Canada’s immigration minister announced new pilot programs and other enhancements to work permit applications for caregivers.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker, which will open for applications on Tuesday, June 18, are new pilot caregiver programs that would replace existing pilots that are soon expiring.
Each will have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants per year, plus their immediate family.
Under the new programs, caregivers will only receive a work permit if they have a job offer in Canada and meet standard criteria for economic immigration programs. Once they gain the required 2 years of Canadian work experience, they can apply for permanent residency.
“We want people who are coming to work as caregivers in Canada to have a pathway to permanent residency. This is not a temporary foreign worker program,” Hussen said.
Other benefits under the new pilots are open work permits and study permits for the caregivers’ immediate family, the elimination of the Labor Market Impact Assessment, and the issuance of caregiver-specific work permits rather than employer-specific.
“One of the best things we’ve done is to empower those caregivers to be able to leave their employers by giving them a more flexible work permit. That’s a big change,” he said.
In addition to the new pilots, the government has also extended the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, which will re-open on July 8 and accept applications for 3 months. Still, advocates are lobbying for more considerations in favor of the many caregivers in limbo by removing or reducing the language and educational requirements.
While the new programs offer solutions to common hurdles that caregivers face in Canada, many are still uncertain they will meet the eligibility requirements. With the community’s continued support, they remain hopeful to gain landed status in the country they served for years.