In this post, you’re going to find out all about immigrating to Canada as a nurse.

This guide will cover:

  • The steps in the application process
  • The IELTS score required for Canada for nurses
  • The different immigration options
  • How to prepare for the IELTS test with GlobalExam

If you’re looking for information on your immigration options as a nurse and how the IELTS exam can open the door to Canada, this is the guide for you.

Let’s dive right in!

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Immigrating to Canada as a nurse

If you’re a trained nurse and thinking about immigrating, the good news is that nurses are in huge demand in Canada. The Canadian National Occupational Classification system lists nursing under code 3012, meaning that the government is supporting the immigration applications of qualified nurses.

Nurses who immigrate to Canada under the 3012 code can find employment in a range of environments, from hospitals and care homes, to community centers, private medical clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.

Nursing and permanent residency in Canada?

Qualified nurses are eligible for permanent residency in Canada in accordance with the Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program, but there is an administrative process to navigate first.

Before being able to work in Canada as a nurse, you’ll have to do the following things:

  1. Register with the Registered Nurses Association of the Canadian province of your choice
  2. Become a member of your province’s official college of licenced nurses

Your application to these official bodies will be assessed according to several criteria:

  • Whether you have completed a nursing education program approved by the province
  • Your competence as a nurse (your education, experience, examination results and references)
  • Your good character (references, criminal charges or convictions)

Nursing and permanent residency in Canada?

What documents are required?

You will also have to submit a formal application, including the following documents:

  • A notarized application form
  • Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate
  • Professional experience record
  • Proof of your previous nurse registration
  • Education transcripts
  • A criminal record check
  • Results from the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination
  • An application fee

If English is not your first language, you’ll also have to take an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam and submit your score to prove your proficiency in English communication.

Your application will only be assessed when all the required elements are correctly provided, and you may be asked to submit further documentation. In most cases, applications are processed within six months of being sent.

What IELTS score is required for Canada for nurses?

The IELTS does not offer a pass or fail, but rather offers a score on a scale from one to nine. When you take the test, you will receive a score that falls into one of the following bands:

ScoreLanguage ProficiencyExplanation
9Expert UserTotal mastery of the language. Understands perfectly and is at ease orally
8Very good userVery good operational mastery of the language. Some occasional faults.
7Good userGood general mastery of the language, despite some errors and misunderstandings
6Competent userCompetent mastery of the language in unfamiliar situations. Good mastery of everyday situations. Multiple errors and misunderstandings
5Modest UserAbility to understand the general meaning of a situation, despite numerous errors and misunderstandings
4Limited userAbility to deal with a few daily situations. The candidate does not use complex language
3Extremely limited userCan only deal with very familiar situations. Has difficulties communicating.
2Intermittent userHas great difficulties communicating and being understood
1Non userDoes not know how to speak the language except for certain ideas
0Did not sit the examDid not sit the exam

Your test certificate will include a specific score in each communication skill, as well as an overall score. These results must be sent directly to the RNABC from the testing center in order to be included in your application.

To be eligible for permanent residency, the minimum IELTS score required for Canada for nurses is an overall score of 6.5, with at least 7 in the Speaking component and no less than 6 on any other individual component.

There are two types of IELTS exams: the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training. This application process for nurses requires that you take the IELTS Academic.

How important is my IELTS score to my application?

Canada’s immigration system is based on points, which means that each component of your application awards you a certain number of points. To qualify for a permanent residency visa, you will need to achieve at least 67 out of a possible 100 points across your application.

Your IELTS score is one of the components, and there is a maximum of 24 points available for language proficiency. This means that a higher IELTS score can help to balance out lower scores in other areas of your immigration application in Canada, such as age, education, and experience.

Other options for immigrating to Canada

Given the demand for nurses in Canada, there are in fact several options to choose from when navigating the immigration system. Other immigration programs include:

  • Express Entry
  • Quebec Skilled Worker
  • Provincial Nominee
  • Study-2-Immigrate

The application process is slightly different for each of these pathways, as are the language requirements. For Express Entry, the minimum IELTS score required for nurses in Canada is 6.0 in the IELTS General Training exam. The Quebec program, however, only requires proficiency in French.

Other options for immigrating to Canada

What are the advantages of immigrating to Canada?

With liberal values and a flourishing economy, Canada is a fantastic country to live in and count many great universities where the educational system is reputable. As well as offering many job opportunities for qualified nurses, permanent residents also benefit from:

  • Access to social benefits, such as health care coverage
  • The right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada
  • Protection under the Canadian law

As a nurse in Canada, you will have the opportunity to work in one of the world’s leading healthcare systems, while enjoying a comfortable remuneration, too.

Preparing for the IELTS with GlobalExam

The IELTS is one of the most widely recognized international language exams. It is a rigorous testing system and preparation is essential to ensuring a good score that will support your immigration application in the UK or in Canada for example. You will need to know the price of the exam, how to register and make sure you have well noted the validity of the IELTS test.

The good news is that you can prepare at a time and pace that suits you with GlobalExam. Our e-learning platform provides you with detailed learning materials and exercises designed to prepare you specifically for the IELTS, whatever your level in English.

By upgrading to a Premium subscription, you can take your preparation to the next level by creating personalized study plans and sitting graded mock exams that mirror the real test experience

Preparing for the IELTS with GlobalExam

The IELTS is an essential part of any immigration application to work as a nurse in Canada, so it’s time to get studying!

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