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Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor or Specialist Physician – Full Guide

This article describes in detail the process of how to immigrate to Canada as a doctor or specialist physician.

Doctoring positions are one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada. Every year, thousands of foreigners immigrate to Canada as doctors.

As an experienced doctor, you could earn up to $312,000 per year, or even more as a specialist, not to mention the crazy and lucrutative benefits that all Canadian citizens and permanent residents are entitled to, such as free healthcare, primary and secondary schooling for you and your family, and excellent work benefits.

On this page, you will find all you need to know about how to move to Canada as a doctor, including the general and specific immigration requirements for doctors in Canada, as well as the various positions you can fill as a foreign doctor in Canada.

Who are Doctors or Physicians in Canada?

Can doctors immigrate to Canada? Absolutely yes! As stated earlier, there are several job vacancies you can fill as a doctor in Canada. Noteworthy also is the fact that there are different kinds of doctors. Hence, it will be necessary to discuss who a doctor is and what various doctors do.

The most common specializations as physicians are clinical doctors, surgeons, and specialist physicians. Specialists in clinical medicine diagnose and treat diseases and psychological or psychiatric disorders. They also act as consultants to other physicians.

Specialists in clinical medicine usually work in private practice or hospitals, while those in laboratory medicine and surgery usually work in hospitals. Note that residents who are training to become specialist physicians are also included in this unit group.

Since you are planning to immigrate to Canada as a Doctor, you need to understand the NOC code for the job position. In Canada, the NOC (National Occupation Classification) Code is a system used by the Government of Canada for classifying various jobs. Using this structure, similar jobs are classified together. Each is given a unique set of digits that becomes the NOC code.

There are several NOC Codes for the different physician positions in Canada. All of the jobs fall between NOC 3111 and 3112. Other NOC codes include doctors who become administrators, policymakers, and managers. There are also specific NOC codes for dentists, opticians, veterinary doctors, and so on.

Job Description/Duties of Doctors in Canada under NOC Code 3111

Before migrating to Canada as a medical doctor, it is essential to know your job description and what duties you will take up when you resume work.

For physicians under the NOC code 3111, this group includes specialist physicians in clinical medicine, surgery, and laboratory medicine.

Job Duties of Specialists in Clinical Medicine

  • Diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders
  • Order laboratory tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic procedures
  • Prescribe medication and treatment and refer patients for surgery
  • Act as consultants to other physicians
  • May conduct medical research

Job Duties of Specialists in Laboratory Medicine

  • Study the nature, cause, and development of diseases in humans, and the structural and functional changes caused by diseases.
  • Conduct microscopic and chemical analyses of laboratory samples and specimens
  • Supervise laboratory activities
  • Act as consultants to other physicians

Job Duties of Specialists in Surgery

  • Assess patients’ diseases or disorders to determine appropriate surgical procedures
  • Perform and supervise surgical procedures to correct physical abnormalities and deficiencies and repair injuries
  • Act as consultants to other physicians

Job Description/Duties of Doctors in Canada under NOC Code 3112

Doctors under the NOC Code 3112 include family physicians who usually work in private practice. Their primary duties are:

  • To examine patients and take their histories, order laboratory tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic procedures. They also consult with other medical practitioners to evaluate patients’ physical and mental health.
  • Prescribe and administer medications and treatments
  • Perform and assist in routine surgery
  • Provide emergency care
  • Provide acute care management
  • Vaccinate patients to prevent and treat diseases
  • Deliver babies and provide pre-natal and post-natal care
  • Advise patients and their families on health care, including health promotion, disease, illness, and accident prevention
  • Provide counseling and support to patients and their families on a wide range of health and lifestyle issues
  • Perform patient advocacy role
  • Co-ordinate or manage primary patient care
  • Provide continuous care to patients
  • Supervise home care services
  • Lastly, they report births, deaths, contagious diseases, and other kinds of diseases to governmental authorities

Examples of Doctor Jobs Under NOC Code 3111

Immigrating to Canada as a Doctor exposes you to quite a number of job options. Physician job types under NOC Code 3111 include the following:

Specialists in Clinical Medicine

  • Anesthetist
  • Cardiologist
  • Clinical immunologist-allergist
  • Dermatologist
  • Diagnostic radiologist
  • Emergency physician
  • Endocrinologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Geriatrician
  • Hematologist
  • Nephrologist
  • Neurologist
  • Oncologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Pediatrician
  • Physiatrist
  • Pneumologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Respirologist
  • Rheumatologist

Specialists in Laboratory Medicine

  • Anatomical pathologist
  • General pathologist
  • Hematopathologist
  • Medical biochemist physician
  • Medical microbiologist
  • Neuropathologist

Specialists in Surgery

  • Cardiac surgeon
  • General Surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Obstetrician-gynecologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Pediatric surgeon
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Vascular surgeon

Exclusions for Doctors Under NOC Code 3111

Some job titles are not included under NOC Code 3111 and are therefore not recognized as doctors belonging to this group. They are:

  • Allied Primary Health Practitioners (3124)
  • Chiropractors (3122)
  • General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
  • Managers in health care (0311)
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (3125)

Examples of Doctor Jobs Under NOC Code 3112

  • Family physician
  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Medical doctor
  • Resident, general practice

Exclusions for Doctors Under NOC Code 3112

  • Allied Primary Health Practitioners (3124)
  • Chiropractors (3122)
  • General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
  • Managers in health care (0311)
  • Specialist physicians (3111)
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Requirements to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

Immigration to Canada as a medical doctor involves following the right procedures and meeting stipulated requirements. The requirements to work in Canada as a doctor can be classified into general requirements and specific requirements.

General requirements are common to all physician positions, while specific requirements may vary from one job description to the other.

General Requirements for Immigrating to Canada as a Doctor

Age

To immigrate to Canada as a doctor or specialist physician, you must be within the ages of 18 and 35.

Education

First of all, you need a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree to work in Canada as a doctor. If you plan to immigrate to Quebec, you must have completed a college program and one year of pre-medicine university studies.

For example, when moving to Canada from South Africa as a medical doctor, you must have your B.Sc from a recognized university in South Africa with transcripts to prove so.

Next, you should have graduated from an approved medical school where you have specialized in a particular aspect of medicine which must be specified.

Employment Experience

Depending on the immigration pathway you will apply to, you may or may not need previous work experience to immigrate to Canada as a doctor.

Proof of Proficiency in English Language or French

The province or territory you want to immigrate to determine what language you will prove proficiency in. the accepted way to demonstrate communication fluency in these languages is by taking language tests.

Whether it is English or French, there are several acceptable language tests you can take to immigrate to Canada as a doctor.

There are specific immigration pathways that require you to attain a particular CRS score to be eligible to immigrate to Canada as a doctor. CRS stands for Comprehensive Ranking System and is a popular grading method used for some immigration programs in Canada.

Specific Requirements to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

Some professions require special certifications for foreign-trained professionals to immigrate to Canada successfully. Doctors and specialist physicians are two of such occupations.

To work in Canada as a doctor, you must have completed the certifying examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Importantly, you must be licensed by the licensing authority of the province or territory you will be working at.

Specialist physicians may require from two to five years of specialty residency training in a particular niche of their chosen feed.

To find out more about the specific requirements for a particular occupation you chose to specialize in the field of medicine, you may visit the Government of Canada’s website on NOC codes and job descriptions and search for your profession using its NOC code.

Pathways to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor or Specialist Physician

Wondering how to migrate to Canada as a doctor? There are several immigration pathways you can make use of. To the delight of all potential Canadian residents, Canada has tens of friendly immigration programs that can get you into the country when you meet the specific requirements.

Some of the most popular immigration programs doctors apply for to immigrate to Canada are:

Steps to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

Technically, the steps to immigrate to Canada are similar for all kinds of medical professions in the concerned NOC codes. Note that the immigration pathway you are applying for may require special steps from you. However, the following processes are compulsory if you desire to migrate to Canada as a doctor?

Step 1: Complete the certifying examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Step 2: Apply to immigrate to Canada as a doctor using your most preferred immigration pathway. (You may or may not need to create an Express Entry profile).

Step 3: If you submit your profile to the express entry pool, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) upon fulfilling the necessary requirements.

Step 4: Use your ITA to apply for permanent residency from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Lastly, Step 5: Upon obtaining your residency permit, you are legally allowed to travel to Canada and resume work as a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Easy to Migrate to Canada as a Doctor?

Migrating to Canada as a doctor is pretty easy if you take the proper steps. A successful migration experience is all about knowing what immigration pathway will suit you best. People immigrate to Canada through various ways. The most common pathways are Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program.

Can Indian Doctors Migrate to Canada?

Trained doctors from India can immigrate to Canada. To do this, they need to take certifying examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and then apply for immigration through any immigration program of their choice.

Do I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor?

A job offer is not a compulsory requirement to immigrate to Canada as a Doctor unless the immigration program you are applying to requires so. If you get a job offer, you can go ahead to directly apply for a work permit or indicate so in your Express Entry profile. A job offer may increase your CRS points.

Conclusion

There are several job opportunities for foreign doctors who are willing to immigrate to Canada. The first step to fulfilling this dream is to take the professional exams and get other special certifications. That way, you can be recognized as a doctor fit to work in Canada.