Best Canadian Immigration Programs for Nurses in 2023

Nursing professionals have a wide range of immigration options to Canada due to the rising demand for nurses around the nation. One of the several federal or provincial economic immigration programs may make it possible for you to join Canada as a nurse and a skilled worker. Here is an overview of the Canadian immigration programs for nurses as well as the new temporary PR routes that are open to healthcare workers there.

Best Canadian Immigration Programs for Nurses in 2023

If you are currently working as a nurse, this is the perfect time to relocate to Canada. Nursing is without a doubt one of the most in-demand professions in Canada, and the nation gives nurses from all over the world equal opportunities.

Every sector has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19, but the health sector has been hit the worst and has seen an increase in demand for nurses in Canada. However, it has created prospects for obtaining permanent residence cards in Canada and bridging a gap in the nation's employment rate by recruiting nurses from all over the world. Over the coming years, it's expected that Canada's acute shortage of registered nurses will worsen. In an effort to lure nurses to live and work in the land of the maple leaf since the epidemic, the Canadian government has expanded the express entry and provincial nominee programs.

Today, Canada is pleased to provide qualified nurses with effective ways to further improve the quality of healthcare in the nation. One of the main methods the Canadian government has employed to address the nursing labor deficit is immigration. If you are a highly skilled and experienced foreign national who wishes to apply for Canada PR as a nurse, this may be your best chance to date. You can choose from a variety of immigration options if you're a nurse. You can be eligible to apply as a skilled worker through significant economic immigration procedures that are available at the federal and provincial levels.

The national nursing requirements in Canada range in severity. A nurse may work as a dental nurse, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, supervisor, or nurse assistant. Through programs like Provincial Nominee Programs and Express Entry, the Canadian government strives to make the immigration process easier for talented and semi-skilled immigrants who may considerably boost the economy of the nation.

Nurses in Canada: Job Descrption

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses manage health education initiatives, provide patients with hands-on nursing care, and provide advice on issues pertaining to nursing practice. Additionally, they provide and coordinate patient treatment, educate the public and patients about various health conditions, and provide patients with emotional support and advice.

The majority of registered nurses work together as a team with doctors and other medical specialists. They are employed in many different settings, including as offices, shops, private homes, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, extended care facilities, and extended care facilities. One of a nurse's responsibilities is to coordinate with various specialists to make sure that their patients are adequately on the road to recovery.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Codes for Nurses

Nurses fall into one of two categories in accordance with the National Occupation Classification (NOC) of the Canadian government. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses fall under NOC 3012, skill level A, whereas licensed practical nurses work under NOC 3233, skill level B. These skill levels influence the kinds of immigration programs that nurses may be eligible for.

Canadian Immigration Programs for Nurses

There are four main ways that you can come to Canada as a nurse:

  • Express Entry
  • Quebec Immigration
  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Study in Canada

1. Express Entry

One of the important economic immigration programs that manages and accepts applications for PR is Express Entry. If they match the criteria, nurses can apply for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC). To be eligible to apply for the FSW program, candidates must have at least one year of continuous work experience in a skilled occupation over the previous ten years. There's a possibility that the internship was performed abroad.

If a candidate meets the minimum requirements, they may submit a profile to the Express Entry pool. Once they are in the pool, they receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score out of 1,200. The top candidates in the Express Entry pool are then handed Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residency. One of the major advantages of the Express Entry method is that it may only take you six months to complete your application if you are selected to apply for permanent residency.

For nurses, Express Entry has a minimal language score criterion that depends on the applicant's overall profile. You must pass each of the four language proficiency exams with a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7.0 in either English or French in order to be eligible for Express Entry. Candidates must also pass the six-factor test that assesses their level of education, language ability, and work position in Canada with a minimum score of 67/100.

2. Quebec Immigration

Nurses may also be eligible for the Regular Skilled Worker Program depending on their score on the Quebec selection grid (QSW). Candidates that fulfill the criteria can upload their profiles to the Arrima portal in Quebec, which employs a separate points system. During routine Arrima drawings, the Quebec government encourages candidates to submit applications for permanent selection. The targets of Quebec's Arrima artworks are typically nurses.

3. Provincial Nominee Programs

Nurses have a second possible immigration route to Canada through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). PNPs are programs for immigration that are coordinated by a partnership between the federal and provincial governments. Every province in Canada has its own PNP with a variety of streams, but the final aim of every PNP is Canadian permanent residency.

For some PNPs, candidates must already be in the federal Express Entry pool to qualify. Receiving a nomination from one of these PNPs earns you an additional 600 CRS points, virtually guaranteeing you'll receive an ITA. Many PNPs require applicants to have some connection to the province that administers them, such as family members who reside there or past employment or education there. By employing competent persons with past expertise in the in-demand professions, other PNPs seek to fill the province's skills gaps.

For instance, the Labour Market Priorities stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is only open to candidates who have experience in specific target occupations and an Express Entry profile. The challenge with this stream is that you require a province-issued invitation to apply. However, this stream has frequently requested nomination applications from nurses. Another stream that operates in similar way is Ontario's Human Capital Priorities Stream, which frequently requests submissions from nurses for nomination.

Top PNP pathways to apply for Canada Permanent Resdence as a nurse

Ontario Invite nurses to apply via Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream
British Columbia Provides a Healthcare Professional category under BC PNP's Skills Immigration and Express Entry categories
Saskatchewan Launched its International Health Worker EOI pool for nurses
Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream Holds NSNP draws occasionally for nurses
New Brunswick’s Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) program

Ideal for foreign trained nurses fluent in English or French

Alberta Offers Alberta Express Entry and Alberta Opportunity streams

4. Study in Canada

Even if you are not now eligible for any of the aforementioned immigration methods, you might still be able to move to Canada. You can advance your nursing degree to help advance your career while residing, studying, and even working in Canada as an international student.

Your Canadian education may increase your eligibility for permanent immigration even after you finish. Given that Canadian immigration laws are continually changing, it is challenging to guarantee that the eligibility requirements for any of the current programs will be the same by the time you graduate. However, in the current system, a Canadian degree can have a significant impact.

In Canada, there are many paths one can pursue to become a nurse. Finding out the ones you qualify for can be difficult. If you're interested in finding out more about your chances of moving to Canada, taking our free online exam will help you take the guesswork out of the immigration process.

Eligibity Requirements to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse

Specific employment requirements required to immigrate to Canada as a nurse

  • No age limit
  • Diploma in nursing• 4 years Degree (Bachelor’s) from an approved university or college
  • Applicant has to appear for NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) for those applying for a Registered Nurse or the CPNRE-Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination for those applying for a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Benefits of Working in Canada as a Nurse

People want to live in Canada because it is an autonomous nation in every way. Since the healthcare industry has expanded quickly recently, moving to Canada as a nurse will provide access to a wide range of options.

In the far north, the typical nurse makes about 66,000 Canadian dollars a year. Health professionals will receive free medical care for their entire family, not just for themselves.

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse Through the Express Entry

You can immigrate to Canada as a nurse easily through the Express Entry if you follow the steps explained below.

1. Create an Express Entry account

The first and most crucial step is to create an express entry profile. Without this, it is impossible to become a nurse in Canada. This is because the only method to obtain information from the IRCC is to register an account with them. However, as this information will be required to process your application, it is imperative that you submit accurate information when opening your account.

2. Choose a program under the Express Entry

After creating your express entry profile, the following step is to select a program. This stage is equally important because the program you select will determine your success. As a result, there are several things to consider while choosing a software. For instance, if you don't have enough experience, you can't use the Canada experience class.

3. Get a job in Canada

The third step is to look for work in Canada. If you have a legitimate job offer after that, you can just immigrate to Canada. In order to be qualified for employment in Canada, you must first satisfy the requirements. As a result, you should study the job criteria. The LMIA must also grant permission for your business to engage foreign workers.

4. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

The following step is receiving an application request. Again, all applicants with the highest CRS scores will be given an invitation to apply. However, only the best candidates will be invited. If you don't get this, your paper is incomplete.

5. Submit your application with supporting documents

The fifth stage involves submitting your application together with the required supporting papers because you only have 60 days to do so. Of course, there is an application cost of 150 CAD.

6. Get your work permit

The sixth stage is obtaining a work permit. The IRCC will, however, only let you know when your permit is ready. Therefore, you might start preparing for your journey to Canada. You will typically get this response within 28 days of submitting your application.

7. Arrive in Canada

The last stage is getting to Canada. Don't forget to obtain your work permit though once you're in Canada. You cannot work in Canada without it.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the immigrating to Canada as a nurse.

Which Canadian province is the easiest for nurses to relocate to?

The same process can be used to immigrate to any province in Canada. Since you currently meet the requirements for immigration to Canada, the process will be straightforward. Nevertheless, a number of Canadian provinces, such as Nova Scotia, Quebec, etc., have made it easier for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada as nurses.

Are nurses economic-class immigrants?

In Canada, nurses are accepted as immigrants of the economic class. They fall under this category since nursing is a skilled occupation with few qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

What is the processing time for a work visa to enter Canada as a nurse?

It typically takes 3 to 6 months to process a work permit for Canada. However, some circumstances, such as misleading information, can make it take longer.

What are the top in-demand jobs in Canada for nurses?

  • Nurse Supervisors
  • Registered Nurses
  • Dental nurse (Dental Hygienists and Therapists)
  • Registered Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Allied Health Professional
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Practical Nurses

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