Canadian Immigration News

Quebec Looking to Attract More Foreign Nurses to Fill Shortages

3.5 minute read
"Quebec is experiencing a shortage of nurses locally and the province is taking the route to hire more foreign nurses as a way to meet the current shortage. As per the information reported by the French-language media, Radio-Canada, the Quebec health network will conduct recruitment sessions in France and Belgium to 'attract at least 1,700 nurses and more than 200 orderlies” over the next few months.' "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 23, 2021
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Quebec is experiencing a shortage of nurses locally and the province is taking the route to hire more foreign nurses as a way to meet the current shortage. As per the information reported by the French-language media- Radio-Canada, the Quebec health network will conduct recruitment sessions in France and Belgium to “attract at least 1,700 nurses and more than 200 orderlies” over the next few months. 

The lockdowns and restrictions imposed due to the ongoing global pandemic have made it harder for Quebec to meet its usual shortages of nurses and orderlies with many quitting the profession or retiring early. The number of nurses being recruited from abroad has increased 5 times compared to 2 years ago. 

However, Quebec is not the only province facing such shortages, other provinces all around the country predicted this before the pandemic. Nursing jobs have increased over 50% in the last year, especially in intensive care units and emergency rooms, according to a report by the Globe and Mail.

This trend seems to rise based on the increased job postings by the health care sector in Canada. According to the January 2021 Labour Force Survey, the health care sector vacancy rate was higher than any other industry in Canada. Health care vacancies made up 1/5th or 112,700 of all vacancies posted in November 2020. 

This increase could be partly due to the decline in the immigration rate as a result of travel restrictions imposed during the ongoing pandemic. Immigrants are an important part of the healthcare system in Canada, immigrant nurses and orderlies make up 41.3% of the total share while foreign medical specialists make up 42.8%.

How Can You Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse?

As a foreign national, if you want to work as a nurse in Canada, you will be required to have all the standard qualifications required for the occupation. Your educational credentials and work experience must be assessed based on Canadian standards to gain a license to practice in Canada.

There are several federal and provincial programs available to foreign nurses who want to immigrate:

Quebec Immigration: 

If you are fluent in the French language and want to immigrate to Quebec, then you can apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). Quebec has the autonomy to nominate applicants for permanent residency to retain its unique identity. You will be required to obtain a Certificate of Selection (CSQ) from the Quebec government to be authorized to apply for permanent residency to the federal government.

You will also be required to demonstrate genuine intent to live and work in Quebec to gain permanent residency. 

Express Entry: 

Since nurses are considered skilled foreign workers, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry system. The Express Entry system manages applications for 3 federal economic immigration programs:

Most foreign nurses prefer to apply for the FSWP since it does not require you to have prior Canadian work experience. To apply, you must make an active Express Entry profile. Your profile will be assessed based on your age, education level, work experience and language proficiency. 

The highest-ranking applicants receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Your application is usually processed within 6 months through the Express Entry system. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 

If you want to settle down in a specific Canadian province, you can apply for its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). PNP streams are specially designed to fill local labor market shortages and prioritize applicants with skills and experience that match their needs. 

PNPs also offer Express Entry aligned immigration streams, allowing applicants to enjoy faster processing times. Gaining provincial nomination through the Enhanced Express Entry streams will get you 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points on your profile.

This virtually guarantees an ITA for permanent residency. Since most provinces are experiencing a shortage of medical staff, PNPs are an excellent choice to immigrate to Canada. Provinces like Nova Scotia offer special immigration streams for nurses and hold regular draws to target specific occupations such as nursing and physicians.

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