Permanent residence for healthcare workers

Brand-new pathway to permanent residency for healthcare workers

In April 2021, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, announced a pathway to permanent residence for 90,000 essential temporary workers and students living in Canada.

Of the 90,000 places made available, 20,000 of those are specifically saved for healthcare workers. The aim is to encourage those already contributing to the healthcare system to build strong ties in Canada and continue to stay.

“As we continue the fight against the pandemic, immigration will remain critical to our economic recovery by addressing labour shortages and adding growth to our workforce”. – Canada.ca


What does this mean for foreign healthcare workers living in Canada?

About the healthcare workers permanent residence pathway

The healthcare workers permanent residence pathway means that those who are already in Canada and have the skills and experience Canada needs to beat the pandemic now have a brand-new route to permanent residency.

The IRCC started accepting applications on May 6, 2021, and will stop accepting applications from November 5, 2021 – or until they have reached their limit. There are still spaces available for those who meet the criteria and who would like to apply.

Find out more about the pathway to permanent residency program here.

“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with a temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better. Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay.”  – The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Are you a healthcare worker living in Canada who wants permanent residency?

According to Statistics Canada (January 2021), immigrants who previously held a work permit often report higher wages just one year after becoming permanent residents.

If you have been working as a temporary healthcare worker in Canada, this is a fantastic opportunity to apply for permanent residency! To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a recognised healthcare profession.
  • Workers must show 1,560 hours of work experience in an essential occupation, within the last three years (from when an application is submitted).
  • Workers must also:
    • Be in Canada.
    • Have valid status in Canada.
    • Plan to live outside of Quebec.
    • Meet or exceed the language requirements.
    • Be currently employed.
    • Not be a refugee claimant in Canada.
    • Be employed in Canada in any occupation.

To work and live in Canada, you must also be able to demonstrate a level of English and or French language ability with a government approved test. The Canadian government uses IELTS to process visa and immigration applications.

Get closer to meeting your permanent residency criteria with IELTS

IELTS is the first English language test to be recognised by IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada). It assesses the English language ability of people who intend to study or work in countries where English is the language of communication.

Part of the requirement of meeting the new residency criteria is taking a test to prove your English language ability. To be eligible, you must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of Level 4 across all areas of the test (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

Find out more about language testing here.

About the IELTS test

Test types

There are two types of IELTS tests you can take, Academic and General Training.

Academic: This is usually required by educational institutions or professional bodies assessing applications for registrations relating to health and legal professions.

General Training: This is used mainly for test takers going to English speaking countries for work experience or training programmes and immigration purposes.

You will need to take the General Training version of IELTS for application to the pathway to permanent residency program

CLB & IELTS Scores

There are four parts to the IELTS test: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The minimum language requirement for the route to permanent residency is Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4. There are 12 CLB levels in total, and a Level 4 needs to be achieved across all four of the divisions (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) in order to be eligible.

IELTS is marked from 0-9; 0 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. When translated into the IELTS band scores, CLB Level 4 equals the following:

Other key information

Your IELTS test can be taken at a local test centre, either on paper or on a computer, depending on which you prefer. Regardless of which one you choose, the test content itself will be exactly the same.

Once you’ve completed the IELTS test, your results will usually come back to you in 3 to 5 days (for IELTS on computer tests) and 13 days (for IELTS on paper tests). It’s worth factoring in this time frame if you are yet to take your language proficiency test and need it for your application.

British Council can help you prepare for your IELTS test

With over 80 test locations across Canada, the IELTS team are proud to continue supporting the English language testing needs of all essential healthcare workers in Canada. How can we help? By offering lots of free practice materials and support to improve your test score.

Free IELTS learning materials and support with British Council:

  • Practice on the go with our free downloadable app.
  • Sign up to receive your free study pack.
  • Join a variety of free webinars to learn more and improve your skills in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing with a British Council IELTS expert.
  • Road to IELTS: an online preparation and practice resource.
  • Gain access to past exam questions
  • IELTS progress check: take an official online practice test in all four areas of the IELTS test to receive your results marked by an official examiner in as little as 3 days!

Find out more on how we can help you prepare for your test here.

Book your IELTS test and meet the application criteria

British Council are here for you! Book your IELTS test with the British Council for your permanent residence application in Canada now. Or, find out more about IELTS exam dates here.