Immigrate To Canada As A Technical Therapist: All You Need To Know

Immigrate To Canada As A Technical Therapist: All You Need To Know
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Are you a candidate with skills and qualifications in one of Canada’s 82 jobs for occupation-specific Express Entry draws? We want to help you move to Canada. Please submit your CV here.

The demand for those healthcare workers who provide technical therapy and conduct assessments, including those who assist audiologists, speech-language pathologists, ophthalmologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, is expected to grow and lead to serious labour shortages in the coming seven years.

That means even more opportunities for qualified foreign nationals to gain their permanent residence here through occupation-targeted Express Entry system draws.

“Over the period 2022 – 2031, the number of job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand for practitioners of natural healing massage therapists and other technical occupations in therapy and assessment are expected to total 36,000, while the number of job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility is expected to total 28,300,” notes the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) website.

“Although this occupational group has had a balanced market in recent years, projected job openings are substantially higher than projected job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2022 – 2031 period.”

The aging of the Canadian population is expected to be one of the drivers fuelling demand for these workers.

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“Population aging is expected to increase the demand for physical rehabilitation services following surgeries and accidents that older people are prone to. As a result, employment growth for this occupational group is expected to be above the average for all occupations.”

Healthcare workers described as other technical occupations in therapy and assessment, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 32109, include:

  • audiology technicians;
  • communicative disorders assistants;
  • hearing instrument practitioners;
  • occupational therapy assistants;
  • ophthalmic technicians;
  • ophthalmic technologists;
  • physiotherapy technicians;
  • rehabilitation assistants;
  • speech aides;
  • speech technicians, and;
  • speech therapy assistant.

In May this year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made all of these workers eligible for immigration to Canada Express Entry occupation-targeted draws.

By changing the country’s Express Entry system to allow it to target 82 jobs in healthcare, technology, trades, transport and agriculture starting this summer – including other technical occupations in therapy and assessment – the IRCC opened the door to a new pathway to immigration for them.

The flagship Express Entry selection system had previously only conducted draws based on immigration programs, not by targeting specific occupations.

Occupation-Targeted Express Entry Draws Touted As Way To Resolve Labour Shortages

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said then-Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed.  We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”

The federal government’s job-hunting and career-planning website, Jobbank, ranks the job prospects of other technical occupations in therapy and assessment over the next three years as good throughout the country.


In Canada, the median hourly wage for these workers is  $24 but that varies from a low of $17 right up to $33.86, reveals Jobbank, the federal government’s job-hunting and career-planning website.

Based on a 37.5-hour work week, that means a healthcare worker in any of the other technical occupations in therapy and assessment can expect to earn up to $66,027 annually in Canada.

Candidates hoping to immigrate through Express Entry occupation-targeted draws need at least six months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad within the past three years in one of these occupations to be eligible, experience that can have been gained while working in Canada as temporary foreign workers with a work permits or as an international student with a student visa.

Under the changes announced at the end of May, the Express Entry streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as parts of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are now more responsive to labour market needs.

Canada first signalled its intention to start occupation-specific draws through Express Entry in June last year, when changes were made to the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act to allow invitations based on occupations and other attributes, such as language ability.

The majority of Canada’s provinces have been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.

Under the changes to the act, the immigration minister is required to consult provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners, before announcing new categories.

IRCC must also report to parliament each year on the categories that were chosen and the reason for the choices.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. From 2018 to 2022, federal high skilled admissions accounted for between 34 and 40 per cent of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, which manages its own immigration intake.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.