Immigrate to Canada as an Occupational Therapist

Are you an occupational therapist in search of new job opportunities in Canada? As a highly skilled and experienced worker, you could pick and choose which of over 70 Canadian immigration programs to apply through. When you immigrate to Canada as an Occupational Therapist (OT) you could also expect to earn a very attractive salary. Most experienced OTs earn an average salary of $76,811 but could earn up to $100,225 depending on which province you choose to move to Canada.    

There are currently hundreds of jobs in Canada for occupational therapists, not to mention excellent work benefits. When you choose to live and work in Canada as an OT, you can also enjoy the amazing benefits, such as free public healthcare as well as primary and secondary schooling for you and your loved ones. Canada is also one of the safest, multicultural, and friendliest nations in the world, making it easy for you and your loved ones to settle into your new home in Canada.

There are various ways to immigrate to Canada in 2020, but we’ve highlighted the top Canadian immigration options for occupational therapists that are proving to be highly successful in the visa application process. 

To speak to one of our consultants and have your eligibility assessment done by a verified service, simply click the link below or continue reading to find out which options are best for you. 

Jobs in Canada: Is There a Demand for Occupational Therapists in Canada?

occupation therapist with child | immigrate to Canada

Occupational therapists are and will be highly in demand, over the next few years, in almost every province in Canada. In the latest job opportunity report from Job Bank, Canada has predicted a labour shortage for OTs in provinces over the next 3 years at a national level, especially in provinces such as British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan. This is due to significant growth in the medical sector as well as skilled professionals retiring earlier being promoted.

Over the next few years, it is estimated that there will be 11,800 new jobs created due to expansion, leaving thousands of job opportunities for foreign healthcare professionals like occupational therapists who want to work in Canada in the near future.

How Much Does an Occupational Therapist Make in Canada?

person working out finances with calculator and money | immigrate to Canada

As an occupational therapist, you could earn a very attractive salary when you choose to live and work in Canada. The average national salary is approximately $76,811 but you could earn up to $100,225 depending on which province or territory you work in and your level of experience. Below are the average salaries (according to Neuvoo) for OTs that are currently in demand across the country: 

Average Annual Salaries for Occupational Therapists in Canada
OccupationAverage Salary/Year (CAD)
Alberta$68,347 - $80,000
British Columbia$71,653 - $84,000
Manitoba$54,848 - $69,000
New Brunswick$55,000 - $77,000
Newfoundland & Labrador$76,811 - $83,519
Northwest Territories$92,976 - $104,208
Nunavut$93,935 - $99,743
Ontario$61,713 - $78,000
Prince Edward Island$67,521 - $73,915
Quebec$58,958 - $59,000
Saskatchewan$77,535 - $88,110
Yukon$76,811 - $83,761

What Benefits Do Doctors Get in Canada?

employee benefits for occupational therapists | immigrate to Canada

When you land that dream job in Canada, you can expect it to come with fantastic work benefits, for both you and your family. Below are some of the fantastic work benefits that you can look forward to when you immigrate to Canada as an occupational therapist.  

  • Extended health care such as prescription drugs, vision care, dental; (depending on employer)
  • Full family benefits including health and dental plan; (depending on employer)
  • Additional training;
  • Wellness Memberships (depending on the employer);
  • Life insurance;
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance;
  • Short and long term disability benefits;
  • Pension plan;
  • Paid vacation and holidays (30 - 36 days paid annual leave + sick days & other leave such as 10 - 18 official holidays);
  • Emergency (Compassionate) leave;
  • Work-life balance.

It is important to note that these benefits may vary from province to province, whether you are employed on a full or part-time basis as well as years of work experience.

How Can Occupational Therapists Apply for Canadian Immigration?

smiling beautiful woman typing on laptop in front of colleagues | work in Canada

Applying for occupational therapist jobs in Canada, let alone tackling the Canadian immigration process on your own, can be an overwhelming task, but we’ve highlighted 4 essential steps to take when starting the visa application process. 

Step 1: Choose your Destination

Deciding where you would like to live and work in Canada is crucial because this may assist you in narrowing down your visa or immigration program choices. You may also find that although there may be more high-paying job opportunities in a particular province or territory, it may not be affordable and the lifestyle may not be what you are looking for. So before you start applying for jobs in Canada, do some research on your chosen province or territory and make sure that it is the right fit for you and your loved ones. You may want to start by finding out where occupational therapists are in-demand here. 

Step 2: Get Registered and Assessed

In order to live and work in Canada as an occupational therapist and have a foreign qualification, you will first have to check if your qualification is recognized in Canada. You can check this on the World Directory of Medical Schools. If it is recognized, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). An ECA verifies that your degree, diploma, or certificate is valid and equal to Canadian standards. Below is a list of official designated organizations that can do your assessment: 

  • Comparative Education Service - University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services;
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS); and
  • International Credential Evaluation Service.

Please note that once you arrive in Canada, some provinces will require that you register with a Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. It is best to check what the application procedures and fees are with the provincial or territorial government that you are planning to move to.   

young occupational therapist helping child exercise | move to Canada

Step 3: Apply for a job in Canada

Although this is not compulsory for all immigration programs and visas and is not a prerequisite for Express Entry, we highly recommend trying to find employment before you immigrate to Canada. This will not only improve your chances of getting an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada but will also alleviate a lot of the stress associated with searching for a job in a new country, after all, you’ll most certainly have your hands full with other things when you first arrive in Canada such as finding accommodation, opening a bank account, finding a cell phone and internet provider, and so on.

For top tips on how to land a job in Canada in 2020 visit our blog here.

Step 4: Choose your immigration program and start the application process

There are various ways to immigrate to Canada as an occupational therapist but we’ve listed the top 2 ways that will give you the highest chances of success:

  1. Express Entry system;
  2. Provincial Nominee Program;

1. Express Entry

The Express Entry (EE) system is a points-based system that manages 3 Canadian federal economic immigration programs.: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Trade Worker Program (FSTP), and the Canada Experience Class (CEC). As a highly-skilled professional, you would qualify to apply through the FSWP or the CEC (if you have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience). Your EE application will be entered into draws, which usually takes place every 2 weeks, and ranked against other applicants according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Use our CRS calculator to find out your score. Applicants with the highest scores will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. The Express Entry system is one of the most popular ways to immigrate to Canada as it does not require a job offer in Canada, allowing you to work anywhere, and that the application process can take as little as 6 months.  

2. Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program allows you to live and work in Canada if your occupation meets the labour demands of that particular province or territory. Each province/territory has its own PNP with specific in-demand occupations and if you receive a provincial nomination, which is worth 600 extra points you are basically guaranteed to receive an ITA for Canadian permanent residence. As mentioned previously, almost every PNP has a stream linked to the Express Entry system, which will speed up your application process from approximately 18 months if you apply directly to the province to 6 months when you apply through Express Entry.

Occupational therapists are in demand in 3 provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Below is a list of PNP streams or categories, in each province or territory, for occupational therapists who want to immigrate to Canada. 

Canadian PNP Immigration for Occupational Therapists
Province/TerritoryImmigration Stream/Category
British ColumbiaHealthcare Professional Category
Express Entry Skilled Worker Category
ManitobaSkilled Workers Overseas Stream
SaskatchewanInternational Skilled Worker: Occupation In-demand Category
International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream

Visit our blog here for more information on how to immigrate to Canada in 2020.

Ready to start your Canadian journey? Simply click the link below and let's get started!

How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada as an OT

smiling couple with consultant | immigrate to Canada

Applying for a visa can be time-consuming and confusing. With strict deadlines, procedures, and requirements to adhere to, it can be easy to make a mistake that could cost you your chance to immigrate to Canada as an Occupational Therapist. But with the guidance and assistance of one of our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s), the process will be stress-free.   

When you choose to use our expert and government trusted services, you will receive:

  • An in-depth eligibility assessment
  • Guidance on which of 70+ immigration programs and visas to choose from;
  • An immigration plan tailored to your individual needs;
  • A review and submission of all application forms and documentation; as well as
  • Support through every step of the application process.

All you have to do is fill out our application form to receive your eligibility assessment and let us take care of the rest. It’s just that simple! Your Canadian journey starts here.

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