February 24, 2019 – Caregivers will be able to bring their spouses and children with them to Canada and have a pathway to permanent residence under two new pilot programs being launched by Canadian immigration authorities.
The new five-year pilots will replace the existing programs due to expire later in 2019, described as ‘ineffective’ by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Thousands of caregivers in Canada will be relieved by the announcement, after being left in limbo over what would happen when existing pilots expire later in 2019.
The new pilots, named the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot, will also allow caregivers greater flexibility to change jobs, Canada Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced on Saturday, January 23, 2019.
Hussen said: “Caregivers provide care to families in Canada that need it, and it’s time for Canada to care for them in return.
“We are providing them with both the opportunity to bring their family members here and access permanent residency to demonstrate our commitment.”
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Important changes under the new pilots will see applicants assessed against permanent residence criteria before they start work in Canada.
Once two years of work experience has been completed on an initial work permit, candidates will have ‘have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident’, IRCC says.
The new pilots replace the existing Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs.
Important features of the new pilots 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.
A new Interim Pathway for Caregivers will also be launched, open from March 4, 2019 to June 4, 2019.
This short-term pathway is aimed at caregivers who, due to confusion surrounding 2014 changes, came to Canada only to find out later that they were not going to qualify for permanent residence under an existing program.
An IRCC statement said: “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.”
Following a commitment made in 2017, IRCC has reduced 94 per cent of the caregiver permanent residence backlog and reduce processing times from 60 to 12 months.
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot will launch later in 2019 and 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.
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