If you’re a caregiver looking to migrate to Canada, there are now two immigration programs that are exclusively for caregivers. These programs were launched in 2019 to replace the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilot programs make it easier for foreign caregivers to get permanent residency in Canada, without having to leave their immediate families behind.
The previous carer pathways were criticised for keeping some workers in abusive workplaces and separating them from their families abroad, prompting the Canadian government to introduce the new pilot programs. Though there were delays to the processing timelines for the new programs, the Canadian government has pledged to deal with at least 6,000 caregiver applications before the end of 2021.
To qualify for economic immigration programs, caregivers must have a job offer in Canada and meet other requirements. Once they have a work permit, they can start accumulating the two years of Canadian work experience necessary to submit an application for permanent residency.
The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilot programs offer numerous benefits to caregivers and their families, such as open work permits and/or study permits for immediate family members. Additionally, work permits are occupation-specific rather than employer-specific, and caregivers have a clear transition from temporary to permanent status. Once caregivers have fulfilled the work experience requirement, they can quickly become permanent residents.
Former Canadian Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen has 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. Canada takes good care of its carers.”
The Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs are no longer accepting new applicants, and the Interim Pathway for Caregivers closed to new candidates in October 2019. However, caregivers who have been preparing to apply to these programs can now apply through the Home Support Worker Pilot or the Home Child Care Provider Pilot. Each of these programs will accept no more than 2,750 principle candidates, for a combined 5,500 principal applicants and their immediate families per year.
The application process for the new pilot programs will take up to 12 months, with an additional six-month processing standard in effect for finalisation after the caregiver provides evidence of meeting the work experience criterion. Employers will no longer require a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a caregiver from abroad, thanks to the shift to occupation-specific work permits under the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker pilot programs.
As you plan your migration to Canada and employment as a caregiver, it’s important to keep in mind the eligibility requirements, language proficiency, cultural adaptation, compensation, healthcare, and social services available to you. With the new caregiver pilot programs in place, it’s easier than ever to make the move to Canada and start a fulfilling career as a caregiver.