Canada's Caregivers to be Given the Opportunity for Permanent Residence

Updated: Mar 05, 2019 | Tags: Canada Work Permit, Canada Visa


Care workers in Canada will soon be able to take advantage of two five-year pilot schemes focusing on caregivers in the country. Replacing schemes that have expired or proven to be ineffective, these new programs are called the "Home Child Care Provider Pilot" and the "Home Support Worker Pilot". They will enable carers to enter Canada along with their family members. In the future, they could all have the opportunity to become permanent residents.

A work permit leads to greater flexibility and potential permanent residency for carers

Moreover, carers working in Canada under the new pilot schemes will soon be able to change jobs more easily. A further benefit the new schemes is the removal of barriers that once hindered family members from coming to Canada with their relatives as part of the provision of care.

The two new schemes will make an assessment for permanent residency before a carer actually starts work in Canada based on certain criteria. Upon receiving a work permit, they will have the opportunity to complete 2 years' work experience and will then be able to go down a dedicated route to permanent residency.

A Work permit is different to a Canada Visa and Canada ETA as it enables individuals to benefit from paid employment while spending time in Canada. A Canada Visa and Canada ETA do not extend this benefit to those who apply for them in order to visit Canada.

An interim program will create a bridge between the old and new schemes

The 2 new pilot schemes will take the place of the former "Caring for Children" and "Caring for People with High Medical Needs" schemes. Minister Hussen has also initiated an Interim Pathway for Caregivers and this will run from March 4 to June 4 of this year (2019). This interim program is designed to ease the transition from the old schemes to the new.

The government has implemented the new programs after receiving direct feedback from carers and other interested stakeholders. This indicated that the pilots initiated in 2014 were not entirely comprehensible or suitable. As a result, many carers started working for Canadian families but subsequently discovered that they were unable to gain permanent residency within the scheme they had joined.

To tackle this problem, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers will give this group of carers the chance to reside permanently in Canada. The criteria of the interim scheme will be modified in comparison to the schemes in place at the moment, with a route to permanent residency for careers who came to the country to give care to Canadian citizens but who now don't have a straightforward pathway to remain in the country on a permanent basis.

Thousands of applications are to be considered under the new schemes

As part of the new schemes, 5,500 main applicants will be considered and then processed on an annual basis. The family members of carers are not going to be part of this figure.

The Canadian Government is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to uniting and reuniting families, as well as to getting rid of backlogs that may exist within all Canada immigration streams. Just 2 years ago, the Government said it would eliminate 80% of the carer backlog and bring down the time it takes to process applications from the highest waiting period of over 60 months. So far, the Government has achieved a 94% success rate in eliminating the backlog and has brought down the application processing time to just 12 months.

A Government press release acknowledged that the existing foreign carer pilot schemes, implemented in 2014 by the last Conservative government and due to cease in November 2019, were failing in their effectiveness.

The government has acknowledged that carers give essential family care within the country and, in exchange, the country should look after their interests. Therefore, the government is offering carers the chance to enter the country with family members, hence showing its commitment to this important sector of the labor market.

Backlogs slashed since 2017

Looking back over the last few years, the end of 2017 saw backlogs of around 9,000 cases within the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). In actual fact, the actual number of carers and family members waiting to have their cases processed was closer to 24,000. As the situation currently stands, a mere 495 cases now remain outstanding, which equals just over 2,500 individuals.

In conclusion, the 2 new schemes are due to launch later in 2019, but a specific date has yet to be announced. The IRCC hasn't specified criteria for eligibility as yet, nor details of the application procedure. However, they're taking a positive step as part of Canada immigration and will address specific issues that were heavily criticized in the earlier programs.