On July 19, 2022, the Province of British Columbia announced $4.5M in funding to provide bursaries to high priority internationally educated allied health professionals (IEAHPs) that want to work in BC’s health system.
Health Match BC, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, will support eligible IEAHPs who want to work in BC by offering financial support to help pay for many of the costs associated with credential assessment, English Language proficiency testing, and supplementary education, such as exam preparation and bridging or gap-filling education.
To be eligible, IEAHPs must commit to a Return of Service (ROS) agreement with the BC Ministry of Health to receive financial support through the bursary program.
By reducing barriers to the assessment and licensing or certification process, qualified IEAHPs will be able to enter the workforce sooner, so that people in British Columbia will have access to even more allied health professionals to support their healthcare needs.
The first phase of the IEAHP bursary program will offer bursaries to internationally educated physiotherapists, medical laboratory technologists, and occupational therapists.
It is anticipated that more allied health occupations will be added to the program over time. Please watch the Health Match BC website, and follow on social media, for more details.
Health Match BC (HMBC) is a free health professional recruitment service funded by the Government of British Columbia, Canada. HMBC facilitates the recruitment of health professionals on behalf of BC’s publicly funded health employers.
Health Match BC (HMBC), through its navigation team, will support internationally educated allied health professionals throughout their journey to practice in BC. The team will provide customized support in assisting candidates to navigate their credentials assessment, certification and/or registration applications. HMBC will also provide information and access to financial supports, in the form of bursaries and fee waiving, and guide candidates throughout the immigration process.
Through HMBC recruitment team, IEAHPs will be supported in accessing career opportunities with BC’s public health employers.
Yes! British Columbia offers a wide range of allied health jobs in large urban centres, medium and small cities, and rural and remote communities.
Opportunities exist for career development in acute care (hospitals), rehabilitation, long-term care and assisted living, community laboratories, leadership/administrative, and primary care.
The wide range of opportunities means that allied health professionals will be able to find the perfect fit for their career preferences, career growth, and family needs.
In general, yes, most allied health professionals require registration or certification with a provincial or national body to practice in BC.
Education, experience, and practice can differ between countries for the same profession. For most occupations, a credentialling organization will need to complete an assessment of your postsecondary credentials.
The exact process to become registered or certified to practice in BC depends on your profession or field of training. Please see the FAQ for your occupation for more information.
To be able to practice in BC, your credentials from outside of Canada will need to be assessed. After the assessment, you may be directed to take a qualifying examination, or you may need to complete some upgrading courses or supplementary education first.
The exact steps to become registered or certified to practice in BC will depend on your profession or field of training. Please see the FAQ for your occupation for more information.
For financial support to complete this process, contact Health Match BC who will provide information about the bursary program and guide you through the bursary eligibility criteria and the bursary return of service commitment.
During the credential assessment process, you may be asked to provide the results from an acceptable English-language proficiency test – these may or may not be the same tests that are accepted for immigration purposes.
These tests can generally be booked online and are delivered in-person or online with frequent testing dates.
The IEAHP bursary program will cover a maximum of two English-language proficiency tests for the purpose of your credential assessment.
The credentialing body for your occupation should provide you with information about which English-language proficiency test you need take.
Through Health Match BC (HMBC), the Province of BC will be supporting internationally educated IEAHPs with financial support, in the form of bursaries, to offset some of the costs of becoming licensed or certified to work in BC.
The costs associated with the credential assessment, supplementary education, and licensing or certifying processes vary depending on your occupation.
Some IEAHPs may qualify for a travel stipend to cover costs associated with eligible supplementary education programs.
Please see the FAQ for your occupation for more information or contact the credentialing body responsible for assessing education and qualifications for your occupation.
The bursaries are for IEAHPs who currently live in British Columbia but are not yet working in a health care role aligned with their foreign training. It is also for those not yet in British Columbia but are looking to relocate here.
Possible applicants also include IEAHPs who are already undertaking the credentials assessment and licensing process.
IEAHPs who are eligible for the bursary can submit receipts for eligible expenses paid for on or after July 19, 2022. A valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for any expense reimbursements.
IEAHPs who have already completed the full pathway to licensure or certification, or those who have already had their credentials assessed and it was determined they are not able to become licensed in BC, are not eligible for the bursary.
Please see the FAQ for your occupation for more information on bursary program eligibility.
Depending on your occupation, your credential assessment fee may qualify to be paid directly by the Province to the associated credentialing or regulatory body. Otherwise, these fees will be covered by reimbursement.
All other eligible expenses incurred by eligible IEAHPs will be paid by a reimbursement process up to the noted bursary maximum with proof of payment.
See the FAQ for your occupation for more information.
A valid SIN is not required to apply for the IEN bursary program, but you will need one to receive a bursary payment (reimbursement).
If you are not currently residing in Canada and are eligible for the bursaries, you will be reimbursed once you obtain your SIN and Canadian bank account information for direct deposit.
The IEAHP bursary program is budget dependent and is not attached to a specific number of bursary participants.
There is no fixed end date for the IEAHP bursary program. Financial support through the bursaries will be available until the Province’s allocated budget is spent.
Further funding beyond the initial budget may become available for the bursary program in future years, but this is not guaranteed.
Health Match BC will:
If needed, Health Match BC can also provide information and guidance on the immigration process.
Yes, if you currently receive EI, you may still proceed with a bursary application for financial support. You may want to confirm with Service Canada whether there is anything you should know about receiving bursary support while on EI or income assistance.
Note that you may not be able to collect EI payments while taking training. For more information, see: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/contact/ei-individual.html
Yes, the bursary program was designed to be inclusive of taxes on eligible expenses.
This will depend on the credentials assessment process for your occupation. For some occupations, the process may be started or completed from outside of Canada however we cannot reimburse you for your valid expenses unless you have a valid Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Please see the FAQ for your occupation for more information or contact the credentialing body responsible for assessing your education and qualifications.
Yes, bursary funding is taxable income. If you receive bursary funding, at the end of the tax year HEABC will issue you a T4A and mail it to the address you provided on your application. Alternatively, you can retrieve your T4A directly on the CRA website, here.
For advice regarding tax implications of receiving the bursary and your specific circumstance, consult a tax specialist or qualified accountant.