Haiti Nurses Can Now Get Priority Quebec Immigration Processing

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Haiti Nurses Can Now Get Priority Quebec Immigration Processing
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Canada immigration news: A Quebec immigration program offering nurses priority processing for applications for temporary and permanent residence, and wooing them with the promise of paid upgrading courses, has been updated to include candidates from Haiti.

“Haiti will be added to the list of high-priority countries,” tweeted Quebec Immigration Minister Jean Boulet this week. “Quebec needs these skills to address its labour shortages.”


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In February, the francophone province pledged to invest $65 million for an initiative to recruit 1,000 foreign-trained nurses from francophone countries over the next two years.

But Haiti, a largely-francophone Caribbean island nation, was not on that list of countries. 

Quebec’s Strong Relationship With Haiti Goes Back 60 Years

Its absence was conspicuous and reported in the news media because Quebec and Haiti have a longstanding relationship that goes back to the 1960s.

There are now more than 165,000 Quebecers of Haitian descent in the province, most of them living in the Greater Montreal area. The province is home to roughly 86 per cent of all Haitian-Canadians.

This week’s announcement giving Haitian nurses priority processing allows them to join the list of francophone countries already promised the same perk for their applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The countries promised priority processing by Quebec over the two phases of the program, the first of which is expected to see newcomers arrive this autumn, include:

  • Algeria; 
  • Cameroon;
  • Morocco;
  • Tunisia;
  • Mauritius Island;
  • the Ivory Coast;
  • Libya;
  • the Congo, and;
  • Senegal.

Haiti was originally omitted from that list because its educational system was deemed to not dovetail as well with the standards of Quebec colleges and universities.

Quebec is hoping to recruit nurses and have them work in the outlying areas of the province, including the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Baie James and Outaouais regions.

Paffarc Will Give $500 Per Week During Upgrading Course to Foreign-Trained Nurses

Successful candidates under the Financial Assistance for Upgrading and Credential Recognition program (the Programme d’aide financière pour la formation d’appoint en reconnaissance des competences, or PAFFARC) will be paid $500 weekly for up to a year during their training at a local CEGEP, a community college in Quebec, while they work to get their credentials recognized by Quebec’s Order of Nurses. 

While in school for those nine months to a year, the candidates will also be allowed to work as nurses’ aides for up to 20 hours per week while in training and full-time during school holidays.

The cost of the program is being covered by Quebec’s immigration department, the Ministre de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).


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This immigration program doesn’t just allow the prospective nurses to come to Quebec. It also allows them to bring their spouses, who will be given open work permits, and their children.

During the past year, Quebec has become even more bullish on immigration as a means to resolve its massive labour shortages. 

Earlier this year, Boulet urged Ottawa to speed up processing times for applications for permanent and temporary residency in Quebec.

Foreign nationals with the qualifications to work in Canada as nurses can use their expertise to seek out jobs here and gain their permanent residency through the many economic immigration programs at the federal and provincial levels, including through the Express Entry system, one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) or the Skilled Worker program in Quebec.

Through the Express Entry system, nurses can often qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program, provided their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) profile scores highly enough.

Nurses can also qualify to come to Canada through the Skilled Worker program in Quebec if they score 50 points or more on the province’s selection grid.

Foreign Nurses Can Come to Work in Canada Under Federal and Provincial Programs

Each province in Canada also operates its own PNP that leads to Canadian permanent residence.

Registered nurses who hold a university degree in nursing, registered psychiatric nurses who hold a bachelor’s or post-grad degree in psychiatric nursing, and licensed practical nurses, or registered practical nurses in Ontario, with post-secondary diplomas in nursing, are all welcome in Canada.

The first step for a nurse eyeing Canada as a destination for immigration is to have his or her academic credentials evaluated to see if they are up to Canadian standards.

The Canadian government recognizes five organizations for the assessment of foreign educational credentials:

  • World Education Services (WES);
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS);
  • Comparative Education Service (CES);
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), and;
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Once the educational and background checks have been completed, the next step is for the prospective immigrant to have those nursing credentials recognized in Canada by the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), a step that costs US-$650.

The second step in the process for the foreign national looking to immigrate to Canada as a nurse is to create a profile on the NNAS application page.

That requires:

  • The submission of two pieces of identity that must be notarized, copies of original documents that have been signed, dated and stamped;
  • a completed nursing education form that can be downloaded from the website filled out, and signed before being sent to the school where the nurse was educated for that school’s officials to complete and then send directly to NNAS along with academic records or transcripts, course curriculum and course descriptions and syllabi;
  • submission of the nursing registration form which is to be sent to the nursing licensing authority where the nurse is currently registered in his or her home country;
  • the nursing practice/employment form which must be signed and sent to all employers the nurse has had over the past five years for them to complete and send to NNAS, and;
  • the prospective applicant for immigration’s IELTS language testing results, which must be sent directly to NNAS from an approved language-testing organization or company.

After that has been done and the documents have been received by NNAS, the nurse can submit his or her application and pick the nursing group and provincial association to which they wish to apply.

These include:

  • British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals and Midwives;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta;
  • Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association;
  • Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Nurses of Ontario;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec;
  • Nurses Association of New Brunswick;
  • Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Nova Scotia College of Nursing;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Northwest Territories, Registrar, Professional Licensing, Health and Social Services;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Nunavut, Department of Health;
  • Yukon Registered Nurses Association, and;
  • Government of Yukon, Yukon Department of Community Services.
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