Over the weekend, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the launch of 2 new pilot programs to provide caregivers and their families with a path to permanent residence, as well as an interim program for caregivers currently in Canada.

New Pilot Programs

The new pilot programs will replace existing pilot programs (i.e. Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs) that IRCC itself has recognized as ineffective.

While details are to come, IRCC has announced that caregivers will be assessed for permanent residence before working in Canada. Following acquisition of a work permit and 2 years of work experience, they will have a pathway to permanent residency. The new pilot programs will include occupation-specific work permits for caregivers, allowing them to quickly change jobs when necessary, as well as open work permits for spouses/common-law partners and study permits for dependent children, thereby preventing the separation of families.

Temporary Program: Interim pathway for caregivers – March 4 to June 4, 2019

In addition, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, also launched the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. This temporary program, which will only be open for three months from March 4 to June 4 2019, has modified criteria compared to the existing programs. It is intended to provide a dedicated pathway to permanent residency for caregivers who came to Canada after changes were made to the previous caregiver programs to mitigate unique vulnerabilities that they faced dues to changes to program requirements that were not well understood.

The interim pathway is available to caregivers who were authorized to work in a caregiving occupation and have acquired at least 1 year of full-time Canadian work experience as a caregiver (NOC 4411 or 4412 – other than as housekeeper). They must have completed at least a Canadian high school diploma or foreign equivalent and must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark of 5.

Care workers provide critical support to Canadian society, allowing families to thrive and our economy to function successfully. They care for children, the elderly and people with disabilities. As Canada’s population ages, the need for care workers will only grow.

The temporary program expires on June 4, 2019 so complete applications must be submitted by this date.