Letter to Regulatory Bodies Covered by Category Based Selection

Dear Regulator:

We write to provide an update on immigration measures that the Canadian government is advancing, which will make the immigration system more responsive to economic and labour needs. Notably, these measures will help to increase the number of health workers in Canada.

The pandemic exacerbated many of the challenges in our health care system, in particular increasing the strain on health workers in Canada. You have taken many measures to help streamline and improve the regulatory process for individuals under your purview within your own jurisdictions, both for those educated domestically and internationally, playing an important role in helping address these workforce concerns.

The Government of Canada has and will continue to support this work, while respecting jurisdictional decision-making and identifying areas where its contributions would be most impactful. We are therefore pleased to provide you with an update on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) new category-based selection feature of Canada's Express Entry system, which is used to manage permanent resident immigration applications from skilled workers.

In the coming days, IRCC will issue the first set of invitations to apply for permanent residency using category-based selection. Category-based selection allows for more targeted selection of top-ranking candidates from the Express Entry pool. This year, it will be used to help address structural labour shortages by sending invitations to candidates with work experience in the following occupations: health care; science; technology, engineering and mathematics; trades; transport; and agriculture. It will also be used to select Francophone and bilingual workers to support economic growth through increased Francophone immigration outside of Quebec.

We anticipate that these invitations will be sent to a historic number of health workers and will support a sustained supply over the medium and longer-term. Issuing invitations to health workers as a priority will mean that there are likely to be new foreign-trained health workers in your province or territory seeking to begin or accelerate licensing processes, as many of the health care occupations are regulated.

We cannot allow their professional education, skills and experience to go untapped. Pathways to credential recognition and licensing for regulated health professions are still too complex, lengthy and costly.

We know many of you are taking concrete steps to address this issue and help internationally educated health professions integrate into the workforce more quickly. We encourage you to work together with your respective provincial and territorial governments and other key partners to ensure a more consistent approach across the country that reduces complexity for internationally educated health professionals, and that there is enough capacity in the system to integrate newcomers and allow them to work in our health systems without undue delay.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to sustainably address Canada's health workforce crisis so that all Canadians can get access to the health care they need, no matter where they live. Let us continue our historic levels of collaboration.

Please accept our best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

The Honourable Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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