How to Get a Canada Work Visa as a Doctor in 5 Easy Steps

Canada, like any country, is in desperate need of doctors. Medical professionals are highly in demand in multiple provinces in Canada. One of the best ways to become a doctor in Canada as soon as possible is to obtain a work visa or work permit. A Canadian work permit will allow you to live and work in Canada for the given length of your occupation and is a surefire first step if you're looking to eventually gain permanent residence or citizenship in Canada. The question, however, is how does one get a Canada work visa as a doctor? The process is relatively simple but must be done correctly to ensure your journey to Canada starts on its best foot. Below is a simple, five-step process designed to ensure you can do that.

Step 1: Choose Your Destination


The best way to start your process of getting a work permit in Canada is to first look into which is the best province in Canada for you.

To find the right destination, there are three pivotal factors. You must ensure you know the cost of living, in-demand jobs and regulations of the province you've chosen before applying.

While all Canadian provinces have specific benefits, the most important aspect to focus on is when looking to get a Canada work visa as a doctor, where will be the best place to work. A great way to work this out is to consult the list of top in-demand jobs in Canada and break it down on a province-by-province basis.

Once you've chosen a province, you will find that each province has multiple immigration and visa programs to choose from. Sticking to one particular province or territory can narrow the breadth of your search, making finding the perfect program for you a far simpler process. Each province also has specific regulations when it comes to gaining a work permit which should also be factored into your choice.

On top of this, you must make sure the cost of living of the province when compared to your projected earnings is to your satisfaction as the cost of living can differ vastly, depending on which province you choose to live in.

For example, in Nova Scotia the average family doctor earns around CA$228,179 per year with the average cost of living for a single person in Halifax, Nova Scotia is around CA$14,500 per year. In comparison, family physicians in New Brunswick make around CA$180,291 per year with the average cost of living for a single person in Moncton, New Brunswick being around CA$14,160 per year. This shows that a doctor in Halifax will usually have more buying power than one in Moncton.

Step 2: Validate Your Credentials

As a doctor, getting a work permit in Canada requires you to validate your medical credentials. If you qualified as a doctor outside of Canada, you must check if your qualification is recognized in Canada via the World Directory of Medical Schools. If it is, you'll likely need to complete an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to verify your qualification in comparison to Canadian standards.

Once your credentials are validated, you must take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination MCCQE part I and part II. MCCQE Part I is to check your medical knowledge as well as your ability to make decisions in a medical setting. MCCQE Part II checks your ability to apply your medical knowledge as well as show your clinical skills and professional mannerisms.

If you have at least 1 year of postgraduate training in a clinical or medical setting, you will be presented with a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) as well as a certificate of registration. You cannot get a medical license in Canada without one.

You will also have to complete province-specific medical training upon your arrival in Canada from one of Canada's medical regulatory authorities. Below is a list of each province's regulatory authority.

Medical Regulatory Authorities in Canada
Province/TerritoryMedical Regulatory Authority
AlbertaCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
British ColumbiaCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
ManitobaCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba
New BrunswickCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
Newfoundland and LabradorCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest TerritoryGovernment of the Northwest Territories
Nova ScotiaCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
NunavutNunavut Department of Health and Social Services Medical Registration Committee
OntarioCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Prince Edward IslandCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island
QuébecCollège des médecins du Québec
SaskatchewanCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
YukonYukon Medical Council

Recently, the parliamentary secretary to the immigration minister of Canada announced the Canadian government will be budgeting CA$1.5million to help foreigners with medical qualifications have their qualifications validated. This article will explain how this affects you.

Step 3: Get A Job Offer


Once you've found where you want to live and work in Canada and validated your credentials, the next major step on your path to getting a Canada work visa as a doctor is to have a job offer with a Canadian employer for a job that requires you to live in Canada.

While this may not be necessary for all immigration programs, having a job waiting for you when you arrive in Canada is vital for getting a work permit in Canada. Your prospective employer has to prove that they were unable to fill the vacancy through the local job market using a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You need to have both a copy of your letter of employment and a copy of a positive LMIA to submit with your work permit application.

If you're unsure of how to go about getting a job in Canada, this article will have plenty of helpful pointers to help you make that process as quick and easy as possible.

Step 4: Ensure Your Eligibility

Once you've got your job offer, all that's left to do is apply for your Canadian work visa. However, you should ensure you will qualify for a work permit, having gone through this whole process. The Canadian government has very simple yet immovable requirements for one to qualify for a work visa. They are as follows:

  • You must prove that you will leave Canada as soon as your work permit expires.
  • You must have proof of sufficient funds to support not only yourself in Canada but also all dependents you plan on bringing with you when you move to Canada as well as sufficient funds for all of you to leave once your work permit expires.
  • You must have a clear criminal record, as proven by a police background check.
  • You must be in good enough health to not put pressure on the Canadian medical system.
  • You will have to sit a medical exam to prove this.
  • You have to prove your employer is eligible to employ you via the presentation of your LMIA.

If you can prove all of these factors, you will be considered eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit. If you're unsure of your eligibility or wonder if something may count against you, click the button below to speak to a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) who will be able to assist you in not only guaranteeing your eligibility but also help you find which program you're most eligible for.

Step 5: Apply for a Work Permit


Once you've made sure your credentials are valid, landed a job offer and ensured your eligibility, it's time to apply on the Canadian government website. This is probably the best way to apply as it will considerably shorten your application time and costs. On top of this, if you need to submit any further documentation, your delays will be massively shortened if you apply online.

There is no one specific processing time as the process changes depending on your country of origin. The process can take either as little as two weeks or as much as over 6 months. An RCIC can help you speed the process up as much as possible, as they have the power to validate your documents before they're even submitted, meaning the Canadian government doesn't have to validate them.

One of the major factors that can increase the processing time is submitting incomplete or incorrect documentation. An RCIC can also help to sort out any gaps in your application before you submit it.


Can working as a doctor in canada lead to Permanent Residence in Canada?

Yes. There are multiple ways to gain permanent residence as a doctor in Canada. The most popular is to apply for the Canada Experience Class of the Express Entry program. This program is specifically for immigrants who already live and work in Canada under a visa like a work permit. However, here is a list of Immigration streams for doctors in Canada.

Canadian Immigration for Doctors
Province/TerritoryImmigration Stream/Category
AlbertaAlberta Opportunity Stream
British ColumbiaHealthcare Professional Category
Express Entry Skilled Worker Category
ManitobaSkilled Workers Overseas Stream
New BrunswickExpress Entry Skilled Worker Stream
Newfoundland and LabradorSkilled Worker Stream
Northwest TerritoriesSkilled Worker Stream
Nova ScotiaPhysicians Stream
Labour Market Priorities for Physicians Stream
OntarioExpress Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream
Express Entry French-speaking Skilled Worker Stream
Prince Edward IslandExpress Entry Stream
SaskatchewanInternational Skilled Worker Category
YukonSkilled Worker Stream

How many hours per week do doctors work in Canada?

This usually depends on the discipline of the doctor but general practitioners in Canada tend to work between 35 and 40 hours a week.

What are some of the benefits doctors in Canada receive?

Doctors have a massively increased opportunity to gain permanent residency in Canada. On top of this, they have premium healthcare including life insurance, a pension plan, full family benefits and semi-private hospitalization.

Let's Get Started!


Having the opportunity of getting a work permit in Canada as a doctor can be the choice that can change your life. Due to Canada's world-class healthcare system, the high quality of life of doctors, and the regard in which doctors are held, working as a doctor in Canada can be a phenomenal opportunity. To be sure of how to process your documents, which program to apply to and your eligibility for said program, click the button below and an RCIC will make sure you can start your Canadian journey today!