2015 Prescription for Foreign Trained Doctors 

—-Cure Your Immigration Pain with LMIA and Express Entry

Authored By Tina Ryan (Ni Fang) RCIC, CCIC, Chair of Canadian Migration Institute

Over the past decade, I had the opportunity to help large amount of Doctors to immigrate to Canada, and I see how regulations change, procedures change and processing time changes, but one thing has never changed——Canada needs Doctors and we don’t train enough Canadian doctors to meet our market needs, so Canadian healthcare employers are always actively seeking doctors internationally to meet the market demands, especially in the remote areas.

However, with the introduction of the LMIA, many healthcare employers are finding themselves trapped with the transition plan required by LMIA because it requires that Employers must engage in activities to transition to a Canadian workforce and reduce their reliance on TFWs. With Not big enough a “Canadian Workforce” to begin with and Medical Doctors are a very specialized and regulated profession, unless the Canadian Universities are starting to train more doctors to increase the supply, the Canadian Healthcare employers can only depend on foreign trained doctors who can be also licensed in Canada to meet their labor market needs.

But the reality is, it is easy to apply for the first LMIA and get approved, by the time you apply for your second and third LMIA, the employers are running out of methods of “advertising efforts” to prove that they have done their best to hire Canadian doctors.

The best part is that under the current LMIA rules, if there is a Canadian applicant who meets the requirement, you must hire him/her, despite, you already have a foreign doctor under work permit who has been working for you for a while.

Let’s look at a simulated case scenario which reflects many people’s realities, ABC clinic hired MK from UK to work as a family physician, MK has been working for 1.5 years under a 2-year work permit. JR as the owner of the clinic really likes MK and the patients of MK also really like him, his good performance has also brought many new clients to the clinic. Now MK’s work permit is expiring, JR decided to apply for a LMIA to extend MK’s work permit, so JR posted advertisements based on ESDC’s requirements. Soon JR received some resumes from new Canadian graduates who meet the basic requirements.  After 4 weeks of advertising, JR brings the case to Tina and ask her to apply for a LMIA. Tina’s advice is shocking: since you have applications from Canadian applicants, you must hire them, your LMIA application will most likely be refused.

With only 6 months to the expiry date of MK’s work permit, how could MK continue to work for JR legally in Canada without being able to obtain a LMIA?

Good thing is 2015 finally has arrived, on Jan 2, CIC has launched a new immigration program—-Express Entry, the government promises a 3-6 months process which could be just within MK’s time frame, however, this program is very complicated and not everyone will be able to apply. How complicated this program is? this program is a program itself, but it can also be integrated with other programs to boost your points and increase your possibility of being selected. Let’s say this doctor is in BC, the following diagram shows an integrated road map.


I know even you are a doctor with very high IQ, this road map is making you dizzy and feeling a bit hopeless, but I can tell you, if you figure out the right route, you can get to your destination faster this year!

Since MK came to Canada under the old LMO system and had a LMO and currently also have a work permit, let’s assume his personal background is as following:

Name: MK

Age: 45

Education: MD

English: IELTS 7

Spouse: yes, IELTS 6+, bachelor degree, 1 year Canadian experience.

(Note: the doctor has already worked for more than 1 year in Canada, so he is eligible for CEC, as such we can apply for express entry.)



It appears that MK has a relatively high score due to the fact that he came in under LMO and has a valid job offer. So most likely he has a very good chance to be selected and receive an invitation to apply by CIC.

As the first group of applicants, his application may most likely be process within 3-6 months as promised by CIC, even if MK has not yet received the final decision by the time his work permit runs out, once he has a file number, he can apply for a bridging work permit to allow him continue to work for his employer until his PR decision is made.

Now, what about a doctor who wants to come to Canada to work, in 2015, is it better to apply through LMIA or through Express Entry? I will analyze this case scenario in my next blog posting, stay tuned with Tina’s immigration pain prescriptions…..

I hope today’s prescription works!!!