For caregivers who want to immigrate to Canada, there are two options. There are currently two immigration programs in operation that are only for caregivers. These two programs were launched in 2019 as a result of the closure of the Interim Pathway for Caregivers.
Two experimental carer immigration schemes in Canada
Applications are being accepted for Canada’s two carer pilot programmes. The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilot programmes will make it easier for foreign carers to get permanent residence in Canada and will eliminate the need for them to uproot their immediate families.
The Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilot programmes, which have since expired and have been criticised for keeping some workers in abusive workplaces and separated from their families abroad, were replaced by the pilot programmes when applications for them opened in 2019. When those trial programmes were launched in 2014, the Liberal government, which is now in power, deemed them to be “ineffective.”
The two new carer pathways’ processing timelines have been delayed to begin with. But in 2021, the government unveiled a fresh plan to deal with at least 6,000 carer applications before the year’s end.
The government claims that the prior adjustments made in 2014 were not fully appreciated because it received direct feedback from carers and interested parties. Numerous carers started out helping families in Canada only to learn later that they wouldn’t be eligible for permanent residence under an established programme.
In order to qualify for economic immigration programmes, carers must must have a job offer in Canada and meet other requirements. Only then will they be granted a work permit. Once employed, carers can start accumulating the two years of Canadian work experience necessary to submit an application for permanent residence.
Caregivers will gain from the following through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot:
Open work permits and/or study permits for the carers’ immediate family to encourage families to immigrate to Canada together; work permits that are occupation-specific rather than employer-specific; and a clear transition from temporary to permanent status to guarantee that once carers have satisfied the work experience requirement, they will be able to become permanent residents quickly.
These new pilot programmes offer a simple, direct route to permanent residence for international carers and their families.
“Canada takes good care of its carers. As one of three senior government officials tasked with announcing the specifics of the new carer pilots in a flurry of media activity in Scarborough, Winnipeg, and Edmonton on Saturday morning, former Canadian Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen said, “We made a commitment to improve the lives of carers 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.
How do Canada’s new caregiver programs work?
Canadian carers: further information on the changes
- With effect from June 18, 2019, the programmes Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs are no longer accepting new applicants. Applications submitted by carers prior to this date will continue to be processed until a decision is made.
- Those carers who have been preparing to apply to the soon-to-expire pilot programmes can do so now through either the Home Support Worker Pilot or the Home Child Care Provider Pilot.
- On October 8, 2019, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers closed to new candidates. For carers who entered Canada as temporary foreign workers after 2014 but were unable to be approved for permanent residency under an existing programme, this was a temporary pathway.
- Each of the two new pilot programs—Home Support Worker and Home Child Care Provider—will accept no more than 2,750 principle candidates, for a combined 5,500 principal applicants and their immediate families—per year.
- Initial applications for the new pilots will be processed within a 12-month period as customary. After the carer provides evidence that they have met the work experience criterion, there will be a six-month processing standard that will be in effect for the application’s finalisation.
- Employers will no longer require a Labour Market Impact Assessment before employing a carer from abroad thanks to the shift to occupation-specific work permits under the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker pilot programmes.
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