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Immigration Corner: Do I qualify for migration to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell, Canada

Dear Ms Powell,

I have been working on an ambulance for the past five years. My friends said they heard that I can move to Canada if I sponsor myself to go there. I checked out the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, but I'm confused and I'm not sure if I qualify. I was also wondering what the salary range is for paramedics in Canada.

- DK

Dear DK,

In Canada, the field of paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and emergency medical services is growing in popularity and CIC has included paramedic occupations as one of the professions that may apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme. That programme is often called locally as the "professional self-sponsorship programme" as well.

Paramedic jobs include workers who administer pre-hospital emergency medical care to patients with injuries or medical illnesses and transport them to hospitals or other medical facilities for further medical care. They are employed by private ambulance services, hospitals, fire departments and government departments.

There are various levels of paramedic occupations. They are:

Primary Care Paramedic (PCP),

Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), and

Critical Care Paramedic (CCP).

To apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) as a paramedic you must be a graduate of a recognised college, hospital-based or other recognised paramedical or emergency medical technology program. Those operating emergency vehicles will also need to have the appropriate class of drivers licence.

Paramedics are persons fully trained and qualified to do jobs such as:

Patient assessment;

Immobilisation and traction;

Oxygen administration via various methods;

Basic airway management;

Trauma care, including basic wound care; and

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Paramedics jobs include the following; flight paramedics, ambulance attendant, emergency medical assistant, ambulance technician, EMA (emergency medical attendant), medical assistant (paramedic), medical technician, paramedic worker, ambulance services, ambulance driver, advanced life support coordinator and other specialised positions.

Although salaries fluctuate, jobs in the field often start at around CAD$50,000 per year. Graduates of specialty programs, like advanced care paramedic, have an average starting salary of CAD$73,000. With experience, demonstration of skill and competence, your salary would, no doubt, increase.

How to qualify

In order to meet the FSWP requirement, you must be able to get at least 67 points based on factors such as; education, age, language skills, work experience and adaptability.

You will need to have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in an eligible occupation in the last 10 years. You will need to provide proof of the requisite funds based on the number of persons in your family. Most importantly, you will need to have your educational credentials assessed to ensure that it is equivalent to the Canadian educational standards.

Immigration application procedure can be complicated and time consuming. The Federal Skilled Worker Programme is subject to a cap. That is, there is a limit to the number of applications that they will be accepting. Therefore, if you are serious about applying under this programme then I suggest that you act immediately as time is of the essence.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777.