Quebec has been facing a serious shortage of trained nurses for many years, as of April 2018. If you’re an independent nurse contractor living out of Canada, this gap in the labour force opens up a valuable career opportunity — especially if you want to move to Canada permanently. Through the province’s Regular Skilled Worker Program, you can work as a nurse in Quebec and become a legal Canadian resident.
About Quebec’s Regular Skilled Worker Program
The Regular Skilled Worker Program is Quebec’s way of making sure that local businesses have access to trained, experienced employees. Each year, the program allows a set number of people to apply. In 2017, that number was capped at 10,000.
When you apply to the program, Quebec officials look at different selection factors and give you a score. If you get 50 points or more, you qualify for a Quebec Selection Certificate. With that document, you can apply for permanent residency in Canada. After you complete that process, which includes criminal and medical background checks, you can head to Quebec to start working as a nurse.
Understanding Quebec’s Selection Criteria
When you apply as a skilled worker, Quebec gives you points in nine different areas:
- Education and area of training
- Work experience
- French and English language ability
- Visits to Quebec and family ties to Canadians or Quebec residents
- Job offer in Quebec
- Your spouse or partner, if you plan to immigrate with one
- Children under the age of 22 who are coming to Quebec with you
- Your ability to cover your needs financially for your first three months in Quebec
As a nurse, you’re automatically in a good spot, since the government prioritizes nurses to help fill the shortage. If you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you automatically get 9 points in the Area of Training category, as of 2018. In comparison, someone with a bachelor’s degree in music gets 0 points in the same category. When it comes to education, the more you have, the more points you get — 10 with a 4-year undergraduate degree and 12 with a master’s degree. The same goes for your nursing experience, which maxes out at 8 points with 48 months or more of work experience.
How Can Nurses Apply for the Regular Skilled Worker Program?
If you’re ready to start the Canadian immigration process, the first step is to create an account on the Mon projet Quebec website. There, you can apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate as part of the program. To complete the application, you’ll need a variety of documents, including your nursing licence, university degrees, and passport. In addition, plan to prove your work history by providing tax forms. If you’re claiming a proficiency in French, you need documentation from a language testing center.
You can complete the entire application on your own — alternatively, there are also agencies you can pay to navigate the process for you. Keep in mind that Quebec only accepts applications until a specific date each year, which you can find on the Immigration Rules and Procedures website. It’s almost always best to apply as early as possible. Once you apply, all you need to do is wait to see if you’re selected. At that point, you can move forward with the more general Canadian immigration process, which is separate from the Regular Skilled Worker Program.
If you’re currently an independent nurse contractor, Quebec’s Regular Skilled Worker Program is a great way to move into a more permanent position. Given the province’s nursing shortage, you have a good chance of using your international certifications as a pathway to Canadian residency.