June 14, 2024

Stream Health Care

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Immigration Changes Help Retain Healthcare Workers

3 min read

International students in more Nova Scotia healthcare programs will have an additional opportunity to build a career, life and future in the province.

The International Graduates in Demand stream of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program is expanding to include paramedics and pharmacy technicians. Adding these occupations to this immigration pathway supports Nova Scotia’s recruitment efforts for healthcare professionals.

“Paramedics and pharmacy technicians play crucial roles in our healthcare system, and we need more of them,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “Access to this immigration stream helps people who have grown to love our province while completing their training stay here and provide care for Nova Scotians who need it.”

This stream helps build the workforce for occupations that are in demand. It allows international students who have graduated from a public or private post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia to apply for a work permit and permanent residency in Canada before gaining work experience. This pathway is currently open to nurse aides, orderlies, patient service associates, continuing care assistants and early childhood educators.

The International Graduates in Demand stream is now accepting applications from qualified candidates. More information, including how to apply, is available at:


International students enrich our communities and workplaces, and we want to help them stay in Nova Scotia after they graduate and build a life and career here. The expansion of the International Graduates in Demand pathway will help us fill critical labour needs, and it offers graduates the opportunity to work in rewarding careers as pharmacy technicians and paramedics.
Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration

Nova Scotia is known as an education destination, and our post-secondary institutions have an important role to play when it comes to helping us attract and retain the students we need, today and tomorrow. We hope this expansion will help more international students choose to study here because we need them and value them.
Brian Wong, Minster of Advanced Education

We are excited about this announcement. Nova Scotia is experiencing an extreme shortage of pharmacy technicians; anything the government can do to increase the supply of these professionals will help our teams and ensure more access to pharmacy services across the province.
Allison Bodnar, CEO, Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia

We are pleased to see the addition of primary care paramedics to the International Graduates in Demand stream. This is a positive action for the attraction and retention of international candidates, supporting our workforce.
Paula Poirier, President and Chief Operating Officer, Emergency Medical Care Inc.

Quick Facts:

  • Labour, Skills and Immigration consulted with Advanced Education, Health and Wellness, the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment, the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists and the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia on the program expansion
  • applicants’ educational programs must have been at least 30 weeks in length, and the applicant must have completed at least 50 per cent of the program in Nova Scotia
  • graduates from Nova Scotia Community College and private career colleges that offer these programs may qualify for this stream
  • earlier this year, Nova Scotia announced a tuition rebate of $11,500 to paramedics who agreed to work in the province for at least three years



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