Can International Students apply to PA School in Canada?

International Students cannot apply to PA school in Canada

Right now in Canada, you MUST be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada in order to apply to a Canadian PA Program. 

Why? Although I can’t speak to why PA Admissions has made this a criteria, I suspect that it is because right now, PAs who study in Canada and become Canadian Certified Physician Assistants (CCPAs) can ONLY practice in Canada.

You cannot become a CCPA in Canada and then practice in the US, UK, or other countries.

Only the American PA Degree (PA-C) allows that kind of mobility.

See below for more information.

How to Study PA as an International Student

Canada does not accept International PAs EXCEPT if you are an American PA.

As mentioned above, to attend a Canadian PA program you MUST be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.

The way to practice in Canada or the US, is to either:

  1.  Become a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, and then apply to a Canadian PA Program OR
  2. Go to an American PA School as an International Student, get certified, then you can practice in Canada or the U.S.

Here is a list of PA programs that accept International students in the United States: 

What is a Permanent Resident?

“A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage,
  • live, work or study anywhere in Canada,
  • apply for Canadian citizenship,
  • protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.”

Click here to learn more about Permanent Resident Status in Canada.

You can also look at the Criteria and Application forms to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.

How do you become a Canadian Citizen?

See the Government of Canada’s criteria for Who can Apply for Canadian Citizenship. You can use this Citizenship Eligibility Quiz to find out if you can apply.

Otherwise see the Canadian Citizenship Homepage for all required information to Apply for Citizenship and taking the Citizenship test and interview.