Nova Scotia has expanded its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to include paramedics and pharmacy technicians. This means that international students who have graduated from a Nova Scotia institution in one of these fields may now be eligible for permanent residency in Canada.
To be eligible for the PNP, candidates must have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer, be between the ages of 21 and 55, have completed at least a high school education, and have completed a course of study at least 30 weeks long in the last three years. They must also possess the appropriate certifications required for the job and have official language proficiency that equates to a level 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
To apply for the PNP, candidates must submit a completed application and the required documents on the Nova Scotia government website. If approved, they will receive a provincial nomination certificate and will be able to apply for permanent residency directly with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The expansion of the PNP to include paramedics and pharmacy technicians is a positive step for Nova Scotia, as the province is facing a shortage of healthcare workers. According to the chief executive of Nova Scotia’s Pharmacy Association, the province will need “about 200 [pharmacy] technicians over the next few years.” Additionally, Charbel Daniel, the director of operations for ambulance services provider Emergency Medical Care Inc., estimates that “an additional ‘150 [to] 200 paramedic positions could be available’ for international students.”
The demand for healthcare workers is not limited to Nova Scotia. According to employment agency and consulting firm Randstad, registered nurses, personal support workers, and healthcare aides are the top three healthcare careers in demand across Canada for 2023.
To attract more healthcare workers, IRCC has begun conducting category-based Express Entry draws. These draws are designed to attract Canadian immigration candidates who can help address some of the most significant labour market challenges in this country.
For 2023, IRCC is issuing ITAs through category-based draws to eligible and interested candidates who possess recent work experience in one of five different occupational categories. One of this year’s categories is designated for foreign nationals with recent work experience in healthcare professions.
So far this year, Canada has conducted two healthcare category-based Express Entry draws. The first draw took place on June 28, when 500 candidates were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian PR. For this draw, candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 476 were considered. The second draw for this category took place on July 6. This draw invited 1,500 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 463.
The expansion of the Nova Scotia PNP and the introduction of healthcare category-based Express Entry draws are positive steps for Canada. By attracting more healthcare workers, Canada can help ensure that all Canadians have access to the care they need.