Canadian Immigration for Nurses – Your Complete Guide for 2021

If you are a qualified nurse, know that Canada is in huge need of nurses at the moment. Looking for a career growth? Here's your chance!

22 Sep 2021, 6:50 pm


min read

canada immigration for nurses

Nurses are in huge demand in Canada right now. At the height of the pandemic, Canada was living through a perpetual shortage of nurse practitioners and one of the federal government’s top priorities is to hire more nurses and welcome more newcomers with nursing experience.

Are you a qualified nurse? Are you looking for growth in your career and want a better quality of life? If you answered yes, then read on!

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse?

Since Canada wants to welcome nurses, immigration for these professionals is relatively easy. Let’s have a closer look at how it works.

Immigration Programs for Nurses

Thankfully there are quite a few programs that allow for registered nurses to immigrate to Canada.

Earlier this year on April 14, 2021, six new limited-time streams were unveiled by the Canadian government to welcome 90,000 essential workers and students into the country.

canada immigration for nurses

20,000 slots for permanent residency will be given to individuals working in the healthcare industry through the following two streams:

Temporary Workers in Healthcare

If you are working as a nurse in Canada, this is the stream for you. In order to qualify for the stream, candidates have to be working in one of the listed occupations and be residing within Canada at the time of application. The pathway is open until November 5, 2021, or until the cap is reached.

French-Speaking Temporary Workers in Healthcare

For French-speaking applicants who are working in a hospital, the front line of the pandemic or long-term care home are eligible for this stream. At least one year of work experience in an essential occupation is required. There is no cap for this stream and will be open until November 5, 2021.

Express Entry

Registered nurses interested in immigrating to Canada can register a profile on the Express Entry system and apply under: 

  • Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program – applicants need one year of continuous work experience from anywhere in the world within the last ten years. Applicants need to prove language proficiency and meet a minimum score of 67/100 on factors that assess education, language etc.
  • Canadian Experience Class – applicants must have work experience in Canada within the last three years. Experience must be for at least and NOC skill level has to be O or A.

 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)  

One of the most efficient ways for a nurse to move to Canada is through PNP. 

Each province has its own requirements and labour needs and qualified candidates who meet the criteria can come to Canada within months of applying.

You may learn more about how PNP works here

Immigration from Other English-Speaking Countries

Immigrating to Canada from the UK, USA or Australia?

If you have studied in any of these three English-speaking countries, the process of immigrating to Canada is very simple.

First, you need to have your educational credentials assessed. International nurses are also required to write and pass an exam.

Since the educational system and standards in the UK, USA and Australia are very similar to the Canadian one, this should not be difficult to pass.

Once you are deemed qualified to practice, you have to register as a nurse with the Canadian Nurses Associations (CAN) or the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR). Prior to registering, you have to decide which province you want to work in since you have to apply to the nursing regulatory body of the province first.

After registering, you can start looking for a job and get a work permit.

Keep in mind that additional screening tools may be used to confirm your qualifications such as confirming work experience, asking for character and work references, conducting a criminal check etc.

Work as a Nurse in Canada

The federal government’s National Occupation Classification lists nursing as an in-demand job in Canada and falls under the code NOC 3012, skill level A for registered nurses and psychiatric nurses and NOC 3233, skill level B for licensed practical nurses.

canada immigration for nurses

Nurses are paid fairly well with a starting salary of close to $60,000. The average salary of someone working as a nurse in Canada is $71,875. In remote communities, the salary can be $100,000 plus. 

How to Find a Nursing Job in Canada

With today’s technology, online is the best place to search for nursing jobs in Canada for international nurses.

Canada has dozens of popular job boards like Indeed and Workopolis with categories specifically for healthcare workers. Alternately, you can choose to concentrate your search on sites dedicated to nursing jobs, such as: Careers in Nursing, Careers at CNA or HealthCareCAN.

The key to finding success when looking for a job is to apply for everything you qualify for. Don’t send out generic emails, instead take the time to do your research and tailor your resume and cover letter to the position you’re applying for. Make sure your application adheres to the Canadian resume format

Include all relevant certifications and credentials in your application. The goal is to appear professional, polished and stand out from other candidates.

If working as a nurse in Canada is your dream, it is absolutely an achievable goal. There could be no better time for a registered nurse to immigrate to Canada.

Where to Find Help with Immigration?

To simply the entire process and make it much easier on yourself, the best thing you can do is hire the services of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

They are knowledgeable and experienced in dozens of different programs and can optimize your chances of succeeding.
Still wondering if you should take the plunge? Don’t wait too long and miss your shot. In Canada’s post-pandemic world, they need more healthcare workers, and that includes nurses just like you.

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Grace was born in Birmingham, England, and moved to Canada with her family when she was five. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2015 and since then she has been working as a recruitment consultant for 10+ companies. In her spare time, Grace writes about her professional experience with winning job offers for immigrants. She also shares tips about employment that could be useful for both immigrants and local job seekers.

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Editor’s Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent immigration advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

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