New Canadian immigration pathways for caregivers

Canada is to offer foreign caregivers two new pathways to permanent residence.

It has been announced by the Canadian government that caregivers will soon have access to two new five-year caregiver immigration pilots that will replace the expiring pilot programs.

Caregivers will be given greater flexibility to change jobs quickly, and barriers that prevent family members from accompanying caregivers to Canada will be removed, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen has announced.

“Caregivers provide care to families in Canada that need it, and it’s time for Canada to care for them in return,” the Minister stated. “We are providing them with both the opportunity to bring their family members here and access permanent residency to demonstrate our commitment.”

Under the new pilots, applicants will be assessed for permanent residence criteria before they begin working in Canada. Once the caregiver has their work permit and two years of work experience, they will have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident.

These pilot programs will replace the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots and include:

– Occupation-specific work permits for caregivers, providing the ability to change jobs quickly when necessary.

– Open work permits for spouses/common-law partners and study permits for dependent children, to allow the caregiver’s family to accompany them to Canada.

In addition, the Minister also launched the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, which will be open from 4th March 2019, until 4th June 2019.

This interim program is being launched after direct consultations with caregivers revealed 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.

To address this issue, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers will provide those caregivers an opportunity to stay in Canada permanently. 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.

In 2017, the Government committed to eliminating 80 per cent of the caregiver backlog and reducing the visa processing time from its peak of more than 60 months. To date, the Government has reduced 94 per cent of the backlog and reduced the processing time to 12 months.

Both the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot will launch later this year and will have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants each, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants, per year. Spouses/common-law partners and dependent children will not count against the limit.

Article published 26th February 2019