February 27, 2019
New Programs Announced for Care Workers Who Want to Become Permanent Residents
For years, the demands of many foreign care workers and their allies have included permanent residence upon arrival and the ability to live and work in Canada with their partners and children. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen announced changes on 23 February 2019 that are intended to respond to some of these demands. Later this year, the government will introduce two new five-year pilot programs – the “Home Child Care Provider Pilot” and the “Home Support Worker Pilot” – to replace the “Caring for Children” and “Caring for People with High Medical Needs” pilot programs due to expire on 29 November 2019. As part of these new programs, care workers will be able to apply for study permits for their children and open work permits for their spouses or common-law partners. The details of the two new programs have yet to be provided. However, Minister Hussen did say the following:
- IRCC “will assess whether a caregiver meets permanent residency requirements before they get to work in Canada.”
- “…the only criteria that an in-home caregiver will have left to meet when they get to Canada, is that they have a two-year work experience requirement.”
- “These pilots will also provide caregivers with the flexibility to change employers when they need to do that.”
Finally, the Minister recently announced an “Interim Pathway for Caregivers” that will open shortly for only three months – from 4 March 2019 until 4 June 2019. Its aim is to provide a pathway for certain care workers who ceased to be eligible for permanent residence following the introduction of the “Caring for Children” and “Caring for People with High Medical Needs” pilot programs on 30 November 2014. To qualify for this new pathway, care workers must have:
- a valid work permit or be awaiting a decision on an application to extend a work permit or restore your status as a worker;
- at least 12 months of full time work experience since 20 November 2014 as a home child care provider (NOC 4411) and/or home support worker (NOC 4412);
- taken an IRCC-approved language test and scored at least CLB 5 in English or NLCL 5 in French in all language abilities; and
- a Canadian secondary school diploma or its equivalent (an assessment of foreign credentials by an IRCC-designated organization is required).
Applicants must also intend to reside in a province other than Quebec and cannot be inadmissible to Canada. For more information on the Interim Pathway, please contact us.