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Canada announces two new immigration programs for caregivers

On February 23rd, 2019, the Canadian government announced the launch of two new immigration pilot programs for caregivers. Launching later this year, the two new pilot programs will allow successful applicants to work in Canada as caregivers and apply for permanent resident status with their family once they gain enough Canadian experience.

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What are the new programs?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced two new pilot programs: (1) the Home Child Care Provider pilot, and (2) the Home Support Worker pilot. Each pilot program is designed to last 5 years and could become permanent pending their results.

Successful candidates to either pilot will be able to travel to Canada with a work permit allowing them to accept employment in Canada as a caregiver. After gaining 2 years of Canadian work experience, candidates and their family members will have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident.

IRCC has not yet released eligibility criteria, application procedure, or a launch date for the new programs, simply stating that the programs will launch at some point in 2019. Annual quotas for both pilots have been set at 2,750 principal applicants for each program, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants. Spouses, partners, and dependent children will not count towards program quotas.

How does this compare to past caregiver programs?

While the exact details have not yet been released, IRCC has indicated that the new pilot programs will address several issues that were heavily criticized in earlier versions:

  1. Ability for caregivers to change jobs: Caregiver programs have been criticized in the past because they bind caregivers to single families, creating an environment conducive to workplace abuse. The new pilots will enable caregivers to more easily change employers.
  2. Accompanying family members: In past programs, spouses/partners and children could not necessarily accompany the caregiver to Canada. Under the new programs family members will be eligible to accompany caregivers and will be eligible to apply for open work permits and/or study permits.

What will happen to existing caregiver programs?

The new pilot programs will replace the two current caregiver programs: the Caring for Children pilot and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilot.

In order to have an efficient transition between the existing programs and the new programs, IRCC is also introducing the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. This program will accept applications for 3 months, from March 4th until June 4th and should enable currently eligible caregivers to submit PR applications prior to the new programs launching.

Stay tuned to our page for new updates to these programs as they happen!

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