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I am a recent graduate PA from US school in Buffalo. Originally from Ontario, Canada and now working in New York state. I noticed some posts where people were asking questions about US PA schools. If anyone has any questions about studying in US PA program or employment, I would be happy to answer them.

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Hi xngn8r! Just a curiosity question because we do get the question a lot. 

What was your process for securing employment in the US as a Canadian citizen? Did you have to find a job where your employer have to sponsor your work visa? Or did you apply for a work visa before securing work? 

Thanks!

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When I was looking at schools, the Canadian programs were not accredited in US, but US programs were accepted in Canada.  I am not sure if any Canadian PA programs are now accredited in US. PA profession has been already quite developed in US and the job market is still very strong. Actually, I think it will be getting stronger. Trump just cut the funding  to Medicare that goes to residency spots and programs will be able to hire less residents. They will have to fill the gaps with PA's or NP's. I was quite worried about securing job as PA in US, but turned out that there was enough demand that employers were willing to sponsor me for H1B. The key is to apply to teaching hospitals affiliated with Universities. They are exempt from H1B cap and can file them year around vs. other employers who can only file once per year in April. To be honest when I graduated I have applied for a few positions in Canada out of curiosity, but has not received any replies. 

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Hi xngn8r!

Can you please tell us what the tuition is like for PA schools in US? I have heard the tuition is A LOT more compared to Canada. 
Would you be considered an international student when applying to US?

Thanks!

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On 6/10/2018 at 4:55 PM, Pre-PA Student said:

Hi xngn8r!

Can you please tell us what the tuition is like for PA schools in US? I have heard the tuition is A LOT more compared to Canada. 
Would you be considered an international student when applying to US?

Thanks!

Hey Pre-PA Student! American PA tuition is steep, and this is in US dollars - so also consider the exchange rate. Some schools may consider you as an "international student" so extra fees would be considered for that as well. 

If you plan on working in the States after completing an American PA school, as a Canadian citizen you also have to remember to take extra steps to obtain a work visa/permit. From what I understand (and at time of writing) you can't work in the US unless you have a job offer from a US employer who will sponsor you for a work visa. It's best to keep up to date on immigration policies and do your research to find out what the requirements are to obtain the work visa. 

ThePAlife.com outlines that average cost of non-resident tuition for a 2-year physician assistant program is: $90,659, read more about it here https://www.thepalife.com/2018-pa-school-tuition/. See the attached image for a 'range' of PA tuition from cheapest to most expensive. 

In order to challenge the American PANCE Certification Exam and get PA-C certified, you need to graduate from an ARC-PA school..

  • List of ARC-PA accredited American PA schools can be found here: http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation/accredited-programs/ 
    • Canadian PA schools are not ARC-PA accredited, therefore Canadian PAs cannot challenge the PANCE exam, become PA-C's or practice in the United States with their Canadian licensing (CCPA). One of the criteria for being ARC-PA accredited is that the school has to be physically located in the United States. 
       
      Quote

      "The ARC-PA accredits only qualified PA programs offered by, or located within institutions chartered by and physically located within, the United States and where students are geographically located within the United States for their education." - Standards, 4th Edition, March 2018


       
    • Same goes for PAs trained in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. International reciprocity only goes one way - that is at this time American-trained PA-C's can practice in other countries but not vice versa. 
    • This means obtaining your PA education in the United States wouldn't limit you geographically if you wanted to practice in other countries* (e.g. Canada or the UK). 
       
  • Use the PAEA online directory: Click here to see the American PA schools that accept international students. 
     
  • Consider contacting PA programs directly, and ask if Canadian applicants would be considered "international" or "non-resident" and what tuition would be in this case. You will get more definitive answers this way than by what little information exists online. 

I have a PA colleague who was born in Canada, then went to the US to train as a PA, practiced in the US for a few years, and then came back to Canada to practice. However, there are several differences between PA practice in the US and Canada

 

2018-Physician-Assistant-PA-School-Tuition-Cost-and-Feds-Comparison.jpg

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