How To Immigrate To Canada As A Nurse?

How To Immigrate To Canada As A Nurse?

Canada has long been a favored destination for professionals seeking new opportunities, and this is especially true for nurses. The country is currently facing a significant shortage of healthcare workers, including nurses, making it an opportune time for internationally educated nurses to consider immigrating. The Canadian government is actively welcoming skilled healthcare professionals to strengthen its workforce, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which highlighted the critical need for a robust healthcare system.

Why Choose Canada for Migration as a Nurse from India?


Huge Opportunity for Healthcare Workers

Canada’s healthcare system is experiencing a critical shortage of nurses across various provinces. According to Ottawa’s Job Bank employment website, there was a projected shortfall of 36,500 nurses between 2019 and 2028. This substantial demand means that Canada is opening its doors wide to immigrant healthcare workers, including nurses from India.

Booming Economy

The economic stability of Canada is another compelling reason for nurses to consider immigration. The average annual salary for nurses in Canada is approximately CAD 78,000, which translates to about 650,000 INR. This income level can provide a high standard of living, allowing nurses to support their families and save for the future. Additionally, Canada offers numerous benefits such as free healthcare and education for permanent residents, further enhancing the quality of life.

Welcoming Community

Canada is known for its multicultural and inclusive society. Immigrants, including those from India, find that Canada offers equal opportunities regardless of their country of origin. This welcoming attitude is reflected in the strong and supportive Indian immigrant communities present in many Canadian cities, helping new arrivals feel at home more quickly.

Migrate Without a Job Offer

One of the unique advantages of immigrating to Canada as a nurse is the possibility of obtaining a Permanent Residence (PR) visa even without a job offer. Nurses can also enter Canada on a study permit, complete their education at a Canadian institution, and then transition into the workforce.

Pathways to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse

Navigating the immigration process can be complex, but there are multiple pathways designed specifically for healthcare professionals, including nurses. Here are four main routes:

1. Express Entry Programs for Nurses

The Express Entry system is a popular immigration pathway, and it includes two main programs suitable for nurses: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is designed for skilled workers with at least one year of relevant work experience. Nurses applying through Federal Skilled Worker Program need to create an Express Entry profile and will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score out of 1200. The CRS score is based on various factors including age, education, work experience, and language proficiency in English or French. To be eligible, applicants must score at least CLB 7.0 in language tests and achieve a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the six-factor test.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC): Canadian Experience Class is for those who have already gained work experience in Canada as temporary foreign workers. While it’s less commonly used by nurses from abroad, it remains a viable option for those who meet the criteria.

2. Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs)

Each Canadian province has its own PNP tailored to meet its specific labor market needs. Provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta have streams dedicated to healthcare professionals, including nurses. To apply, candidates must meet the specific criteria set by the province and often need to secure a provincial nomination before applying for PR through the federal system.

3. Quebec Immigration Programs

Quebec operates its own immigration system, separate from the federal government. Nurses can apply through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which uses a points-based selection grid. Factors such as age, education, work experience, and language skills are considered. Given the distinct nature of Quebec’s immigration policies, it’s advisable to consult with experts familiar with the Quebec system.

4. Study Programs in Canada

Nurses without a job offer can still move to Canada on a study permit. By enrolling in a nursing program at a Canadian educational institution, they can gain Canadian credentials and experience, which significantly improves their chances of securing PR later on.

Step-by-Step Guide to Immigrating to Canada as a Nurse from India


Step 1: Get Your Credentials Evaluated

The first step is to have your educational credentials assessed by one of the five organizations recognized by the Canadian government. These include:
  1. World Education Services (WES)
  2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
  3. Comparative Education Service (CES)
  4. International Qualification Assessment Service (IQAS)
  5. International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

Step 2: Get Your Nursing Credentials Recognized by the NNAS

The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) is responsible for evaluating the credentials of internationally educated nurses. Applicants must create a profile on the NNAS website and submit all required documents, including proof of identity and language test results (IELTS). This assessment determines eligibility to practice nursing in Canada.

Step 3: Apply for The Right Province

After getting your credentials recognized, the next step is to apply for the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) of your chosen province. Each province has its own application process and criteria, so it’s important to research thoroughly and choose the province that best fits your professional background and preferences.

Step 4: Create an Express Entry Profile

If you are applying through the Express Entry system, create an online profile and submit it to the Express Entry pool. Ensure all your information is accurate and up-to-date to maximize your CRS score.

Step 5: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Once your profile is in the Express Entry pool, you will be ranked based on your CRS score. If you meet the cut-off score for a particular draw, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR.

Step 6: Submit Your PR Application

Upon receiving an ITA, you have 60 days to submit a complete PR application. This includes providing all necessary documents and paying the applicable fees. Ensure your application is thorough and accurate to avoid delays or rejections.

Step 7: Attend Medical and Security Checks

All applicants must undergo medical and security checks to ensure they meet Canada’s health and security requirements. This step is crucial as it ensures the safety and well-being of all Canadian residents.

Step 8: Receive Your PR Visa

If your application is approved, you will receive your PR visa. This allows you to move to Canada and begin your new life as a permanent resident.

Step 9: Arrive in Canada

Once you have your PR visa, you can make arrangements to move to Canada. Upon arrival, you will need to complete some final procedures such as attending a landing interview and obtaining your PR card.


Immigrating to Canada as a nurse from India is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and adherence to various requirements. However, the opportunities for professional growth, economic stability, and a high standard of living make it a worthwhile endeavor. For those seeking assistance, IRA Immigration offers comprehensive support, including job assistance, immigration guidance, and IELTS training.
If you are ready to take the next step towards a fulfilling career in Canada’s healthcare system, book a free consultation with IRA Immigration today. With their expertise and support, you can navigate the immigration process with confidence and ease.

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