October 18, 2023

Canada’s First Healthcare Worker Express Entry Draw.

Canada has taken a groundbreaking step to address its critical shortage of healthcare workers by conducting its first-ever category-based selection draw under the Express Entry system. The draw, which occurred on June 29, 2023, invited 500 eligible healthcare professionals to apply for permanent residency. In order to qualify, candidates needed to have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 476. This significant milestone comes as part of the country's efforts to address labor force gaps and meet the growing demand for healthcare services in the wake of an aging population and low birth rates.


The Six New Categories for Express Entry

On May 31, 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new category-based selection system for Express Entry. Among the six newly established categories, healthcare occupations constitute the largest number, with a total of 35 eligible professions. These include various roles, from doctors and nurses to therapists and medical technologists, demonstrating the breadth of opportunities available for skilled healthcare professionals to contribute to the Canadian healthcare system.

The eligible healthcare occupations under the category-based selection system are as follows:

  1. Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
  2. Chiropractors
  3. Dentists
  4. Dieticians and Nutritionists
  5. Education Counsellors
  6. General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  7. Instructors of Persons with Disabilities
  8. Kinesiologists and Other Professional Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
  9. Licensed Practical Nurses
  10. Massage Therapists
  11. Medical Laboratory Assistants and Related Technical Occupations
  12. Medical Laboratory Technologists
  13. Medical Radiation Technologists
  14. Medical Sonographers
  15. Nurse Aides, Orderlies, and Patient Service Associates
  16. Nurse Practitioners
  17. Nursing Coordinators and Supervisors
  18. Occupational Therapists
  19. Optometrists
  20. Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services
  21. Other Practitioners of Natural Healing
  22. Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing and Treating
  23. Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
  24. Paramedical Occupations
  25. Pharmacy Technical Assistants and Pharmacy Assistants
  26. Physician Assistants, Midwives, and Allied Health Professionals
  27. Physiotherapists
  28. Psychologists
  29. Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses
  30. Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists, and Cardiopulmonary Technologists
  31. Specialists in Clinical and Laboratory Medicine
  32. Specialists in Surgery
  33. Therapists in Counselling and Related Specialized Therapies
  34. Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists
  35. Veterinarians


Upcoming Draws and Other Categories

Following the success of the healthcare category-based draw, the IRCC is set to conduct a second round, inviting 1,500 healthcare professionals, on July 5, 2023. Additionally, another draw is expected to take place in the same week, targeting eligible candidates from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions.

In addition to healthcare and STEM, the other categories for Express Entry selection draws include trades (e.g., carpenters, plumbers, and contractors), transportation, agriculture and agri-food, and strong French language proficiency. These categories were chosen in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, as well as other stakeholders, to address specific labor force gaps and align with Canada's economic priorities.


Addressing the Healthcare Worker Shortage in Canada

Canada is currently facing a critical shortage of healthcare workers, exacerbated by an aging population and low birth rates. To meet the rising demand for healthcare services, the country is actively seeking skilled immigrants to fill these essential positions. The Statistics Canada job vacancy data from March 2023 reveals that the healthcare and social assistance sector accounted for 17.7% of all unfilled positions, with approximately 144,500 vacant healthcare-related positions.

To attract healthcare professionals, several provinces and territories have already implemented targeted streams under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). For instance, Alberta introduced the Designated Healthcare Pathway, British Columbia regularly invites healthcare professionals to their BC PNP draws, and Ontario recently extended invitations to 318 foreign workers in healthcare occupations.

The introduction of category-based selection draws aligns with the changes made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. The updated legislation empowers Canada's immigration minister to select economic immigrants based on key attributes that support the country's economic priorities or promote French-speaking immigration to communities outside of Quebec.


Eligibility and Experience Requirements

To be eligible under the occupation-specific categories, candidates must have at least six months of continuous work experience in one of the listed healthcare occupations, acquired within the past three years. This experience can be gained either within Canada or abroad, providing applicants with the opportunity to showcase their expertise and contribute to the Canadian healthcare system.


Bottom Line

Canada's first-ever category-based Express Entry draw for healthcare workers marks a significant milestone in addressing the critical shortage of healthcare professionals in the country. The introduction of specialized draws under the Express Entry system demonstrates Canada's commitment to attracting skilled immigrants who can contribute to the growth and development of the healthcare sector. With the upcoming draws and other occupation-specific categories, more opportunities await skilled professionals in STEM fields and various industries. These initiatives solidify Canada's position as a welcoming and inclusive country that recognizes the value immigrants bring to its labor force and the overall social fabric.


Looking to make your dream of migrating to Canada a reality? Look no further than Pelican Migration Consultants!

We are one of the top immigration consultants in Dubai dedicated to providing top-notch services to individuals and families seeking to relocate and start a new chapter abroad. With our expertise and personalized approach, we make the immigration process smooth and hassle-free.

Professional Expertise: Our team of experienced migration consultants possesses in-depth knowledge of immigration laws and regulations. We stay up-to-date with the latest policies to ensure accurate and reliable advice for our clients.

Tailored Solutions: We understand that every client has unique goals and circumstances. That's why we offer personalized migration solutions, customizing our services to meet your specific needs. From visa applications to documentation assistance, we've got you covered.

Comprehensive Services: At Pelican Migration Consultants, we provide a wide range of services to support your migration journey. Whether you're pursuing skilled migration, family sponsorship, or business opportunities, we have the expertise to guide you through every step of the process.

Peace of Mind: Navigating the complexities of immigration can be overwhelming. With Pelican Migration Consultants by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that professionals are handling your case. We strive to minimize stress and maximize success.

Client-Centered Approach: We prioritize our clients' satisfaction above all else. Our dedicated consultants take the time to understand your goals, answer your questions, and address any concerns you may have. We are committed to providing exceptional customer service throughout your migration journey.

Let Pelican Migration Consultants be your trusted partner in turning your immigration aspirations into reality. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards a brighter future!