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Immigration

Each year, Ontario welcomes more immigrants than any other province in Canada. Many newcomers are highly qualified professionals who have specialized skills and knowledge to offer. The Ontario government is committed to helping newcomers integrate quickly into the workforce and society.

If you’d like to work as a health care professional in Ontario, you’ll either need to have Canadian citizenship, permanent residency or authorization to work in Canada. In addition, you need to contact the regulatory college of your profession for information on which type of status is required for registration (in addition to training and examination requirements).

Work Permit

A work permit is a document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that allows a foreign national (someone who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident) to work in Canada.

To obtain a work permit, generally you must have a job offer from a Canadian employer that is approved by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada through a Labour Market Opinion. Additionally, you must be in good health, have no criminal record and demonstrate that you will comply with immigration requirements as a temporary resident. If you’re coming to provide patient care, you also need to complete a medical examination.

You would typically apply for a work permit at a Canadian visa office outside Canada, especially if it's the first application.

Contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the federal department that establishes immigration policy and determines who can enter Canada, for information on obtaining a work permit.

Permanent Residency

To move to Ontario as a permanent resident -- someone who is not a Canadian citizen but has the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada -- you must apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the federal government department that establishes immigration policy and determines who can enter Canada.

There are a number of immigration categories that health professionals may be eligible to apply under including Federal Skilled Worker Class, Provincial Nominee Class, Canada Experience Class or Family Class:

  • In the Federal Skilled Worker Class, candidates must have experience in an eligible occupation or have a permanent job offer from an employer in Canada and meet a minimum score on a selection point system that takes into account a number of criteria including education, experience, age and language ability.
  • In the Provincial Nominee Class, individuals must have a job offer from an Ontario employer and meet occupational licensing requirements.
  • Canada Experience Class accepts applications from people who have worked temporarily in Canada for at least 1 year.
  • Family Class includes people who may be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouses.

All applicants must also meet medical and background admissibility requirements.

To maintain permanent residency, you must reside in Canada for at least 2 years in a 5-year period.

Further information about these categories and applying for permanent residence is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Citizenship

After residing in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 years in a 4-year period, you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. Further information is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Settlement

The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration offers a Newcomer Settlement Program that supports many initiatives, including bridge training for health care positions for internationally trained individuals.

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration website provides an overview of life in Ontario, along with guides on the practical aspects of living, working, doing business and studying in the province. It includes information on planning for your move and tips on getting settled after you arrive. There are links to information to help you find employment and a place to live, enrol children in school, learn English and apply for health insurance.

Another useful resource for newcomers to Ontario is Settlement.org, a website with numerous articles and guides to help you get settled.

Contact

Please note: This information does not constitute advice or complete information on legal requirements. For all inquiries relating to the immigration requirements and processes in Canada, please consult with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada or your local visa office.