The Canadian government announced on June 15 the launch of two new pilot programs for caregivers.

In a media release, the government stated that the Home Child Care Provider, and Home Support Worker programs will open for applications on June 18.

The two programs replace the expiring Caring for Children, and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilot programs.

“Canada is caring for our caregivers,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen said in the release.

“We made a commitment to improve the lives of caregivers 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,” Hussen added.

According to the media release, the pilot programs will “help caregivers who come to this country make it their permanent home”.

“Caregivers will now only receive a work permit if they have a job offer in Canada and meet standard criteria for economic immigration programs,” the release explained. “Once working in Canada, caregivers will be able to begin gaining the required 2 years of Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residence.”

The pilot programs also provide for the following:

- occupation-specific work permits, rather than employer-specific, to allow for a fast change of employers when necessary;
- open work permits and/or study permits for the caregivers’ immediate family, to help families come to Canada together; and
- a clear transition from temporary to permanent status, to ensure that once caregivers have met the work experience requirement, they will be able to become permanent residents quickly.

“These new pilots provide caregivers from abroad and their families with a clear, direct pathway to permanent residence,” according to the media release.

The new pilot programs - Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker - will each have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants. This means a total of 5,500 principal applicants per year, plus their immediate family.

The media release noted that with the move to occupation-specific work permits under the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker pilots, employers will no longer need a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a caregiver from overseas.

Caregivers who have been working toward applying to the old pilot programs can now apply through either the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot.

The news release also stated that 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.

The Interim Pathway program will re-open on July 8, 2019, and accept applications for three months.


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