Canadian Immigration for Doctors – Your Complete Guide for 2024

Now, perhaps more than ever, Canada is in need of more doctors, nurses and other health care workers. In this article we've put together tips for doctors who want to immigrate to Canada.

18 Oct 2023, 1:24 pm


min read

If the world is seeing the light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, it is in large part thanks to healthcare workers. A glaring truth that has emerged over the last sixteen months is desperate shortages within Canada’s healthcare system.

Now, perhaps more than ever, Canada is in need of more doctors, nurses and other health care workers. So, if you’re a doctor and you want to come to Canada, you couldn’t have picked a better time.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like working as a doctor in Canada, this is you sign to take a chance and find out!

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor?

Physicians are considered to be high-skilled workers, therefore immigration to Canada for doctors is not complicated. An occupation as a doctor falls under the NOC 3112 category – General Practitioners and Family Physicians.

Immigration Programs for Doctors

Some of the most popular programs considered by doctors are the following:

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is designed for skilled workers and is a great option for immigration to Canada for doctors.

The program manages all the applications from the main economic programs.

Qualified physicians would be eligible to apply through the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

When you complete your application, your profile is given scores based on factors like education, work experience, age etc. The highest scoring candidates are invited to apply for permanent residency.  

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

This is a great program if you there is a specific province you wish to settle in. It is also one of the quickest and most efficient ways of coming into Canada.

The Provincial Nominee Program was designed to fill labour shortages in the provinces and targets skilled individuals who will be able to contribute towards the province’s economic growth.

Each province has its own requirements for the program, so be sure to do your research.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

This program is very similar in theory to the PNP and targets labour shortages in the Atlantic provinces; Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

There is a significant shortage of doctors and nurses in the Atlantic provinces and they are eager to extend an invitation to qualified doctors. 

Canadian Experience Class

For any doctors already living and working in Canada, the CEC is the perfect program.

Chances are high they will get selected this year, if they haven’t already. Because of the pandemic, IRCC has been focusing on issuing invitations to individuals already living in Canada.

Immigration from Other English-Speaking Countries

Language can be a huge barrier to how easily you assimilate and find success in your career. It is therefore no surprise that candidates from other English-speaking countries often choose to immigrate to Canada. The requirements to be a doctor in Canada are comparable between the highly developed countries like US, UK or Australia.

Immigrating from the United States?

Canada and the United States are so closely linked economically, geographically and socially, that people are always moving between the two countries for work, travel, family etc. in a seamless manner. It is especially easy for a doctor in the US to immigrate to Canada since their credentials are recognized by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

Most US doctors will have to go through a short period of supervision, and, or complete the Medical Council of Canada exams to get a full licence and practice in Canada.

According to data gathered from the Canadian Medical Association, the number of doctors from the US who are immigrating to Canada has been steadily rising since the early 2000s.

Immigrating from the United Kingdom?

Physicians immigrating from the UK do so in search of a better work-life balance and to enjoy a better quality of life and higher salary.

Every year hundreds of doctors from the UK apply for Canadian immigration. UK credentials are also recognized in Canada making it much easier to become fully licenced.

Immigrating from Australia?

Australian medical schools are recognized as world-class institutions and share many similarities with Canada’s educational and healthcare system. As such, it is quite easy for a doctor from Australia to immigrate to Canada. Like US and UK residents, candidates from Australia also need to write and pass an exam and go through a supervised period before becoming fully licenced to practice in Canada.

If you’re curious how to become a doctor in Canada from another country, here we expand on that!

Work as a Doctor in Canada

Many people who achieve the awesome feat of becoming doctors feel unsure about whether they will be able to practice in Canada or even get a job in their field. While nothing is guaranteed, we can state with complete confidence Canada needs more doctors and if you are good at what you do, you will find a job.

Doctors in Canada are also very well paid. While the salary level of a doctor will vary based on experience and specialisation, on average a doctor can expect an annual salary of approximately $206,195. Salaries are also typically much higher in remote locations and can fall around the $450,000 to $500,000 range.

Are you Eligible For a Canadian Work Visa?

Check Now If You are Eligible For One of Canada’s Working Programs or Just Book a Free Consultation Call  with An Immigration Expert

Requirements for Doctors in Canada

We have prepared a short checklist for doctors from other countries who want to start working in Canada. Let’s dive into it!

Requirement # 1: Recognized Medical Qualification

It is most likely that you already have or are about to have medical education. However, to plan your immigration to Canada you need to make sure your education will be recognized there.

And it is easy to check.

To check whether your education will be accepted in Canada, you need to go to World Directory of Medical Schools website and try to find your university there.

And if you can find your university – then you’re good to go!

Requirement # 2: Approval from the Medical Council of Canada

One of the things you need to obtain to work as a doctor in Canada, is a qualification called the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada.

And here are the requirements for this qualification:

  1. Pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination
  2. Complete at least 12 months of postgraduate training

The examinations have two parts: the first part you may take at home, while for the second one you need to be in Canada.

After passing the examinations, you will need to obtain an approval of the Medical Regulatory Authorities in the province or territory where you want to live and work.

Other Requirements

Proof of Language Skills

In most cases, doctors who are immigrating at some point need to prove that their language skills are good enough.

And usually any of the approved exams would qualify:

  • IELTS, CELPIP for English
  • TEF, TCF for French

We have more information about language exams here.

Work Experience

At some point of immigration, doctors need to prove their work experience.

Usually, doctors need to prepare the following information:

  1. Letter of employment from the previous employer;
  2. NOC title;
  3. Work responsibilities;
  4. Hours worked;
  5. Current salary;
  6. Contact details of the employer.

The budget doctors need to prepare for immigration may vary. It depends on each individual case.

However, to give you an idea on what to expect, we have gathered some of the most universal expenses:

  1. Application fee for MCCEE – CAD$2,365;
  2. Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations – CAD$5000
  3. Degree verification – CAD$215;
  4. Translation fee – CAD$181 per page;
  5. ECA report – CAD$137.

How to Find a Job in Canada

With technology where it’s at today, it has become extremely easy to search for a job, whether you’re living in Canada or somewhere else.

While LinkedIn remains a popular option for building connections and applying for jobs. Some job boards recommended specifically for medical professionals include:

Most job boards such as Monster or Workopolis have categories dedicated to the healthcare field. To give yourself an edge over the competition, be well prepared for every job and interview.

Make sure your resume and cover letter match the Canadian format and have your credentials, references, and certificates in hand. Be honest and transparent.

With so many options, you’ll land a job in no time.

Where to Find Help with Immigration?

Immigrating to Canada is simple in theory but navigating the myriad of forms can be challenging and complex. The simplest thing you can do is talk to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

You may have a look at the list of  top Recommended Canadian Immigration Consultants . Canada2036 has put this list together based on extensive research, customer testimonials, and other vetting methods.

RCICs may help you figure out the best program and pathway so you can come to Canada as quickly as possible and help you find a job at the same time.

If living and working in one of the best countries in the world sounds like a dream you want to pursue, don’t hesitate to start the process.

Canada needs more doctors and you could be one of them!

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The child of immigrant parents, I came to Canada when I was just five years old. I used to volunteer at an immigration resource centre and now work for the Canadian Federal Government. Writing is my passion and I hope my words can provide some help to a new immigrant or someone considering a move to Canada.

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