How To Migrate To Canada As A Nurse

How To Migrate To Canada As A Nurse

There are several options available to you if you are looking for ways to migrate to Canada if you are a skilled worker. These include express entry, provincial nominee program (PNP) and startup visa route. This article will focus on how to migrate to Canada as a Nurse.

It is important to note that different provinces in Canada have their own mandatory qualification, regulations & requirements. So, you need to meet these requirements for your destination province before you can work as a nurse in Canada. Nursing falls under the 3012 NOC Code and it is classified as a Skilled Level A.

As stated above, you may apply for a license in any province of your choice to be a:

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)  or
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)


Express Entry Pathway for nurses

Two of Canada’s leading existing federal economic immigration programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). To be eligible for these programs, you need to have skilled work experience.

The FSWP requires an applicant to have at least one year of continuous work experience in an occupation with an NOC skill level of 0, A, or B. This experience can be from anywhere, but must be within the last ten years. An FSWP applicant also must score a CLB 7 in English or NCLC 7 in French on all four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They must additionally score at least 67/100 on the six-factor test that assesses candidates’ education level, language skills, and whether they have a job in Canada.

The CEC, meanwhile, requires one year of NOC 0, A, or B experience in Canada, within the last three years. Applicants must prove scores, across all four language competencies: CLB or NCLC 7 for people applying with NOC 0 or A occupations, or CLB/NCLC 5 for people with NOC B occupations. Neither program requires a person to have a job offer, but having one can significantly increase one’s likelihood to receive an ITA.

PNPs Pathway for Nurses

There are also several Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for which nurses may qualify. Nurses fall into two categories that makes them prime candidates for economic-class immigration. Firstly, they are in high demand, and secondly they are working in a skilled occupation. New Brunswick Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN), British Columbia’s Healthcare Professional as well as Quebec’s Regular Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Experience Program are all avenues which nurses can pursue.

Below, you will find the steps on how to migrate to Canada as a Nurse.

How To Migrate To Canada As a Nurse: Step 1

The first step is to get your credentials accessed by National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). This is simply converting your qualifications into a North American standard. NNAS will do the following:

  • Verify your credentials.
  • Compare and evaluate credentials to Canadian standards.
  • Store these credentials.

Who is eligible for NNAS evaluation?

You are eligible if you graduated from a college or university nursing program outside Canada. In addition, you have never worked as a Nurse in Canada and you want to work now as RN, LPN, or RPN in Canada.


How To Migrate To Canada As a Nurse: Step 2

The next step is to submit your NNAS Application. To do this, follow the steps below

  1. Initiate NNAS application process here
  2. Submit two documents for proof of Identity to NNAS. Documents must be notarized by a government-approved official, signed with a seal, and certified that they are true copies. Proof of Identification can include
    1. International Passport
    2. Driver’s License
    3. Birth Certificate
    4. Legal change name Affidavit or
    5. Marriage certificate
  3. Submit a Nursing Education Form. You will be able to access the form after you complete your online registration on the NNAS website. Your school will need to send the form directly to NNAS either by mail or courier. Please note that you cannot send your form to NNAS. Your school must send it.
  4. Complete a Nursing Registration Form. You can download the form from your NNAS online account. The completed form must be sent by the nursing licensing authorities where you were licensed or registered outside of Canada.
  5. Submit Your Nursing Practice Employment Form. Your employer must complete this form and send it directly by mail or courier to NNAS.
  6. Submit your IELTS Language testing results. However, if your first language is English / French, you should get an exemption letter from your school.
  7. Once NNAS receives all documents, you can then submit your application and choose what province and nursing group you are applying to. The NNAS main application fee is $650 USD. Please note that this is subject to change. So, always check the NNAS’ website for latest fee amount.
  8. NNAS will send an advisory report to the provincial regulatory body you initially selected upon registration.

For complete NNAS application handbook, click here. Once the regulatory body receives a report from NNAS, you will receive a notification to start the process.


Here are details of some provinces, available qualifications and regulatory bodies

  • British Columbia – RN & PN: British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals
  • Ontario – RN: College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Saskatchewan – RN: Saskatchewan Registered Nurse Association
  • Manitoba – RN & PN: College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba and Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba
  •  Alberta – PN & RN: College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

For a complete list of regulated bodies, click here.

Once NNAS has been completed, you will then complete registration with any of the Nursing provincial regulatory bodies that you have previously selected on the NNAS application form.

How To Migrate To Canada As a Nurse: Step 3

The next step is to submit your immigration application depending on the program that you meet its eligibility criteria. You can consider any of the immigration programs below.

  1. Express Entry
  2. Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW)
  3. Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
    1. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). The BC PNP is created specifically for physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses & RN practitioners. As with other provinces, British Columbia needs health care professionals. The Skills Immigration (SI) – Healthcare Professional category of the BC PNP helps physicians, specialists, nurses and allied health professionals work in B.C. and gain permanent residence.
    2. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). This is a great program for nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals.

In summary, the steps on how to migrate to Canada as a Nurse are below

  1. NNAS evaluation
  2. Province regulatory body registration and assessment
  3. Submit your Canada immigration application


Finally, it is essential to note the timeline for each stage of the immigration process. This will help you to be able to manage your expectations. If you need more information, do reach out to us. We might be able to connect you with an immigration consultant.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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