How To Immigrate To Canada As A Nurse In 2017

Canada has opened its doors to nurses trained abroad. This is how to immigrate to Canada as a nurse.

It is important to understand that all Canadian provinces have their own requirements, regulations (including professional designations such as LPN, RPN or RN) and mandatory qualifications that must all be met by nurses working in Canada.

We have helped narrow down how the system works so that you can learn how to become a practicing nurse in the land of the maple leaf.

Update on How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse in 2018

how to immigrate to canada as a nurse

Because Canada has such a shortage of skilled nursing professionals, there are a number of visa programs that have been created for just this reason. Here are just a few nurse-specific programs you can apply for.

Visa programs and systems for nurses in Canada:

Express Entry;
Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW); and
Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) like:
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP),
  • which is an immigration stream created specifically for physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses and registered nurse practitioners. For this program, you need a job offer from a British Columbian employer.
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), which is a program made for nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals. To qualify you must have already worked in the province for six months.

Get Your Nursing Credentials Assessed

The first step to living and working in Canada as a nurse is to get all your qualifications assessed and converted into North American standards by either the:

  • National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS); or
  • Canadian Nurses Association (CAN)

To do this, you must also have a clear idea about what Canadian province you wish to live and work in.

It’s important to note that registration requirements vary between province and territory, and there are different nursing regulatory bodies in each province and territory.

If you do not know where to start, here is a list of nursing regulatory bodies in Canada and where you can find them.

Province Nurse Qualification Regulatory Body Address
British Columbia Registered and Practical Nurses British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals 200 Granville St. Vancouver
Ontario Registered Nurses College of Nurses of Ontario 101 Davenport Rd.Toronto
Saskatchewan Registered Nurse Saskatchewan Registered Nurse Association 2066 Retallack Street, Regina
Manitoba Registered Nurses College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba 890 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg
Manitoba Practical Nurses Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba 463 St. Anne’s Road Winnipeg
Alberta Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta 13163 146 St NW, Edmonton
Alberta Registered Nurses College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta 11620 168 St NW, Edmonton
Yukon Practical and Registered Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC 900 – 200 Granville St. Vancouver, BC
Northwest Territories & Nunavut Registered Nurses Registered Nurses of the Northwest Territories And Nunavut Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R1
Nova Scotia Registered Nurses College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia 4005-7071 Bayers Rd, Halifax
Nova Scotia Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia Starlite Gallery, 302 – 7071 Bayers Road, Halifax
Prince Edward Island Registered Nurses College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island 161 Maypoint Rd #6, Charlottetown, PE
Prince Edward Island Licensed Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Prince Edward Island 155 Belvedere Ave #204, Charlottetown
Newfoundland and Labrador Registered Nurses Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador 55 Military Road St. John’s, NL
Newfoundland and Labrador Licensed Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland & Labrador 209 Blackmarsh Road, St. John’s, NL
New Brunswick Registered Nurses Nurses Association of New Brunswick 165 Regent Street Fredericton NB
New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses 384 Smythe Street, Fredericton, NB
Quebec Registered Nurses Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec 4200 Rue Molson, Montréal
Quebec Licensed Practical Nurses Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec 3400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O bureau 1115, Montreal

The Next Step on How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse

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If you are an internationally qualified nurse and have chosen the province or visa program that you wish to apply for, you must then set up an account with the NNAS before your application can be examined by the province or territory nursing board.

This application will involve a fee so remember to budget appropriately. You will also have to submit educational and work experience documents to verify your certifications.

When your account is complete, the NNAS will evaluate you. They will send you an Advisory Report. This report will also be sent to the nursing regulatory board.

If you wish to do so, you are allowed to apply directly to the regulatory body of your choice, though this will involve an additional fee. You can do this from your NNAS online account.

Please note that it is the regulatory body, not NNAS, who determine if you are eligible to register. The regulatory body will also say whether you need additional assessments or if you must take additional courses.

Permanent Residency

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The next step is to determine if you want to apply for permanent residency or temporary residency (with a work permit), for example, Quebec has a Skilled Worker program for permanent residency.

It’s a gateway to earning permanent residency without first securing a job. It’s also a point-based selection system with points awarded for:

  • Work experience;
  • Education level;
  • Age;
  • Language ability; and
  • Area of expertise

With enough required points, applicants can eventually attain a Canadian permanent residence Work Visa. Higher points are awarded for greater levels of education, area of expertise, and the ability to fluently speak French.

The Federal Skilled Work program also enables qualified nurses to achieve permanent residency without the need of securing a valid job offer.

However, it should be noted that both categories are highly competitive and only those applicants with outstanding skills and experience, as well as high English or French language proficiency, will qualify.

Temporary Residency

Temporary residency may be obtained through a work permit and a valid job offer. Educational credentials are assessed prior to approval for temporary residency. Credentials may be assessed both inside and outside of the country. Once the educational credentials have been reviewed and accepted, you are then able to register as a nurse in Canada.

How can we help you?

Want to know how to immigrate to Canada as a nurse but you are not sure where to start? We are happy to help you.

We have assisted numerous healthcare professionals immigrate to Canada over the years through the many programs we have mentioned above. If you want to start the visa application just sign up here to get started on your way to Canada.

At, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) are members in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). They have the experience and expertise to guide you through the visa application process, from the selection of immigration category to preparing and filing your application.

They will also assist you in preparing you for an interview and they will follow up on your application with the visa office. The fact that our offices are situated in Vancouver, Canada means our clients’ applications are evaluated and processed as per the latest updated rules and regulations from the Canadian government.