If you are thinking about immigrating to Canada as a medical practitioner in 2021, you will have plenty of opportunities to consider. With the number of physician vacancies still relatively low, immigration options for doctors are likely to be more limited than they have been for other professions. However, that should not discourage you from pursuing this career path. Canada is home to some of the best healthcare settings in the world and medical practitioners are sought-after specialists here.
As an immigrant, you will also have to consider factors such as how easy it is to transfer your qualifications or whether Canadian health insurance plans are accepted outside of Canada. Although this may seem like a daunting task, immigrating to Canada as a doctor is a win-win for you and your family.
The Canadian medical system admires physicians like no other, and Canada has attracted some of the world’s leading medical specialists to the country since the 1980s. As physicians began to recognize how well they were treated in Canada, they began choosing to immigrate here for this benefit.
The majority of physicians that choose to immigrate to Canada are admitted under the Permanent Resident (PR) Category under federal immigration law. This allows them access to all federal programs (including social benefits). Doctors in the PR Category are also eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after three years.
The federal government recognizes that physicians can add to Canada’s prosperity and health care system. As well, the healthcare system benefits greatly when doctors choose to immigrate to Canada and settle down in one of our cities or towns. Therefore, there is a medical-based immigration program that is geared specifically towards physicians: The Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
The CEC applies only to physicians who have extensive medical experience and training outside of Canada and were educated at an accredited medical school after April 1, 2002. Generally, these doctors have been educated in a country where immigration is difficult or impossible.
In addition to being from the PR Category, the doctor must have been working in the medical field for at least 10 years outside of Canada. In order to earn CEC status, doctors must also be sponsored by a Canadian employer who will sponsor them for permanent residence under the CEC program. Thanks to this federal program, thousands of doctors have immigrated to Canada for work opportunities.
With increased demand in both public and private healthcare systems, it’s great news that the number of physicians immigrating to Canada continues to rise. Doctors are well-respected members of society that bring with them the skills needed to provide high-quality care.
The demand for skilled physicians is becoming more acute by the day in Canada, so there’s no doubt physicians will continue to immigrate in large numbers. The demand for physicians in Canada is expected to outpace the supply by 2022, so finding your way into medical school or acquiring additional training after graduation is essential if you want to join this vibrant community.
After graduating from medical school, you will have several options when it comes time to immigrate to Canada as a doctor. You can search for a job in a city where you know your family will be happy and build a life there. There are several cities across Canada that have a shortage of doctors, such as Halifax and Winnipeg, so finding a job as soon as you arrive should not be difficult.
However, if you do not know where your long-term future should be, immigration as a doctor to Canada is still very possible. As both the federal and provincial governments recognize the value of doctors to their communities, they make it easier for physicians to immigrate here than many other professionals. If you would prefer to immigrate to Canada as a doctor, but have difficulty finding a job here, completing a residency program in Canada is a viable option.
Residency programs for non-Canadian citizens are offered at a number of medical schools across the country. These programs usually last at least four years but may last longer depending on your specialty. Most programs have their own application processes and admission standards that you will have to meet.
In addition, many residency programs pay doctors salaries while they complete their training as well as compensate them for travel costs incurred throughout their studies. The good news is that there are more residency spots available every year in Canada for medical specialists who want to make this country home after they complete their studies.