Easier access to permanent residence for physicians in Canada to help address doctor shortages

Sean Fraser, Immigration minister of Canada announced an important change to the immigration system that will make it easier for foreign-born doctors to obtain permanent residency in Canada.

“Before, the federal Express Entry system excluded many self-employed doctors from applying for Permanent Residency. Going forward, we will exempt physicians from this rule, which will open up a pathway for those who are here temporarily to stay for the long-term.” said Sean

Some physicians have faced barriers in accessing permanent residence through, Canada’s flagship programs for skilled workers managed under the Express Entry system, as the “fee-for-service” model used in Canada for health care professionals is outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship. As a result, some physicians are currently considered self-employed, leaving them unable to meet the eligibility criteria of the economic pathways for permanent residency.

To address this challenge, Minister Fraser announced that IRCC is exempting physicians, who work in a fee-for-service model with public health authorities, from current requirements. This change recognizes the unique employment model used in Canada’s health care system, and will provide physicians with access to Canada’s economic permanent residence programs. This will mean that a greater number of those physicians already here and filling crucial vacancies in our health care sector can remain here permanently.

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