On June 15, 2019, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced two new pilot programs for caregivers: the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. These programs will be open for applications on June 18, 2019, and will replace the expiring Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots. These new pilots intend to create a more clear, direct pathway to permanent residence for caregivers and their families.
Several notable changes from the previous caregiver programs accompany these new pilots. First, employers will no longer need a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a caregiver from overseas. This means that applicants are eligible to apply with a job offer, one year of Canadian post-secondary education or a foreign equivalent, and a Canadian Language Benchmark Level of 5. Once working in Canada, caregivers who attain the required 2 years of Canadian work experience can apply for permanent residence.
Second, work permits will be occupation-specific instead of employer specific, allowing caregivers more mobility to change employers when necessary.
Finally, caregivers’ immediate family members may apply for open work permits and/or study permits, allowing families to come to Canada together.
Each program will have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, plus their immediate family. Initial applications will have a 12-month processing service standard, while a 6-month processing standard will apply to permanent residence applications after caregivers submit proof of meeting the required work experience.
The IRCC has implemented measures to assist with the transition from the previous caregiver programs to the new pilots. Caregivers who applied under the previous programs before June 18, 2019, will continue to have their applications processed accordingly. Caregivers who have worked towards applying under the previous programs must submit their applications through the new pilots.
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 3 months.
If you have any questions about the IRCC’s new caregiver pilots, please contact us directly.