Canadian and Australian licensing and registration policies regarding International Medical Graduates (IMGs) display some noticeable similarities and differences. Both receiving countries verify IMGs educational credentials, medical training, and language proficiency, apply examinations assessing the skills of this group of foreign trained doctors and tend to place IMGs in underserviced areas responding to health care workforce shortages. However, the Australian nationally regulated, focused on specific labour market needs approach to registration allows IMGs to use various pathways to registration. IMGs who enter Australia utilizing different immigration options have to be registered by the designated registration bodies and, in most cases, to have a verified offer of employment before they are granted visas by the immigration authorities. Consequently, they can start practicing medicine right after their arrival. On the contrary, their Canadian counterparts begin their licensing process only after they enter Canada as permanent residents. The urgent need for nationally consistent, pragmatic and flexible approach to licensing of foreign trained doctors in this country is emphasized.