Canada makes it easier for doctors to obtain permanent residency

Immigrant physicians practicing in Canada on temporary visas will now be able to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry program.

Many physicians in Canada use a “fee for service” compensation model that differs from the traditional employer-employee relationship. They are considered self-employed, which disqualifies them from Express Entry.

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Not all independent candidates are ineligible. If a candidate has acquired at least one year of work experience abroad or as an employee in Canada, they may still be eligible for an Express Entry program.

Canada is experiencing a national shortage of qualified doctors, made worse by the pandemic. Canada currently has a vacancy rate of almost 6% in the health sector.

As of June 2022, approximately 4,300 permanent residents were admitted through the health care streams of the temporary-to-permanent residency pathway.


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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said removing the barrier will serve as a signal to doctors that they are welcome to stay in Canada.

“In my home province in particular, foreign-born doctors have helped keep families healthy and care for our aging population,” Fraser said.

“Their skills are essential resources in our community, and it doesn’t take long before they become our neighbors, friends and other community leaders. Physicians relocating here to Nova Scotia or other parts of the country is a win-win situation. The measures announced today signal to these physicians that we want them to stay, making it easier for them to choose Canada as their permanent residence.

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