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Nova Scotia creates new pathway for physicians looking to immigrate to Canada

The Atlantic province of Nova Scotia is turning to the world to answer its call for more doctors.

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)’s new Labour Market Priorities for Physicians Stream offers eligible general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians with a profile in Canada’s federal Express Entry system the chance to immigrate to the province.

Among other criteria, candidates must have an approved job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or the Izaak Walton Killam Health (IWK) Centre Health Centre in Halifax and commit to living and working in Nova Scotia for a minimum period of two years in order to be considered for selection through this new stream.

Currently, there are 124 positions available on the NSHA’s job opportunities webpage. These positions range across specializations and regions of the province.

It’s been estimated that more than 50,000 Nova Scotians are without a family doctor, a shortage the province targeted last year with an investment of $39.6 million for increasing wages and office visit rates and providing the technology required for improving access to primary care.

How the new stream works

To be considered for a provincial nomination through the Labour Market Priorities Stream for Physicians, applicants must have a valid profile in the Express Entry system, which is Canada’s main source of skilled foreign talent.

Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled immigration programs and holds regular invitation rounds through which a set number of the highest-ranked are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Eligible physicians selected by the NSNP receive a Letter of Interest (LOI) through the Express Entry system and have 30 days from the date it was issued to apply for a provincial nomination from Nova Scotia.

Applicants who are approved for a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their Express Entry ranking score and are effectively guaranteed an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

The NSNP also has a dedicated Physician Stream that operates outside of the Express Entry system.

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