You are a registered nurse and are interested in applying for Canadian permanent residence. Great news! There are two Canadian immigration programs that you can qualify for without the need of a job offer from a Canadian employer.
The Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program has been around for years and has been allowing nurses to qualify for permanent residence. In August 2013 the Quebec government made changes to the program to allow nurses to earn even more points under this program when they changed the area of training points awarded to nurses from 12 to 16 points.
The other program that is available to nurses is the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program known as the Regional Labor Market Demand Stream. This program has designated 26 occupations that are in high demand in the province and has imposed relatively low barriers to apply.
So which should you choose? Which program is better?
Caps and Deadlines
There are obviously pros and cons for both, so let’s get started. Firstly, if you have less than 2 years of full-time, paid work experience as a nurse, you cannot apply for Nova Scotia. The next thing to consider is the limits of the application. The Nova Scotia program will only approve a maximum of 150 applications. We cannot predict with certainty how exactly they will select the 150. The Quebec Skilled Worker program also has a quota on the total number of applications it will receive across all occupations, however it is unlikely that the program will reach its quota (20,000) before the new program begins on April 1, 2014.
Language Tests Not Required, But..
While neither of these programs requires a language test as an eliminating factor, a language test is required under the QSW program if applicants want to claim points for language. The QSW program uses a points-based system to evaluate eligibility. If you are single nurse with a bachelor’s degree, under 35 and have 4 years of work experience you will not need language points at the first stage, so a language test is not technically required. However, it is still recommended that applicants try to obtain as many points as they can to maximize their chances of succeeding.
Under the Nova Scotia program, applicants MUST demonstrate an initial intermediate (Canadian Language Benchmark of 5) proficiency. However, a language test is one of the several ways this can be done. Applicants who have studied or worked in English or French can provide documents from school or work to demonstrate their proficiency.
Choosing the Best Program for you
Perspective applicants are encouraged to research both Provinces and programs. Applicants should have a genuine intention of settling in whichever province they apply under. Applying under either program can be risk, the Nova Scotia program is accepting very few applications and the QSW program could undergo changes in the near future.
What to do
We invite you to contact a Canadian immigration lawyer to discuss which option best suits your qualifications and needs, at FWCanada we would be happy to offer you a free assessment available at the following link: https://www.canadianimmigration.net/assessment-form.html.