in which nurses can be eligible to apply. More often, there are immigration streams that are dedicated only towards nurses. Other immigration pathways target several other professionals working in an array of health industries or they are directly eligible to apply as general skilled workers. Nurses are considered in two immigration categories which make them eligible applicants for immigration to Canada under the economic-class category. Firstly, the nursing professionals are in high demand and the second reason to same is that their occupation is considered as a skilled occupation. British Columbia’s Healthcare professionals (Skills Immigration and Federal Express Entry stream), New Brunswick Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) and also the Quebec Experience Programs as some of the immigration pathways which nurses can plan to pursue and eventually become the permanent residents of Canada.


Many provinces offer more than one immigration related programs that welcome nurses. Sometimes the provincial programs are integrated with the federal immigration program. For instance, a province aligns some of its immigration programs with the Express Entry. Immigration streams to which this association takes place are known as “enhances immigration streams for that PNP”. In case a candidate receives a nominated from any such enhanced immigration program, that individual gets an additional 600 points added towards their overall CRS score, thereby ensuring that they will receive the ITA in the subsequent draw.


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