June 17, 2024

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Nova Scotia expanding immigration for healthcare workers

4 min read

Initially disclosed in late September, Nova Scotia is expanding immigration for healthcare workers. This expansion revolves around a specific stream within the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), specifically targeting healthcare workers. Nova Scotia’s efforts to broaden immigration avenues for healthcare professionals signify a significant development in the province’s approach to addressing its healthcare needs and welcoming skilled individuals to the region.

International students who want to study in Nova Scotia and become paramedics or pharmacy technicians now have more opportunities thanks to the province’s expansion of the “International Graduates in Demand” (IGD) stream within the PNP. This new initiative, which was jointly introduced by Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education, and Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health, Nova Scotia, expands immigration options and is consistent with the province’s commitment to satisfying healthcare demands.

The IGD Stream of Nova Scotia’s PNP

Prior to its most recent expansion, Nova Scotia’s PNP permitted local governments in a number of Canadian provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut) to propose particular immigrants for permanent residence (PR) in order to fill gaps in their respective labor markets.

Prior to now, graduates from abroad could apply for immigration to Nova Scotia under this PNP stream if they wanted to work in one of the following professions:

  • Orderlies, patient service representatives, and nurse assistants
  • Early childhood instructors and support staff

However, with the most recent notification, pharmacy technicians and paramedics are now qualified for immigration under this scheme.

Candidates interested in applying for immigration through this Nova Scotia PNP program must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Secure a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in an eligible occupation.
  • Fall within the age range of 21 to 55.
  • Hold a minimum of a high school diploma.
  • Complete a course of study lasting at least 30 weeks within the last three years.
  • Possess the necessary certifications required for the job.
  • Demonstrate language proficiency equivalent to a level 5 on the CLB.
  • Have sufficient financial resources to establish permanent residency in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia expanding immigration for healthcare workers – IGD PNP Immigration Application

Following are the steps you need to take to apply for immigration using Nova Scotia’s IGD PNP stream:

  • On the official website of the government, complete and submit your application along with the necessary documentation.
  • Obtain your provincial nomination certificate within six months of receiving approval and apply for PR directly with IRCC.

Note: The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) offers Letters of Support for temporary work permits. In exchange for this letter, they will be able to reside in Nova Scotia while their application is being processed.

Nova Scotia requires paramedics and pharmacy technicians

The CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia stated that the province expects to need about 200 pharmacy technicians in the upcoming years.

The Director of Operations at Emergency Medical Care Inc., Charbel Daniel, also brought up the possibility of 150–200 paramedic jobs being open to foreign students.

Apart from the fact that paramedics and pharmacy technicians are included in Nova Scotia’s IGD stream, there is a sizable demand for those looking for work in a variety of healthcare positions across Canada.

There is also a need for other healthcare professionals

The top three healthcare occupations with the highest demand in Canada for 2023 have been selected by Randstad. Moreover, it is a well-known employment agency and consulting firm:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Personal Support Workers
  • Healthcare Aides

It’s important to remember that, as was previously noted, Healthcare Aides are eligible for immigration through Nova Scotia’s IGD stream.

The anticipated number of “job openings” for each of these healthcare professions from 2022 to 2031 has been forecasted by the Canadian government as follows:

  • Registered Nurses – 155,400 job openings
  • Personal Support Workers – 34,500 job openings
  • Healthcare Aides – 191,000 job openings

These statistics highlight the urgent need to address workforce requirements in the healthcare sector as they highlight the growing demand for healthcare professionals not just across Canada but also inside the province of Nova Scotia.

Working as a healthcare professional in Canada

The IRCC has started Express Entry lotteries based on particular categories in an effort to attract more healthcare professionals. The first draw took place on June 28, 2023.

These deliberate pulls are intended to entice immigrants who can help Canada address some of its most critical labor market issues.

ITAs will be distributed by the IRCC in 2023 to qualified applicants with recent work experience in one of five separate occupational categories through category-based drawings. For the present year, one of these categories is reserved particularly for foreign nationals having recent experience in healthcare professions.

History of category-based draws for healthcare

Canada has held two category-based Express Entry drawings just for healthcare professionals this year.

500 applicants received ITAs for Canadian PR in the first draw, which took place on June 28. Candidates who scored at least 476 on the CRS were eligible for this draw.

Furthermore, on July 6, a second selection was held for this category, inviting 1,500 applicants who had obtained a minimum CRS score of 463.


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