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Canada’s Simplified Immigration Process for Internationally-Trained Doctors

By July 10, 2023 August 27th, 2023 No Comments

Canada has made major strides in simplifying the immigration process for internationally-trained doctors who are looking to move to the country. This is great news for aspiring physicians hoping to start a new life in Canada, as the process has been drastically simplified to make it easier for them to find work in the country. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how Canada has changed its immigration process for internationally-trained doctors and what this could mean for those looking to move to the country.

Canada has recently implemented a new policy that exempts internationally-trained physicians from several work experience requirements for immigration. This simplified immigration process opens new pathways for these professionals who are in high demand in Canada. 

The new policy impacts two of Canada’s major immigration programs – the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW). Previously, physicians who were self-employed or had not had their work experience recognized as eligible under the CEC were unable to earn points under the program’s Comprehensive Ranking System. Additionally, physicians who were not able to secure job offers for a full year were also ineligible under the FSW. 

Under the temporary policy implemented late last month, internationally-trained physicians coming to work in Canada can now be exempted from these restrictions. This means that physicians can now earn points under the CEC and FSW and no longer need to wait a full year to receive a job offer. 

It’s important to note that there are still several requirements that physicians must meet in order to qualify for immigration to Canada. For example, physicians must obtain a medical license from the relevant provincial or territorial medical regulatory authority and complete a credential verification service offered by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC). 

Furthermore, Ottawa is actively encouraging more international physicians to immigrate to Canada in response to the country’s physician shortage. Family physicians in Canada have a median annual income of $216,833, with a low end of $76,759 and a high end of $451,997. Conversely, specialists have a median annual income of $273,510, ranging from $100,694 to $557,366. The job prospects for physicians and specialists in Canada are considered to be very good.

There are various programs through which physicians can immigrate to Canada. These include the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Worker Program, both of which have recently been modified for internationally-trained doctors. In addition to this simplified immigration process, provinces and territories in Canada can also recruit physicians through their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) offers a credential verification service for doctors looking to practice medicine in Canada.

It is worth noting that the Canadian government has set ambitious immigration targets for the coming years. For 2023, the target is 465,000 new permanent residents, followed by 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. This reflects Canada’s commitment to welcoming skilled professionals, including physicians, to address the country’s healthcare needs and boost its economy.

Provinces And Territories Can Recruit Physicians Through Their PNPs

One of the most significant developments in Canada’s immigration policy is the ability of internationally trained doctors to enter Canada through the Provincial Nominee Programs. Several PNP streams have been created specifically for this purpose, including the Saskatchewan Health Professionals stream, Nova Scotia’s Physician stream and Labour Market Priorities for Physician stream, among others.

The Medical Council of Canada also plays a crucial role in facilitating the entry of foreign doctors to Canada. They offer a Credential Verification Service that assists Canadian provinces and territories in verifying the credentials of internationally trained physicians.

Physicians must pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I and Part II or an acceptable clinical assessment deemed comparable to the MCCQE Part II. They must also have completed at least 12 months of acceptable postgraduate training or an acceptable equivalent.

Furthermore, physicians must enroll in the Canadian Medical Register to meet the Canadian Standards. This will make them eligible for full licensing in every Canadian province and territory. In summary, the immigration process for internationally trained doctors in Canada has become easier, thanks to these PNP streams and the MCC’s Credential Verification Service.

For family physicians looking to practice medicine in Canada, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to obtain a license to practice in a Canadian jurisdiction. These requirements ensure that foreign-trained doctors are able to provide safe and effective care to their patients in a new country.

Firstly, family physicians applying for the first time must have a medical degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools. Additionally, they must be a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada. They must have satisfactorily completed a discipline-appropriate postgraduate training program in allopathic medicine and an evaluation by a recognized authority.

In order to be fully licensed to practice as a family physician, foreign-trained doctors must achieve certification from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Collège des médecins du Québec.

It’s worth noting that foreign-trained doctors may start their practices with a provisional license, allowing them to gain experience and demonstrate their skills and knowledge before applying for full licensure. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a foreign-trained physician’s credentials may meet the licensure requirements of one province but not another. It’s crucial for physicians to research the specific requirements of the province in which they wish to practice in order to ensure that they meet all necessary criteria.

MCC Offers Doctors A Credential Verification Service

The Medical Council of Canada offers a crucial credential verification service for internationally-trained doctors who want to practice medicine in Canada. This service is available through, a website designed to help medical students and graduates become practicing physicians in Canada.

Through, international medical graduates can apply for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, which is the standard examination used to evaluate medical knowledge and clinical skills. This website also allows medical graduates to apply for medical registration and share their credentials with Canadian medical regulatory authorities. 

Additionally, it offers an orientation to communication and cultural challenges that international medical graduates may encounter while practicing medicine in Canada.

The first step for an international medical graduate is to check if their medical college is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools. If it is, they can apply for the MCCQE through However, it is important to note that if the Sponsor Note tab states “Canada Note,” the medical degree is acceptable to the provincial and territorial medical regulatory authorities in Canada.

According to the Royal Bank of Canada, investment is needed to expand the capacity of hospital and university networks, add educators and assessors, and increase residency spaces in the Canadian medical system. The RBC also emphasizes the need for more residency spaces to align with the increase in medical school student quotas. Streamlining credential recognition for internationally-trained physicians and international medical graduates is also crucial, according to the RBC.

Contact Immigrationway Lawyers 

If you are an internationally-trained doctor looking to immigrate to Canada, Immigrationway Lawyers can help guide you through the process. Our experienced team of lawyers can assist with everything from preparing your application to providing advice on the latest immigration policies. With our expertise in Canadian immigration law and regulations, you can trust that we will work tirelessly to ensure your immigration journey is smooth and stress-free. Contact us today to learn more about our services.