February 23, 2019 - New caregiver pilot programs announced today

Today, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced via a news release, two new immigration pilots for caregiver pathways to permanent residence, which will be launched soon. These two pilot programs will replace the existing caregiver permanent residence pilots (the Caring for Children pilot program, and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilot program), which are expiring at their five year expiry date on November 29, 2019.

The news release indicated that under these new pilots, applicants will be assessed for permanent residence before they start working in Canada. Accordingly, after applying for a work permit and obtaining two years of work experience as a caregiver, applicants will “have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident”.

The new programs will allow “greater flexibility to change jobs quickly, and barriers that prevent family members from accompanying caregivers to Canada will be removed”. There will be new occupation-specific work permits, which will allow caregivers to change jobs faster, when necessary. IRCC will also allow open work permits for spouses/common-law partners and study permits for dependent children, so that family members can accompany caregivers to Canada.

IRCC also indicated that they will be launching an interim program, called the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, which will be open for a three month period, between March 4, 2019 and June 4, 2019. This program is being launched to address confusion to changes in 2014, for those caregivers working in Canada who had misunderstood the program requirements and as a consequence, did not qualify for permanent residence. On this, IRCC has stated:

“Many caregivers began working for families in Canada, only to find out later that they were not going to qualify for permanent residence under an existing program. To address this issue, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers will provide those caregivers an opportunity to stay in Canada permanently. 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.”

To read IRCC’s news release, click here.

For more details on the Interim Pathway for Caregivers, click here.

For a comparative table on the different caregiver programs, click here.

For more information, or for assistance with the preparation of your caregiver work permit, or application for permanent residence, get in touch with us here.