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Canada unveils a fresh immigration pathway that puts healthcare professionals at the forefront

Canada’s healthcare sector is experiencing significant labor shortages. To address this, the Canadian government has decided to extend permanent residency invitations to healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and optometrists.

The first round of the sector-specific selection process is currently underway and aims to invite 500 healthcare professionals. A second round, planned for July 5, is expected to invite 1,500 additional workers.

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, recently introduced alterations to Canada’s primary economic immigration program, Express Entry, last month. Fraser acknowledged the critical role of health professionals in delivering high-quality care across Canada. He expressed his eagerness to increase access to permanent residency for skilled healthcare workers.

Apart from these steps, other initiatives are being implemented to bridge the labor gaps in the healthcare sector. The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, for instance, opened two new streams a few weeks ago to help skilled refugees and other displaced individuals continue their careers in Canada. More than half of the applications received so far under this pilot are from individuals working in positions such as nurses’ aides, orderlies, and patient service associates.

The Express Entry program was modified in April to expedite permanent resident visas for physicians providing publicly funded medical services in Canada. Furthermore, in December, the Canadian government pledged to invest $90 million in projects aimed at overcoming hurdles faced by qualified and skilled immigrants in obtaining work experience in their respective fields or areas of study. From 2017 to 2022, 21,656 skilled immigrants arrived in Canada to serve in healthcare roles.

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