How to Immigrate to Canada as a Psychologist

Psychology is an important profession in Canada, with a large number of psychologist posts available every year. Becoming a psychologist in Canada can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires a great deal of work and preparation. This article will discuss the different routes and requirements for immigrating to Canada as a psychologist and what being a psychologist in Canada is like.

Moving to Canada as a Psychologist

Moving to Canada As a Psychologist

For those hoping to immigrate to Canada as a psychologist, the most common route is through the Express Entry system. This requires passing the Canadian Psychological Association's (CPA) certification exam and gaining a passing score on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test. Once these requirements have been met, applicants can register for the Express Entry pool and be considered for a spot.

The other route to becoming a psychologist in Canada is to qualify for one of the many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Each PNP has different requirements, but most require a psychology degree from an accredited university, proof of CLB proficiency, and a passing score on the CPA's certification exam. Furthermore, each PNP has its own specific requirements, so it is important to research them thoroughly.

Once in Canada, psychologists need to obtain a provincial license to practice. This involves passing the CPA's certification exam and completing a course of supervised practice in the province of residence.

Being a psychologist in Canada is a rewarding experience, with many professional and personal growth opportunities. Canada is home to some of the leading psychology research institutions and offers many job opportunities. Psychologists in Canada can enjoy a high quality of living with excellent healthcare and education options.

How to Apply

How to Apply

There are a few ways to start paving the way to permanent residence in Canada, including sponsorship and studies in Canada. However, the two most popular ways to immigrate are the PNP as well as the federal programs under the Express Entry system.

Provincial Nominee Program

The PNP was designed to address specific labour market shortages in the 11 out of 13 participating provinces and territories in Canada. This is also the most direct way to settle in a chosen province as an unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled worker. The following are streams aimed at psychologists and specialists such as psychiatrists. The occupation is found under TERR 1 code 31200.

Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Alberta Opportunity Stream
  • Alberta Express Entry Stream
British Columbia
  • Skills Immigration - Healthcare Professional Category (Specialist Psychiatric)
  • Skills Immigration - Skilled Worker Category
  • Express Entry British Columbia - Skilled Worker Category
  • Express Entry British Columbia - Healthcare Professional Category
  • Skilled Worker Overseas - Human Capital Pathway
  • Skilled Worker Overseas - Manitoba Express Entry Pathway
New Brunswick
  • Express Entry Labour Market Stream
Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker
  • Skilled Worker Category
Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Physician Stream (Specialist/Psychiatrist)
  • Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream
Prince Edward Island
  • PEI PNP Express Entry
  • Labour Impact Category - Skilled Worker Stream
  • International Skilled Worker - Occupations In-Demand
  • Saskatchewan Experience Category - Health Professionals
Northwest Territories
  • Northwest Territories — Express Entry Stream
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Yukon Express Entry (YEE)
  • Skilled Worker

Express Entry System

Canada’s government offers three federal government programs that are umbrellaed by the Express Entry system. These programs are as follows:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program and
  • The Canadian Experience Class
These programs have been fast-tracked to a processing time of as little as six months since 2015 to meet the immigration goals proposed for 2023-2025. This is also the fastest way to immigrate to Canada as a psychologist in any of the subcategories of the profession.

To apply for these programs, candidates need to create an online profile through Express Entry that is then scored by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). These profiles (if eligible) are then entered into the Express Entry pool and the highest-scoring applicants are drawn and issued with Invitations to Apply (ITA). This happens typically every two weeks.

CRS Criteria Awards Points For:

  • Age
  • CLB Language proficiency (English and French)
  • Level of Education (In and outside Canada)
  • Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
  • Arranged employment
  • Provincial Nomination achieved
  • Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
  • Your spouse’s profile (if married)

Improving Your CRS Score

There are a few ways to improve your CRS score, including gaining further qualifications, obtaining more work experience, improving your language skills and securing a job offer in an in-demand occupation. However, the biggest impact is being nominated by a province or territory participating in the PNP.

Nominations add 600 points to your CRS score, effectively guaranteeing an ITA because of the average score achieved thus far. To apply for a nomination, candidates must either wait for a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the province/territory or submit an Expression of Interest to a stream they are eligible for. This is separate from Express Entry and is updated at the same time.

Benefits of Working in Canada as a Psychologist

Benefits of working in Canada as a psychologist

Psychologists in Canada enjoy a wide array of benefits and opportunities for career growth. From the various locations to work in and the excellent wages to the numerous job opportunities, working as a psychologist in Canada has many benefits.


Canada is a large country with a diverse range of regions, climates, and cultures. This provides psychologists with a range of options when selecting a location to work. From rural and remote areas to major cities, psychologists are able to find work that suits their lifestyle and comfort level.

You can learn more about all the parts of Canada you can live in.


Canadian psychologists enjoy good wages compared to other professions. The average annual salary for psychologist in Canada, according to is around $99,000, with wages varying by experience and location.

Employment Opportunities

Canada has a growing number of job opportunities for psychologists. The demand for psychologists is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with healthcare and mental health needs increasing.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most in-demand occupations in Canada’s provinces.

Continuing Education

Canada is home to many schools that offer continuing education in psychology. These range from short courses to longer post-doctorate programs. This allows psychologists to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field.

Find out which of Canada’s Universities are right for you here.

Overall, working as a psychologist in Canada greatly combines career opportunities, wages, and continuing education. With the increasing demand for psychological services, psychologists in Canada can rest assured that their job security and earning potential are rising.

What We Do For You

what we do for you

We have a group of three Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who work to develop a personalized immigration strategy for you. These professionals have all been through the application period and are in the best position to ease your worries and give you the best advice. Their job is to help you assess your eligibility for the different pathways, gather the correct documents and submit them on time to immigration officers.



Is Psychology in High Demand in Canada?

Psychologists are in great demand throughout all 11 provinces and territories in Canada, with highly qualified professionals earning between $71,200 and $110,400 per year.

What Does a Psychologist Do?

Psychologists and psychiatrists have different responsibilities, and many fields within psychology and psychiatry deal with industry, private clients and hospitals alike. Daily work often extends to examining patients, engaging in talk therapy, conducting research or prescribing medication (if licensed). Psychologists in Canada are also held accountable by the Canadian Psychological Association.

Some of the occupation titles are as follows:

  • Child psychologist;
  • Neuropsychologist;
  • Educational psychologist;
  • Industrial psychologist;
  • Developmental psychologist;
  • and others.

What are the Requirements to Work as a Psychologist in Canada?

In Canada, you must have studied for at least four years and be registered with the correct board. If you are immigrating you need to have your credentials assessed as well as register in order to practice. 

Tests: The tests you need to pass depend on the province you are going to work in. For example, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is one of two written exams that applicants must pass in order to earn a certificate of registration that allows them to practice autonomously in Ontario.

Licence: Psychologists, like other health care providers, must be licensed in Canada to practice. Regulatory organizations in each Canadian jurisdiction issue licenses to practice.