New Interim Pathways to Permanent Residence for Canada’s Caregivers

Good News!!! Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a new interim pathway on February 23, 2019, for the foreign caregivers who came to Canada after November 30, 2014, and were not entitled to Canadian permanent residence. As per the latest information, the opportunity will remain open from March 4, 2019, to June 4, 2019, only.

The three-month Interim Pathway for Caregivers will be applicable to individuals who have gained work experience in Canada as a home support worker, home childcare provider or a combination of both since November 30, 2014, through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

According to David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal, Quebec, “As Canada’s population ages, foreign caregivers are becoming more and more necessary in this country and it’s great to see IRCC acknowledging the fact Canada also has to take care of them and facilitating family reunification”.

Eligibility Criteria of Interim Pathway for Caregivers

Those who intend to reside in  a province other than Quebec will be eligible for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers and should meet the following criteria:

  • authorized to work in Canada on a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit at the time of application; or
  • applied for renewing a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit; or
  • applied and is eligible for restoration of status, and has a work permit except for a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit as their recent work permit
  • one year full-time Canadian work experience since November 30, 2014, in a relevant occupation; and
  • language skills of not less than a CLB/NCLC 5 in English or French; and
  • obtained a Canadian high school diploma or non-Canadian educational diploma certificate that’s equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma.
  • require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for foreign credentials – that states that the foreign certificate or credential is equal to a completed Canadian secondary school diploma- and should be issued within five years before the date of application by an authorized institution.

Note that the applicants whose educational certificates were obtained outside Canada but couldn’t acquire an ECA before the closing of Interim Pathway for Caregivers on June 4, 2019, are still eligible if they could present proof of their application including written confirmation from the agency they have submitted the application to get an ECA. Also, there will not be any limit on the number of times you can apply for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. Caregivers whose prevailing or most recent work permit through the Live-in Caregiver Program will not be eligible for the interim pathway.

“The interim pathway responds to the concerns of some caregivers who immigrate to Canada as temporary caregivers under the pilot programs Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs, which replaced Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program in November 2014”, says IRCC.

Unlike the Live-in Caregiver Program, in the new pilot programs, the ability of the candidates to meet permanent residence requirements including their education and proficiency in English or French were not assessed when applying for a work permit. The modifications made in the new programs were not well-understood and led to the arrival of foreign caregivers to Canada on the misconception that after obtaining a temporary work permit and two years of work experience in Canada, they would be eligible for permanent residence. The IRCC sources said that many caregivers realised that they lack the necessary requirements for permanent residence only after they arrived in Canada.

According to IRCC, the new interim pathway will have revised guidelines compared to the prevailing pilot programs and extends a way to permanent residence for caregivers who immigrated to Canada and are looking for a clear pathway to permanent residence. The new interim pathway as per IRCC is a one-time short-term solution that helps alleviate the unique predicament faced by Canadian foreign worker caregivers as they are not qualified under the existing program to permanent residence.

Home Support Worker and Child Care Provider Pilots

The Government of Canada has announced that the new interim pathway will replace the  Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs with two new five-year Canada immigration pilot programs that will equip the foreign caregivers and their family members with a new way to Canadian permanent residence.

Caregivers approved through the new pilots should acquire two years of Canadian work experience before gaining IRCC’s “direct pathway” to permanent residence. Rather than an employer-specific work permit, an occupation-specific work permit is needed to acquire this work experience, which means that the caregivers can change employers if required.

A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants will be accepted by IRCC each year under the new Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots. Also, the spouses and dependent children will not be counted against the principal applicant limit.