Canada’s Immigration Strategies to Increase Healthcare Workers in Canada with a Spotlight on British Columbia and Saskatchewan 

Canada’s Immigration Strategies to Increase Healthcare Workers in Canada with a Spotlight on British Columbia and Saskatchewan 

Government of Canada Immigration Initiatives for Healthcare Workers

In Canada, immigrants account for approximately 1 in 4 healthcare workers. Immigrants make up 23% of registered nurses, 37% of pharmacists, 36% of physicians, and 39% of dentists. The healthcare sector across Canada is experiencing unprecedented worker shortages. With a total of 96,000 unfilled healthcare positions in Canada at the end of 2022, the Government of Canada has sought to increase immigration of healthcare workers. To do so, Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada has made changes to the Express Entry program, Canada’s major economic immigration program for permanent residency. The Government of Canada can now issue specific invitations to apply for permanent residency to health workers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, and optometrists. Since the end of June 2023, two rounds of invitations have been issued, with a total of 2,000 healthcare workers being invited to apply for permanent residency.

Provincial Immigration Initiatives for Healthcare Workers

British Columbia 

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program enables the province to select and nominate foreign workers, international students, and entrepreneurs to help meet BC’s labour needs. If you are nominated by the Province, you and your family can apply to IRCC to become a permanent resident of Canada. Healthcare workers are a priority occupation in British Columbia for the Provincial Nominee Program. Priority occupations are specified occupations that have been identified by the Province of BC that may be invited to apply in periodic targeted draws. In August 2023, the Province nominated 127 healthcare workers for permanent residency through the BCPNP category draws.


In Saskatchewan, there are three different immigration categories that may allow foreign health care professionals to immigrate and obtain permanent residency. These categories are:

  • Saskatchewan Experience: Healthcare Professional
  • International Skilled Worker: Employment Offer
  • Hard-to-Fill Skills Pilots

A worker based in Saskatchewan with six months of full-time work experience in the province as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional can be nominated through the SINP Saskatchewan Experience Healthcare Professional category.

If you are an international healthcare worker looking to immigrate to Saskatchewan, you can create an expression of interest profile (EOI) to be contacted about job opportunities relevant to your skill set by the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) or Health employers. If you are selected and receive a job offer, you may be eligible to apply in the SINP International Skilled Worker: Employment Offer stream, or the Hard-to-fill Skills Pilot stream. This EOI profile provides the opportunity to link foreign trained healthcare professions with Saskatchewan healthcare employers. However, you are not required to use the EOI profile if you are able to independently get a valid job offer from a Saskatchewan employer. The International Healthcare Workers EOI system is open to many occupations including pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, nurses, public health professionals, chiropractors, midwives, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurse’s aids, and more.

Kahlon Immigration Law Services

If you are a healthcare worker looking to immigrate to Canada and obtain permanent residency, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kahlon Immigration Law. Our immigration lawyers and consultants would be happy to assist you on your journey through the provincial nominee programs and Canada’s express entry program. Obtaining permanent residency in Canada is highly sought after and is a competitive process with many specific requirements to be met. If you are an international healthcare worker, you may be able to take advantage of the increase in immigration options for such workers during this Canada-wide industry shortage.

4 Things to Consider if you are Seeking Refugee or Asylum Status in Canada

1. Who can obtain refugee status in Canada?

In 2022, the Government of Canada accepted over 28,000 asylum seekers, giving them status in Canada as “convention refugees” or “protected persons”. In Canada, the Immigration Refugee Board determines who is a convention refugee or person in need of protection, based on a specific set of criteria. To be a convention refugee, an individual must be outside of their home country and have a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group. To be a person in need of protection, an individual must be a person in Canada who would be subjected personally to a danger of torture, risk to their life, or a cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if they were returned to their home country. An individual can make a claim for refugee status at a port-of-entry (such as a border crossing, airport, etc.) or after they have already entered Canada.

2. Can a refugee claimant access any social services?

Besides meeting the criteria as either a convention refugee or a person in need of protection, an individual must be found eligible to make a claim for refugee status. Eligibility factors that are considered include:

  1. whether the claimant has committed a serious crime,
  2. made a previous claim in Canada,
  3. made a claim in another country,
  4. or received a protection in another country.

Although the refugee claim process can take several months or even years, once an individual is found eligible to make a claim for refugee status in Canada and while their claim is pending, they may have access to services such as social assistance, education, health services, and legal aid. In addition, once an individual has undergone the required medical examination, most individuals can apply for a work permit to begin working in Canada while their claim is pending.

3. What if I was in the United States prior to entering Canada?

Canada has an agreement with the United States, the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), which requires refugee claimants to seek protection in the first safe country they arrive in. For the purposes of this agreement, both Canada and the United States are considered “safe countries”. The terms of this agreement apply to all individuals who are making a refugee claim at a land port of entry or who enter Canada between ports of entry and make a claim within 14 days of entry. This agreement does not apply to those who arrive by sea or by airport. There are several exceptions for those who would typically be barred by making a refugee claim in Canada due to the STCA. These exceptions include refugee claimants who have family in Canada, unaccompanied minors under 18, individuals holding a valid Canadian travel document, and those who have been charged or convicted of an offence that could subject them to the death penalty in the US.

4. How can a lawyer help me with my claim?

The process of claiming refugee status in Canada is complex as there are very specific requirements that must be met for a person to obtain status as a refugee or protected person. It is essential that a refugee claimant submits a complete and detailed application that meets all the required criteria, as an individual only has one chance at making a successful refugee claim. A failed refugee claim will lead to a removal order and will prevent you from staying in Canada. In the case of a failed refugee claim, you may be able to make an application for a temporary resident permit, or a pre-removal risk assessment. However, these options will not be available until 12 months has passed since your failed claim. At Kahlon Immigration Law, our Refugee or Asylum lawyers can assist you in making your refugee claim, including preparing your claim, gathering supporting evidence and representing you at your hearing.

11 Things to Know about Minor Students Studying in Canada


Canada has emerged as a favored destination for minor students seeking a world-class education, exceptional quality of life, and a welcoming environment. In this guide, we’ll address the key questions and provide valuable insights for parents considering Canada as their child’s educational destination.

1. Why is Canada a popular destination for minor students?

Canada’s popularity as an educational hub for minor students stems from several factors:

  • Quality of Life: Canada consistently ranks high in global quality of life indexes. Its safe and inclusive society, coupled with stunning natural landscapes, offers an ideal environment for young learners.
  • Education Quality: Canadian institutions are renowned for their academic excellence and research contributions. The education system places a strong emphasis on critical thinking and practical learning.
  • Open and Inclusive Immigration Policy: Canada’s immigration policies are designed to welcome skilled individuals and their families. Graduates have pathways to permanent residency, making Canada an attractive long-term option.
  • Worldwide Recognition: Credentials earned in Canada are recognized globally, ensuring that students can compete on an international stage.

2. Can you give a brief introduction of the Canadian educational system for minors?

Canada’s educational system for minors is structured as follows:

Primary school generally runs from kindergarten or Grade 1 to Grade 7 while secondary school runs from Grades 8 to Grades 12 in most Canadian provinces and territories.

Each province has its own education regulations, curriculum, and grading system. This diversity ensures that educational offerings are tailored to local needs.

Parents can choose between public and private schools. Public schools are funded by the government and are generally more affordable, while private schools may offer specialized programs and smaller class sizes.

The school year usually starts in September and ends in June, with breaks for holidays in between.

3. How much will it cost for a minor to study in Canada?

Residents: Children of Canadian citizens, permanent residents, study permit and work permit holders can attend public schools for free.

International Students: For international students, costs vary. Tuition fees for international students in public primary and secondary schools can range from $10,000 to $20,000 per year, depending on the province and school.

Private schools charge tuitions to local students as well as international students. The fees for private schools can vary widely depending on their location, specialty, whether they are day schools or boarding schools.

4. How does the admission process look like for an international student?

Public Schools: Admission requirements vary by province and school. Generally, a minor international student will need to provide ID and transcripts and make an application to the district school board. A request for a certain school in the district can be made, but a spot is not guaranteed.

Private Schools: Private schools may have additional admission requirements. This may include a language proficiency test like IELTS, or an interview with the student and/ or the parents. Some schools charge an application fee as well.

5. How do I select the best school for my child?

Choosing a school that best suits your child’s needs requires thoughtful consideration of various factors. Keep in mind that the “best” school is not necessarily the one with the highest rankings, but rather the one that offers an environment where your child can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Academic Programs: Look into the school’s curriculum and teaching methods. Does the school offer a range of subjects that align with your child’s interests and aspirations? Consider if the teaching approach, such as project-based learning or a more traditional method, suits your child’s learning style.
  • Extracurricular Activities: A well-rounded education includes opportunities beyond the classroom. Investigate the extracurricular programs the school offers. These could include sports, arts, clubs, and community service. Choose a school that provides activities that resonate with your child’s passions and hobbies.
  • Class Sizes and Teacher-Student Ratios: Smaller class sizes often facilitate better student-teacher interaction and personalized attention. This can be particularly beneficial for minor students adjusting to a new environment. Consider whether your child would thrive in a smaller, more focused setting or a larger classroom dynamic.
  • Location: The school’s location can play a significant role in your child’s daily routine. Consider the commute, transportation options, and the overall accessibility of the school. Proximity to your place of residence and the availability of public transportation might influence your decision.
  • Values and Culture: Every school has its own unique culture and values. Research the school’s mission statement and educational philosophy. Make sure these align with your family’s values and the type of learning environment you want for your child.
  • Support Services: Schools that offer comprehensive support services can greatly benefit students, especially those transitioning to a new country. Look into services such as academic tutoring, counseling, and language support. These resources can contribute to your child’s academic success and emotional well-being.
  • Parent-Teacher Communication: Effective communication between parents and teachers is vital. Research how the school facilitates parent-teacher interaction, such as parent-teacher conferences, regular updates, and online platforms. A school that values parental involvement can create a more collaborative and supportive learning environment.

In the end, the “best” school is the one that is the most suitable match for your child’s unique qualities, needs, and aspirations. Take the time to visit schools, attend open houses, and engage with current students, parents, and teachers. Trust your instincts and involve your child in the decision-making process. By considering these factors, you can help ensure that your child’s educational experience in Canada is both fulfilling and enriching.

6. Can international students work in Canada?

While some international students are permitted to work off campus without a work permit, most primary and secondary level students are generally not eligible to work.

7. How does the college admission look like if my child graduates from a Canadian secondary school?

Admission to colleges and universities typically requires meeting language requirements (often IELTS or equivalent), achieving specific grade levels, and possibly additional standardized testing.

Some colleges and universities may waive the language requirements for graduates from a Canadian secondary school.

8. What’s the best age for minor student to come to Canada?

Younger children may adapt more easily to new environments and language learning. However, parents should consider both linguistic readiness and the potential cumulative costs of sending children at an early age.

9. Can I come to accompany my child when he or she is studying in Canada?

Parents can accompany their children but may need to apply separately for a visitor visa. It’s important to note that the study permit granted to the child does not automatically extend to parents. Each parent needs to submit a separate visa application to enter Canada legally if they are from a visa-required country. Once granted, the parents will have visitor status in Canada and in most cases will not be able to work legally in Canada.

In addition, if the child is travelling with only one parent, a travel consent letter signed by the non-accompanying parent will usually be required. This document provides written consent from the non-accompanying parent, allowing the child to travel with the accompanying parent.

10. When should I apply for schools and the study permit for my child?

Applying for school admission well in advance is essential, especially for popular institutions or programs. Many Canadian schools, both public and private, have limited spots available, and they can fill up quickly, particularly in high-demand grades or programs.

The study permit application process involves several steps, including gathering documents, submitting the application, and waiting for a decision from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In some cases, further documents may be requested, and this may cause further delays in processing. Processing times can vary depending on many factors such as the volume of applications received by IRCC and the complexity and completeness of your application. By applying well in advance for both school admission and the study permit, you provide yourself and your child with ample time to gather necessary documents, address any potential issues, and receive decisions in a timely manner. Generally, once your child has been admitted to a school, it is recommended to start the study permit application process a minimum of 3 months before the intended start date of your child’s school year.

11. What do I need to look out for in a minor’s study permit application?

Documents for a study permit application may include a letter of acceptance, proof of funds, a custodian declaration form, a travel consent letter among other documents.

Custodians may be required for students of certain age. The age of majority is 18 years in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan; and 19 years in the provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon. IRCC requires that minor children under the age of 17 must either come with their parent/legal guardian or have a custodian in Canada. As for minors 17 years of age and older, a custodian is optional, but an officer can request one on a case-by-case basis.

A Custodianship Declaration form must be included in the study permit application if a custodian is required. Both pages of the form must be completed. The first page needs to be signed by the custodian and notarized in Canada, and the second page needs to be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child and notarized in their home country. Although there is no expiry date for notarization in Canada, the IRCC’s general rule of thumb is that signatures on all forms are valid for 90 days only.

Conclusion: Embracing Your Child’s Canadian Education Journey

In this guide, we’ve revealed Canada’s allure as an educational sanctuary, rich in quality of life and academic excellence. With insights into admissions, costs, and essential documents, you are now ready to pursue the next step in the process by contacting our Canadian student visa immigration professionals to book a consultation. We are here to equip you to nurture your child’s path in Canada’s welcoming educational landscape. As you embark on this transformative journey, remember that each child’s story is unique. Welcome to a world of educational possibilities in Canada!

Occupations that are Eligible for the BCPNP Tech Program

The National Occupational Classification or NOC is Canada’s national system for describing occupations. The below NOCs are eligible for the BCPNP tech program. As a BC employer, if any of your employees fall into any of the below NOCs, they are eligible to be nominated for permanent residency by the province as well as get a new work permit or extend their current work permit.

If you are a foreign national that works in any of the below NOCs for a BC employer, you are eligible to be nominated for permanent residency and can obtain a work permit or can extend your current one.

Contact Kahlon Immigration Law today to apply for the BCPNP tech program.

BC PNP Tech Occupations

10030 Telecommunication carriers managers

20012 Computer and information systems managers

21100 Physicists and astronomers

21210 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries

21211 Data scientists

21220 Cybersecurity specialists

21221 Business systems specialists

21222 Information systems specialists

21223 Database analysts and data administrators

21230 Computer systems developers and programmers

21232 Software developers and programmers

21233 Web designers

21234 Web developers and programmers

21300 Civil engineers

21301 Mechanical engineers

21310 Electrical and electronics engineers

21311 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

21320 Chemical engineers

21399 Other professional engineers

22110 Biological technologists and technicians

22220 Computer network and web technicians

22221 User support technicians

22222 Information systems testing technicians

22310 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

22312 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics

50011 Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts

51111 Authors and writers (except technical)

51112 Technical writers

51120 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

52119 Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts

52112 Broadcast technicians

52113 Audio and video recording technicians

52120 Graphic designers and illustrators

53111 Motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and performing arts assistants and operators

Canada Is Attracting Foreign Tech Workers

It’s no surprise to hear that BC has been going through a labour shortage the last 5 years and this situation has only been amplified in the last couple of years by the Covid-19 situation. The province has not only been attracting tech employers like Amazon and Microsoft but is also a hub for its own tech-based companies like Hootsuite, Slack and EA Games, which have only continued to grow. Thus, it’s never been a better time for tech talent to immigrate to Canada especially with provincial programs like the BCPNP Tech program, which facilitates and prioritizes applications of foreign nationals working in the industry in BC, whether they are continuing to work in these positions or have received a new job offer from a tech company in BC. Through the BCPNP tech program tech professionals are nominated for permanent residency. Once nominated they are also supported for a work permit. This is a great option for tech professionals that either need a brand-new work permit or need to extend their work permit, while they wait to get approved for permanent residency. In addition, tech professionals will have the added assurance of obtaining permanent residency right away, giving them a concrete plan to settle in BC. Kahlon Immigration Law has been assisting BC tech employers and foreign tech professionals with their BCPNP applications, work permit and permanent residency applications since the BCPNP tech program opened in 2017. Contact Kahlon Immigration Law’s immigration lawyers specializing in working with tech companies and tech workers in every industry whether it be in IT, ecommerce, health tech, AI, NFTs, software, crypto, hardware, social media, etc.