Caregivers applying for permanent residency in Canada under an interim program are entitled to open work permits.

 This was announced by the federal government in a program delivery update issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on March 21.

“Applicants under the Interim Pathway for Caregivers who have received a positive eligibility assessment of their application for permanent residence (APR) are eligible for an open work permit under public policy considerations, under paragraph 207(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), while they wait for their APR to be finalized,” according to the notice.

In addition, family members who are in Canada are eligible as well for open work permits.

It can be recalled that on February 23, 2019, the government launched the Interim Pathway for Caregivers.

The temporary program opened on March 4, and will last until June 4 this year.

According to a media release, the interim program was conceived “after hearing directly from caregivers and interested parties 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,” the release stated.

The interim program will “provide those caregivers an opportunity to stay in Canada permanently”.

Based on the March 21, 2019 update, caregivers “may submit their paper open work permit application, the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker form [IMM 5710] (PDF, 442 KB), under the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption code A70 together with their APR, under the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, to the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E)”.

“The open work permit is not processed until an eligibility decision is made on the permanent residence application,” according to the notice.

Open work permit applicants under the Interim Pathway for Caregivers and their family members are required to pay the work permit processing fee of $155. They are exempt from the requirement to pay the open work permit holder fee of $100.

In the February 23, 2019 media release, the government indicated that in October 2017, there were about 9,000 cases, representing 24,000 caregivers and their family members, in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) backlog.

“Today, there are now only 495 cases left to be processed, representing 2,655 people in all, a reduction of 94 percent,” according to the release.


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