International Therapists

INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL THERAPISTS

IMMIGRATION TO CANADA

The Government of Canada has a system for managing how people with skilled work experience (including occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists) apply to immigrate to Canada. For details about how to immigrate as a skilled worker to Canada through the Express Entry systemsee the Government of Canada Immigration and Citizenship Webpage

Supports for New Immigrants in Canada

  • The Immigrant Settlement & Integration Program (ISIP) assists immigrants and their families learn about Canada’s systems and services. They offer opportunities for immigrants to develop English language skills, learn about Canada’s labour market, network and develop professional and social networks, and settle into their local B.C. communities. ISIP services are for eligible clients and are free of charge. Services are offered in many languages.
  • The Career Mentoring for SUCCESS program matches new immigrants with talented BC professionals. The mentors can assist new immigrants to get industry knowledge and strengthen their professional network in Canada. Services are free for eligible ISIP clients.

GETTING A LICENSE TO PRACTICE AS A THERAPIST IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists are governed by Colleges under the British Columbia Health Professions Act

Therapists must be licensed and maintain their license in good standing with the appropriate College to practice in British Columbia. The Colleges set the standards that licensed therapists are required to meet and ensure the public is provided with safe and ethical practice by competent therapists.

Occupational Therapists (OT)

The first place to go to learn about how to become an occupational therapist in Canada is the portal for Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists on the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists webpage. This site will provide you with step by step instructions and links to organizations to have your occupational therapy credentials assessed and to register and prepare you for the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination.

Occupational Therapists working in British Columbia must be licensed by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC). If you meet the educational requirements for registration and you have registered for the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination, you may apply for Provisional Registration with COTBC. With the support of your workplace you may be able to work with provisional registration status under the general supervision of a therapist with full registration status until you successfully complete the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination.

Physical Therapists (PT)

The first place to learn about how to become a physical therapist (physiotherapist, PT) in Canada is the Canadian Alliance for Physiotherapy Regulators. This site will provide you with step by step instructions and links to organizations to have your physical therapy credentials assessed, to register and to prepare you for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination. If you did not complete your education in English or French, you will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English or French before permission will be given for your register to write the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.  The University of British Columbia offers an Internationally Educated Physiotherapist Exam Preparation program. For details see: http://iepbc.ca/.

Physical Therapists working in British Columbia must be licensed by the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia. If you have successfully completed your credentialing with the Canadian Alliance for Physiotherapy Regulators, and you have registered for both the written and clinical portions of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination you may apply for interim registration. With the support of your workplace you may be able to work with interim registration status under the general supervision of a physical therapist with full registration status until you successfully complete the Physiotherapy Competency Examination. For additional information about the limitations of how you can practice as a physical therapist in British Columbia with interim registration see the College of Physical Therapists of BC website

Speech-language Pathologists (SLP)

Information about how to become a Speech-Language Pathologist in Canada is available on the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada website. This site will provide you with step by step and instructions and links to organizations and resources to have your speech-language therapy credentials assessed, to register and to prepare you for the Speech-Language and Audiology Clinical Certification Exam.

Speech-Language pathologists working in British Columbia must be licensed by the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.With the support of your workplace you may be able to work with conditional active registration status under the general supervision of a speech-language pathology therapist with Active registration status until you successfully complete the Speech-Language and Audiology Clinical Certification Exam.