The profession of physiotherapy is regulated throughout Canada, with the exception of the Northwestern Territories and Nunavut. You can only practice as a physiotherapist or physical therapist if you are licensed as a full member with a provincial or territorial regulatory body.
These bodies are represented by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (The Alliance).
Before you immigrate
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of practicing your profession in Canada:
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Contact the Canadian diplomatic mission closest to you to find out about the employment requirements for the physiotherapy profession in Canada.
- Contact the provincial or territorial regulatory association in the province that you plan to settle in Canada. Find out what procedure you must follow, and the potential costs and time required to obtain a permit. As well, ask about the steps in the licensing process that you can take before and after you immigrate.
- You will need to prove your English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency or be tested. Even if you speak fluent English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills and enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. Check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body about what documents you need to bring. Verify if they need to be translated. You may need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Understand how physiotherapy is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with the provincial laws and legislation that govern your profession where you will settle.
- Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
- Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it right after you land. It will be useful to have when you get a job, or even to search for a job.