Woman with caregiver looking at tablet. Canada’s Caregiver Programs: Expectations and Questions for the Future

On June 3rd, 2024, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced their intention to release new Pilot programs enabling Canadian employers to hire foreign national Caregivers from abroad. Expected to be launched in late 2024 or early 2025, IRCC’s announcement was highly anticipated by many as the current Pilots end on June 19th, 2024.

As of today, limited details are known about the administration of the new programs. However, IRCC has indicated that applicants will need to meet the following eligibility criteria to be able to apply:

1. Score at least CLB 4.0 in each language category on an approved language test. Applicants will likely be required to submit valid results from one of the below authorized testing agencies:

2. Have at least a Canadian high school diploma, or the foreign equivalent. Education credentials obtained from outside of Canada are generally assessed by one of the below authorized agencies and we expect this to be the case moving forward:

3. Have recent and relevant work experience: IRCC has not provided any guidance on the eligibility period of relevant work experience, nor what would be considered relevant. However, we can surmise from other programs that applicants will likely need to show proof of work experience which provides them the skillset to perform the caregiving duties which they will be expected to perform upon arrival in Canada.

4. Receive an offer for a full-time home care job: IRCC has indicated that, unlike past Caregiver programs which restricted the Employer to be a private household, the job offer can come from an organization providing in-home care services.


From past learnings, we also expect that applicants will be able to include their dependent family members on their applications, such that their families can remain united throughout their immigration journey.

The release of Canada’s new Caregiver programs signals IRCC’s commitment to ensuring that these critical services continue to be accessible for Canadians who need them, while signifying the importance that these service providers be given a straightforward and predictable pathway towards permanent residence status. However, as of today we await information on the following:

      • Intake process: How will applications be accepted by IRCC? Generally, immigration programs subject to a quota are administered on a first come, first served basis like the old Pilots, or on a lottery basis similar to the 2020 Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program.
      • Quota allocation: Will there be an annual quota and how will it be divided between Child Care Providers, Home Support Workers, and others? In the past, the quota of spots for Child Care providers was equal to the number of spots for Home Support Workers, however the former was met much more quickly. This signifies that in future, spots may be more heavily weighted toward those offered roles in a childcare setting.
      • Processing timelines: Past pilots have included processing targets which were not met by IRCC. Considering the significant backlog created under the previous pilots, it remains to be seen how IRCC will allocate resources to processing applications under the new pilots, and whether this will play into a targeted processing time.
      • Program launch date: IRCC has not set a launch date for this program, indicating only that additional information will be released prior to the launch date which may be in late 2024 or early 2025.

Canada has a long history of recognizing the contributions made by caregivers from abroad, through dedicated immigration pathways designed to enable these individuals to settle in Canada permanently. Come June 19th, 2024, until the new Pilots are released, there will be no dedicated Federal pathway to permanent residence for those providing Home Care Services. Therefore, caregivers in Canada must ensure they have an immigration plan in process well in advance of the expiry of their documents, to ensure they are able to maintain immigration status and benefit from this future program release.

In recognition of the evolving nature of Canada’s Caregiving Programs, Green and Spiegel LLP is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024 at 9AM EST to discuss anticipated requirements and next steps. To sign up for this webinar, please register here.

For more information on immigration options or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.


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