Canada has a publicly funded comprehensive healthcare programme called Medicare for its citizens. And as per recent research, there is a projection that demand for doctors has increased threefold post-Covid 19.
An individual can use the express entry for Canadian immigration for moving to the country as a doctor. However, they will have to fulfil multiple criteria. For instance, physicians coming into Canada from outside are called the IMGs or International Medical Graduates. They are individuals who have graduated from a Medical School not accredited in Canada or the USA.
The individuals need to go through a process of accreditation to immigrate to Canada. Canada’s Medical Regulation authorities scrutinise the IMGs and physicians before granting them approval to practice in Canada. The following categories will require accreditation:
- Occupational therapists
- Allied primary health practitioners
- Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
The individuals applying for a visa need to understand the various categories and apply accordingly. The approved candidates will receive an express entry visa based on the application process. Also, the IMGs and physicians need to keep the following in mind while applying for accreditation.
- The process has numerous stages and may seem complex. It is advisable to partner with experienced visa consultants to streamline the process.
- The method may be different for different provinces and territories.
- A significant commitment on both the financial and personal front is required to complete the accreditation process.
Step by Step Guide:
Depending on the province and territory, the accreditation process involves the following:
- Examinations that include eligibility, selection of program, qualifying exam, certification
- Proficiency tests for language (TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language and TSE – Test of Spoken English)
- PG assessment
- Return of service agreements, etc.
STEP 1: Recognised Medical Degree:
An individual must first check if Canada recognises their medical degree. They must log on to the World Directory of Medical Schools and find their college. If against their college, a Canada sponsor note is present; it translates that Canada recognises that medical school.
STEP 2: Open Account:
The second step is to open an online physiciansapply.ca account. This step is mandatory and is used throughout the immigration verification process for securing an express entry visa. A fee of $290 is applicable while applying.
STEP 3: Submit Credentials to Medical Council of Canada:
The credentials related to medical education must be submitted to the Medical Council of Canada (MCR). It also includes a request for the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. A fee of $170 is applicable per medical credential for the source verification and $108 for the ECA report.
STEP 4: Register for Express Entry Canada Immigration:
The next step is to start the express entry Canada immigration process and include the ECA report number.
STEP 5: Medical Council of Canada the Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I:
After starting the immigration process and submitting the ECA, the candidate must appear for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam, Part 1. It is a one-day test and is computer-based. It assesses the doctor’s medical knowledge as per Canada’s metrics. In addition, candidates can give the exam in about 80 countries and 500 test centres around the globe. An exam fee of $1305 is applicable to take the MCCQE Part 1 exam.
STEP 6: Immigration:
The individual must have immigrated to Canada by this stage through express immigration. However, they cannot practice if the accreditation process is not complete.
STEP 7: National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination:
This exam is a must only if the IMGs wish to take up a residency position in Canada. The exam can be attended in Canada and is for one day. It assesses the applicant for their knowledge, skill, attitude, and other requisites to pass the postgraduate training in Canada. The fee for the exam is $2,830.
STEP 8: Medical Council of Canada the Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II:
The MCCQE part II is a two-day exam. It assesses the candidate’s core competencies, including applying medical knowledge, showcasing clinical skills, developing clinical plans (both investigational and therapeutic), and demonstrating professional behaviour. These checks ensure that the candidate’s expertise meets Canada’s medical standards to the level of an independent practitioner. This exam must be taken in Canada only, and the fee for the same is $2,780.
STEP 9: Licentiate of The Medical Council Of Canada:
After successful completion of the MCCQE exams, part I and II, an individual is awarded the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). It is to be kept in mind that MCC is not the licence to practice in Canada yet. This license is to be used to apply for permissions from Canada Medical Regulatory Authority.
STEP 10: Practise-Ready Assessment (PRA) Program:
The IMGs who have completed their post-graduation abroad and are seeking a provincial license to practice can apply for the PRA programs like:
- IMG-BC Program
- Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program
- HealthForceOntario Access Centre
- Collège des Médecins du Québec – Practice-ready assessment
- Alberta International Medical Graduate Program
STEP 11: Application to The Registrar of The Canadian Medical Regulatory Authority (MRA):
Each province in Canada has its own MRA. The foreign doctor must approach the respective MRA with LMCC and apply for the medical license in the Canadian region. Post receiving this license from MRA, the foreign doctor can practice in Canada.
Though the process seems time-consuming and complex, it is not so. It is always recommended to take the help of immigration consultancies while applying for doctor positions or other jobs in Canada or elsewhere. They provide clarity on all aspects, including express entry for Canadian immigration.