As of July 8, 2019, Canada reopened the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. This is an immigration program allowing caregivers to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. This pathway is temporary, providing a permanent residence option for caregivers while Canada rolls out two new caregiver pilot programs through 2019.
In order to be eligible, caregivers must have at least one year of experience working in Canada, as well as meet minimum requirements for education and language proficiency. Check here for full details about the eligibility criteria and application procedure.
Two new pilot programs for caregivers
Canada’s two new pilot programs for caregivers are officially accepting applications. Foreign caregivers coming to work in Canada will no longer have to leave close family members behind and will have a more straightforward pathway to Canadian permanent residence, thanks to the new programs: The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots.
The new pilot programs opened for applications on June 18, 2019, replacing the expiring Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots, which have been criticized for keeping some workers stuck in abusive workplaces and apart from their families abroad. The Liberal government, which was not in office when those pilots were introduced in 2014, labeled them “ineffective”.
The government states that it heard directly from caregivers and interested parties that the previous changes made in 2014 were not well understood. Many caregivers began working for families in Canada, only to find out later that they were not going to qualify for permanent residence under an existing program.
Caregivers will now only receive a work permit if they have a job offer in Canada and meet standard criteria for economic immigration programs. Once working in Canada, caregivers will be able to begin gaining the required two years of Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residence.
Through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot, caregivers will also benefit from:
- occupation-specific work permits, rather than employer-specific, to allow for a fast change of employers when necessary;
- open work permits and/or study permits for the caregivers’ immediate family, to help families come to Canada together; and
- a clear transition from temporary to permanent status, to ensure that once caregivers have met the work experience requirement, they will be able to become permanent residents quickly.
These new pilots provide caregivers from abroad and their families with a clear, direct pathway to permanent residence.
“Canada is caring for our caregivers. We made a commitment to improve the lives of caregivers and their families who come from around the world to care for our loved ones and with these new pilots, we are doing exactly that,” stated Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, one of three senior government personnel tasked with announcing details of the new caregivers pilots in a blitz of media activity in Scarborough, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Saturday morning.
How do Canada’s new caregiver programs work?
Caregivers in Canada: More details on changes
- The Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs have expired as of June 18, 2019, and will no longer accept new applications. Caregivers who have applied before this date will continue to have their applications processed through to a final decision.
- Caregivers who have been working toward applying to the soon-to-be-expired pilots can now apply through either the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot.
- The Interim Pathway for Caregivers, the short-term pathway for caregivers who came to Canada as temporary foreign workers since 2014 but were unable to qualify for permanent residence through an existing program, will be extended. It will re-open on July 8, 2019 and accept applications for three months. See below for details.
- The new pilots, Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker, will each have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants per year, plus their immediate family.
- Initial applications to the new pilots will have a 12-month processing service standard. A six-month processing standard will apply for finalizing an application after the caregiver submits proof that they have met the work experience requirement.
- With the move to occupation-specific work permits under the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker pilots, employers will no longer need a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a caregiver from overseas.
Interim Pathway for Caregivers
The Interim Pathway for Caregivers, the short-term pathway for caregivers who came to Canada as temporary foreign workers since 2014 but were unable to qualify for permanent residence through an existing program, was first announced in February.
To address this issue, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers is providing caregivers an opportunity to stay in Canada permanently. Initially scheduled to run from March 4 to June 4, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers will now reopen on July 8, 2019 and accept applications for three months.
The interim program will have modified criteria compared to the current pilot programs and offer a pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who, in good faith, have come to Canada and are providing care to Canadians, without a clear pathway to permanent residence.
To be eligible to apply, applicant must have the required:
Applicants must also have acquired at least one year of full-time Canadian work experience in an eligible caregiver occupation (that is, National Occupational Classification [NOC] 4411 and NOC 4412 for occupations other than housekeeper) since November 30, 2014.
Applicants must also plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
When applying through the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, applicants must:
- have a valid work permit, or
- have applied to extend a work permit and be waiting on a decision, or
- have applied to restore status as a worker.
You aren’t eligible for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers if:
- your application to extend your work permit is refused;
- your application to restore your status as a worker is refused;
- your current work permit is in the Live-in Caregiver Program, or
- you’re applying to extend your work permit or restore your status and your most recent work permit was under the Live-in Caregiver Program.
To learn more about these changes to Canadian immigration for caregivers, click here.