Working in Atlantic Canada
A key challenge for internationally educated healthcare professionals is to find reliable, current information on how to immigrate to Canada and then how to gain licensure in their professions.
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website provides information on rules for visiting Canada, studying in Canada as an international student, working temporarily as a foreign worker, immigrating to Canada (gaining a permanent resident visa) and/or obtaining Canadian citizenship. This is a key website for all potential immigrants to access. There are important sections to review including how to protect oneself from immigration fraud.
To learn about immigration fraud and how to protect yourself, click here.
If you are in Canada you can contact the CIC Call Centre – 1-888-242-2100.
If you are outside Canada you can contact the Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate responsible for your region.
Valuable profession-specific information can be found at the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), which is part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This office provides information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained individuals succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.
You may require an evaluation of your academic/professional credentials to work in Canada. This evaluation can be completed by the World Education Services (WES), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster the integration of persons educated in foreign countries into academic and professional settings.
Another good source of information is the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC). This is a unit of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and assists individuals, employers, professionals and organizations regarding foreign credential recognition and the assessment of diplomas and qualifications in Canada.
The International Credential Evaluation Service at the BC Institute of Technology is another good resource for credential evaluation information.
Also known as the Atlantic Provinces, Atlantic Canada is comprised of four provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Atlantic Canada, an enchanting cluster of provinces, is known for its rugged coastline and distinct maritime culture. The population of Atlantic Canada in 2009 was 2,337,561.
Rugged and sparsely populated, the Atlantic Provinces have traditionally made much of their income from the area's vast natural resources: fisheries, forestry and mining. This is changing, however, as oil production, information technology, biomedical research, post-secondary education and tourism have become increasingly important to local economies.
New Brunswick is the only constitutionally bilingual province in the country. A land of small, friendly cities and rural communities, the Province offers many diverse cultural activities, including festivals, museums and galleries.
Across the Bay of Fundy is Nova Scotia, a province filled with idyllic fishing villages as well as Atlantic Canada's largest metropolitan area Halifax.
With a combined population of just under a two million people these provinces are remarkably diverse, boasting Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Scottish, Irish, African Canadian, German, French Acadian, English, and smaller numbers of other European and Eastern descendants.
Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada by both area and population, but is also the most densely populated and is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches and dunes. It is also the home of the gregarious Anne Shirley from Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables.
Newfoundland and Labrador is a place of rugged natural beauty and extraordinary friendliness. Newfoundlanders are well known for their distinctive manner of speech: their dialect has evolved and developed over 500 years and while still North American English, the roots are mainly Irish, English and French.
Each province in Atlantic Canada has created online materials to assist potential immigrants to Canada. The following information outlines the broad immigration policies pertaining to each province as well as some specific information for Internationally Educated Health Professionals interested in gaining licensure in these provinces.
Professional Licensure Information
Canada has a highly regulated health care system and the processes for licensure are often complex and involve a number of different organizations – both provincially and nationally. Information about these processes is included for each province and for the following professions: Family Physician, Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Pharmacist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Dentist, Midwifery, Medical Radiological Technologist and Medical Laboratory Technologist.