Canada Immigration Options for Nurses, 2021

Canada has always had an insufficient number of nurses, which made the government provide several immigration options for nurses.


Wanting to know Canadian immigration options for nurses, you shouldn’t let that give you a headache as it is one of the most possible things.

More so, nurses are one of the oldest professions in the world. As a nurse, you’re trained to provide care to the sick, check symptoms on patients, as well as to administer medications to patients. It makes you a caregiver that counsels people on their health, and also in preventing illnesses.

However, if you are a nurse from any foreign country, Canada is in high demand for your caregiving services.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made major impacts in Canada, Canada is still in high demand of health workers and specialists like nurses, nursing supervisors, health policy specialists, respiratory therapists, health care managers, dental hygienists, medical radiation technologists, pharmacists, etc.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes for nurses

Under Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC), nurses are classified as follows;

  • NOC 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are classified as NOC Skill Level A
  • NOC 3233 – Licensed practical nurses are classified as NOC Skill Level B

Canada immigration options for nurses

For many years, Canada has always had an insufficient number of nurses, which made the Canadian government provide several immigration options for nurses. Therefore, you can easily immigrate to Canada and work as a nurse.

Besides, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have simplified the process of immigrating to Canada and work permanently as a registered nurse.

In 2020, The Corona Virus Disease led to a lower number of foreign nationals who applied for Canada’s immigration. As a result, plans were made to increase Canada’s immigrants to more than 1,200,000 by 2023.

Moreover, they made it easy for foreign nationals who are presently in Canada to become permanent workers through provincial nomination and Express Entry programs.

You can utilize one of these immigration options to immigrate to Canada as a nurse

Express Entry as an immigration option for nurses

Express Entry is one of Canada’s immigration options for nurses. It is a web-based system used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage permanent residency applications from skilled workers.

Express Entry implements a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to measure and score applications from foreign nationals.

More so, there are three (3) programs under Canada Express Entry such as Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), as well as Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Since your intention is to immigrate to Canada as a nurse, you need to apply through FSWP or CEC.

Immigration to Canada through Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

Your eligibility will be determined by IRCC using six selection factors. After assessing your selection factor points, you will be scored based on a percentage. You are more likely to be qualified for the FSWP if you have not less than 67 points.

The following are the requirements to immigrate to Canada as a nurse through Express Entry
  • Minimum of one-year consistent work experience in a job under National Occupational Classification Skill Type 0, Level A or B. Thus, the work experience must be in not more than ten years ago
  • Job offer letter from a Canadian healthcare service provider or company (Optional). When you’ve received a job offer letter from a Canadian employer, you are more likely to be included among the applicants that would receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  • Result of a language proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, TEF Canada, among others. Your proficiency in English or French language will be assessed and evaluated. Tests are provided for your speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. Your language levels will be rated using Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for the English test and Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadien (NCLC ) for French-language testing.

However, you need a minimum CLB score of 7 or an NCLC of 7.

  • Result of a medical examination to prove whether you are medically admissible or inadmissible
  • Police certificates indicating previous records of crime
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • Proof of funds

Immigration to Canada through Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

CEC is ideal for Canada’s temporary workers who have already gained vast skills and work experience while working for a Canadian employer. CEC will make a permanent residence in Canada.

Requirements to meet if you want to immigrate to Canada as a nurse
  • At least one year of work experience in an occupation classified in NOC Skill Type 0, Level A, or B. Besides, the work experience must not have exceeded the previous three years.
  • For nursing jobs under NOC Skill Type 0, Level A, or B, you need at least CLB 7 or NCLC 7. Moreover, if you are a CEC applicant for a nursing occupation in NOC B, you need a minimum of CLB 5 or NCLC 5
  • You may need to provide a letter of a job offer if available

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) as an immigration option for nurses

PNP is among the Canadian immigration options for nurses. Since nursing jobs require your skills education and experience, you are also qualified for Canada PNPs to offer your healthcare services to a specific province in Canada. Canada has a vast number of Provincial Nominee Programs that qualify nurses for Canada’s immigration.

Furthermore, PNP allows you to be nominated by a Canadian province due to your skills, experience, or education, which is beneficial to the Canadian economy.

If you immigrate to Canada through PNP, your permanent residency will only be applicable within the province where you got nominated. Thus, you are expected to live and work as a nurse within the province.


Even if you are not currently eligible for any of the immigration options listed above, you may still be able to immigrate to Canada. As an international student, you can build on your nursing degree to help improve your career, while studying, living, and even working in Canada.

Your Canadian education may even help improve your eligibility to migrate permanently when you graduate.

Here are some Canadian PNPs that can help you achieve your desires of immigrating as a nurse in Canada
  1. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  2. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  3. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
  4. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
  5. New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  6. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  7. Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
  8. Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  9. Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  10. Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
  11. 11. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Ultimately, some Canadian provinces have more than one Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that can allow you to immigrate and work as a nurse in Canada.


Frequently Asked Questions about Canada immigration options for nurses

Q. Can I immigrate as a nurse to Canada?

Ans – Yes, you can immigrate to Canada to work as a nurse

Q. Are nurses allowed to apply for Canada Express Entry?

Ans – Yes, nurses are also allowed to apply for Canada Express Entry via Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class

Q. Are nurses demanded in Canada?

Ans – Yes, nurses have been highly demanded in Canada since many years ago

Q. How does Express Entry work?

Ans – Express Entry is a web-based system that is applied in managing permanent residency applications from foreign skilled workers. A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is used to evaluate and rate permanent residency applications.

Through three (3) programs (Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class), Express Entry profiles with the highest scores are ranked accordingly and sent Invitation to Apply.

Q. What is the easiest province to immigrate to as a nurse in Canada?

Ans – It takes the same process to immigrate to any Canadian province. Inasmuch as you have satisfied Canada’s immigration requirements, the process will automatically become easy. However, some provinces in Canada such as Nova Scotia, Quebec, etc., have made it easier for foreign nationals to immigrate as a nurse to Canada.

Q. Who are economic-class immigrants?

Ans – Economic-class immigrants are foreign nationals who want to become Canadian permanent residents due to their acquired skills.

Thus, economic-class immigrants apply to;

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
Q. Are nurses economic-class immigrants?

Ans – Yes, nurses are regarded as economic-class immigrants in Canada. They are classified as such because nurse is a skilled occupation, and has a low number of Canada citizens or permanent residents who are qualified to work as a nurse.

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