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Vancouver Immigration Lawyers Discuss Share Opportunities for Foreign Doctors in Canada

Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser relaxes immigration rules for foreign trained doctors

This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/17/2022 -- As a team of Vancouver immigration lawyers, it is no surprise that Canada is facing an extreme shortage of doctors. Many citizens have lacked a family doctor for years. To alleviate this problem, on September 23, 2022, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced significant changes to how doctors are assessed for permanent residence in Canada under the Express Entry selection program. For more, go to

The path to permanent residence in Canada for the medical profession has undergone seismic shifts. Over thirty years ago, many medical professionals, including doctors, were precluded from applying for permanent residence. At the time, there was a negative occupations list where doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, lawyers and many other professionals were ineligible to apply for permanent residence through Canada's independent application category (a precursor to the current Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program).

All this changed on June 28, 2002, with the introduction of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The negative occupations list was eliminated. However, this did not open the door for medical and other professionals to apply directly for permanent residence – they still had to demonstrate that they could obtain licensing from the respective provincial or territorial licensing bodies, and that requirement remains to this day.

Many doctors have come to Canada on work permits obtained for remote regions. They first need to apply for and get a provisional licence from their regulatory licensing body, which allows them to work under the supervision of other doctors while undergoing a standard licensing process that includes studying for and writing Canadian exams.

The process is necessary and appropriate to ensure that foreign professionals can demonstrate they have the education and ability to perform their profession to Canadian standards. Similar requirements apply to most foreign professionals seeking to work in Canada. The process of coming to Canada to work and then progressing to permanent residence is longstanding.

The challenge for doctors is how they receive payment with Canada's fee-for-service remuneration model. Most doctors are not employed in a traditional employer-employee relationship. Doctors frequently work in clinics, whether self-employed or in association with other doctors. Payment for service comes from provincial or territorial governments in the respective area based on the services provided for each patient. However, the fee-for-service model is characterized as self-employment by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Canada's primary economic immigration stream is the Express Entry selection program. However, Express Entry only recognizes Canadian work experience as an employee. Self-employed work experience is not counted towards the Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) points system, leaving doctors, if not most, unable to qualify for permanent residence to Canada under the Express Entry selection system.

The announcement by Minister Fraser both recognized and corrected this hindrance to foreign doctors who hoped to obtain permanent residence in Canada while providing a service desperately needed by many Canadians.

Modifying the evaluation of Canadian work experience for foreign-trained doctors working in Canada is a positive step toward retaining much-needed medical talent from doctors who have established themselves in and contributed to the Canadian healthcare system.

For medical professionals interested in permanent residence in Canada, the Vancouver immigration lawyers at Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre can provide insight into the regulatory requirements and rules to streamline the process. Call 1-604-689-5444 to get started.

About Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre
Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre has over 30 years of continued in-depth and comprehensive expertise in most aspects of Canadian Immigration practice. Sas and Ing have facilitated applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and Canada Border Services Agency. Catherine & Victor work closely with other lawyers specializing in Business, Employment, Tax, and Real Estate to provide comprehensive legal advice to companies and individuals as they navigate the regulatory requirements necessary for temporary or permanent establishment in Canada.

For additional information, please visit or call (604) 689-5444

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre
Catherine Sas
(604) 689-5444
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Catherine Sas
Telephone: 1-604-689–5444
Email: Click to Email Catherine Sas

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