Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, announced nearly $1.5 million in funding to help newcomers get to work faster in Canada’s healthcare sector.
The funds are intended to promote collaboration and information sharing in the health sector. Specifically, to help internationally trained health professionals get their credentials recognized faster.
The project builds on the success of the National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4), an online platform for foreign health professionals interested in working in Canada. N4 was launched in 2019 by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
“CHEO has a proven track record of ensuring health and social service professionals have the knowledge and tools they need to provide equitable care and services to newcomers,” said Marie- France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration. “We are pleased to continue to work with the National Newcomer Navigation Network to help internationally trained health professionals secure jobs in the health care sector in Canada. These services will help more newcomers succeed, while helping to build a better future for all Canadians.”
In addition to helping internationally trained healthcare professionals work in Canada, the funds will allow N4 to serve as a platform where newcomers can find information on foreign qualifications and credential recognition in all provinces and all territories outside Quebec.
“Newcomers are an integral part of our communities,” said Alex Munter, CEO and President of CHEO. “Their full inclusion in our health workforce will help us address staffing shortages, while integrating rich and diverse voices of lived experience and better supporting other newcomers.”
This funding comes from a dedicated stream of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Settlement Program, which invests in projects that support future settlement programming. IRCC allocated a total of nearly $1.02 billion for settlement services in 2022-23, an increase of about 11% from 2021-22, according to public records obtained by CIC News.
Canada faces a tight labor market, particularly in the health sector. Statistics Canada recently reported record levels of job vacancies in health care and social assistance. In March, out of more than one million job vacancies, employers in the health and social care sector were looking to fill 154,500 vacancies.
Express Entry programs for health professionals
Healthcare professionals may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). These two federal immigration programs are managed through the Express Entry system.
Express Entry is an online system that manages immigration applications for the federal government. It uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank eligible applicants based on their skilled work experience, age, education, and official language proficiency, among other factors. Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency in bi-weekly Express Entry draws.
Although draws for CEC and FSWP candidates have been suspended during the pandemic, Minister Fraser had previously announced that these draws would resume in early July. The minister also said the standard of treatment for new Express Entry applicants would revert to six months.
PNP for healthcare professionals
Although IRCC has the final say on who can immigrate to Canada, provinces can nominate eligible candidates through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Some PNPs cater specifically to healthcare professionals, while others have more general work experience requirements but may run immigration sweepstakes targeting industry applicants.
Many provinces have more than one program that welcomes health professionals. Sometimes PCPs select candidates from the Express Entry system and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination. If these candidates are nominated, they get 600 CRS points added to their Express Entry score. This reward is more than enough to allow the candidate to be invited to apply for permanent residence.
Here are some of the PNP pathways for healthcare professionals:
To find out more, CanadaVisa offers a PNP finder tool to help people find the best PNP for their immigration trip to Canada.
Quebec manages its own immigration system. Some programs such as PNP and Express Entry are not available in Quebec.
Quebec offers its Regular Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Experience Program. Health professionals may be eligible for either program. Both of these programs require applicants to have a working knowledge of the French language.
Pilot programs for caregivers
Caregivers can apply for permanent residency through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program or the Home Support Worker Pilot Program if they have a job offer to work in one of the two eligible professions and meet the other eligibility criteria. Work experience must fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412.
Through these pilot projects, candidates can obtain an open work permit to come to Canada and work temporarily.
To become eligible for permanent residency, applicants must have at least 24 months of full-time work experience in the 36 months preceding the application. They also need language test results showing a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 or higher and a year of post-secondary education. As with all applicants for permanent residency, they will also need to pass eligibility checks.
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