Friday, July 8, 2011

Immigrating to Canada as a Physiotherapist?

While Physiotherapists are being fast-tracked by the government of Canada in their permanent residence applications as skilled workers, the question remains unanswered as to what steps a physiotherapist should take after he/she lands in Canada. We are currently dealing with a number of Physiotherapists who have filed their Applications for Permanent Residence in Canada through our firm. These professionals understand that being a regulated occupation, Physiotherapy requires newcomer foreign-trained physiotherapist to first obtain the license from the regulator being being allowed to practice as a Physiotherapist. Let's have a look at those steps.

Physiotherapy in Canada

Physiotherapy is the fifth largest regulated occupation in Canada. One-half of all physiotherapists work in or
own a private practice. Other physiotherapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, patients’ homes, homes for the aged, summer camps, schools, sports centres and industrial work sites.

In Canada, physiotherapy is a regulated profession. To work as a physiotherapist, you must register with the
regulatory body in the province or territory where you work. There is a complete list of these regulatory bodies at www.alliancept.org.


The Alliance carries out credential evaluation and administers examinations for competency on behalf of most of the provincial and territorial regulators. The Alliance’s assessments and examinations do not give you the right to practise or register as a physiotherapist in Canada. Each provincial and territorial regulator may have additional requirements. The Alliance provides information to the regulators on credentials and qualifications, and the regulators decide who can and who cannot receive a licence to practise.

Before You Come to Canada 

While you are waiting to go to Canada, there are many important things you can do to improve your chances for success. The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (www.credentials. gc.ca) is an organization of the Government of Canada that provides you with helpful resources such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool (www.workingincanada.gc.ca). Use these resources to find and collect important information and to develop your job-search plan.

You will need to prove your language skills in English or French or take a test. You can find information at www.language.ca. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.

Your official education, work and identity documents are important. It is much easier for you to gather and
organize your documents while still in your home country.

Make sure you understand translation requirements.

In some cases, you will have to use a professional translation service in Canada or a certified translator.

Becoming a Registered Physiotherapist in Canada

There are a number of steps to becoming a registered physiotherapist in Canada:

1. You must decide in which province or territory you want to work. Next, you must find out what requirements you will need to meet to work there by contacting the regulator in that province or territory. You can find links to the regulators at www.alliancept.org/links.shtml.

2. For most regulators, you must complete The Alliance’s Educational Credentials and Qualifications Assessment (www.alliancept.org). You can begin this before you come to Canada.

  • This assessment ensures that your education and qualifications are similar to the education and qualifications of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist.
  • You will need to prove your language skills or take a language test.
  • You must pay fees for the assessment. For detailed information on the assessment, go to
    www.alliancept.org.
For the province of Quebec, you must apply to have your credentials assessed by l’Ordre professionnel de la
physiothérapie du Québec at www.oppq.qc.ca.

3. For most regulators, you must pass the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) administered by
The Alliance.

  • The PCE has two parts: a written component and a clinical component. You must pass the written component before you can take the clinical component. For information on the Physiotherapy Competency Examination, go to www.alliancept.org/ exams_overview.shtml.
  • You must pay fees to take the examinations. For the province of Quebec, you may have to take
    courses or meet other requirements.
4. You must apply to the regulator in your chosen province or territory for a licence or registration.
Requirements differ for each province and territory.

  • In some provinces or territories, you can apply for a temporary licence or registration after you register for the PCE or after you successfully complete the written component of the PCE.

Finding a Job in Canada
  • You should take time to research the job requirements and develop a plan for finding work.
  • Your provincial or territorial association may have job listings or a referral service.
  • Many hospitals and health centres list job openings on their websites.

Provincial and Territorial Regulators

  • College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia www.cptbc.org
  • College of Physical Therapists of Alberta www.cpta.ab.ca
  • Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists www.scpt.org
  • College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba www.manitobaphysio.com
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario www.collegept.org
  • Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec www.oppq.qc.ca
  • College of Physiotherapists of New Brunswick www.cptnb.ca
  • Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists www.nsphysio.com
  • Prince Edward Island College of Physiotherapists www.peicpt.com
  • Newfoundland & Labrador College of Physiotherapists Tel: (709) 753-6527
  • Yukon Consumer Services www.community.gov.yk.ca/ consumer/physioreg.html

Source: Foreign Credentials Referral Office www.credentials.gc.ca


If you are a physiotherapist or have experience in one of the 29 occupations listed in the priority occupation list (available at our website www.amirismail.com), you can also immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker within 12 monts.