4 Key Keywords for Immigration to Canada in 2024: (4) Healthcare

This is the final column in our series of four keywords for immigration to Canada in 2024. One of the hottest sectors in Canadian immigration right now is healthcare. This is because the Canadian government is increasingly looking for talent in the healthcare sector, and is accepting immigrants in various ways. From the Express Entry category-based selection to the separate selection of healthcare workers, to the provincial nominee programs such as the BC PNP, priority selection is being carried out. Therefore, the prospects for immigrating to Canada through healthcare are very bright, so let's take a closer look at how you can work and immigrate to Canada through healthcare.

As of 2024, the Canadian healthcare sector is experiencing a labor shortage. This is due to a number of factors. The healthcare sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unique circumstances of the pandemic have caused many healthcare employees to burn out or leave the workforce due to stress, overwork, and other reasons, creating a desperate need for healthcare workers. Also, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, as of 2021, there were 2.46 physicians per 1,000 Canadians, which is relatively low compared to other countries.

Canada is also a representative aging country. As of July 2022, an estimated 18.8% of the Canadian population is aged 65 and older, which translates to more than 7.3 million seniors. This is putting a huge strain on healthcare resources, leading to a shortage of long-term care facilities and a caregiver shortage. The Canadian government and provincial governments are making various efforts to address these issues, including increasing the healthcare workforce, improving the efficiency of the healthcare system, and modernizing the digital health record system to create a better healthcare environment. The immigration system is also actively inviting healthcare professionals to Canada, and this is expected to continue to transform the country's healthcare policies and systems in the coming years.

According to the Economic Strategy Paper on Health and Life Sciences, Canada will double the size of its health and life sciences sector by 2025, and is committed to growing and attracting talent alongside technological advancements. Healthcare immigration is part of this strategy, with significant benefits for applicants. In addition to the Express Entry category-based selection, the PNP also has a separate priority selection for healthcare, with both programs offering a greater chance of receiving an invitation with a lower score. As of January 31, 2024, the cut-off score for Express Entry General Selection is 541 points, while the cut-off score for Healthcare is around 430 points, a significant difference. Looking at the BC PNP, the BC government's immigration program, the general selection cutoff is 122 points, but the healthcare cutoff is half that, at 60 points, which is a huge advantage for permanent residency.

There are a variety of occupations that fall under the healthcare category, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and health service workers, but nurses are arguably the most accessible and popular. Nursing is a high-demand profession that is often easy to get into and has a great pathway to permanent residency. There are three types of nurses in Canada: licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs), with LPNs and RNs being the most common. RNs typically complete a four-year university program, while LPNs can be certified through a two-year college program, and because LPNs take less time to complete, many people choose to complete their studies in Canada and then pursue certification.

Internationally earned credentials can also be converted, which means that after having your nursing credentials assessed by an accreditation body in Canada, you can have your credentials assessed by an association in your province or territory, and then pass the certification exam to become a registered nurse in Canada. The conversion process is detailed by your local nursing association, so it's important to know exactly how the process works in your area to ensure you're on the right track.

We believe that immigrating to Canada in 2024 will require a more specialized plan and approach, so you may need to develop your skills in the specialty areas required by Canada before you can prepare to immigrate to Canada. In other words, if you have the skills that Canada is looking for, you may be able to get a job, immigrate to Canada, and get there faster than you think.