Immigrating to Canada as a Caregiver is a convenient and straightforward option to stay in Canada temporarily while meeting the requirements for permanent residency. You can apply for one of the new caregiver programs developed by the Canadian government if you are a carer who wishes to live and work in Canada.
The three programs “Interim Pathway for Caregivers”, “Caring for People with High Medical Needs”, and “Caring for Children” were closed in 2019 — but that doesn’t mean there’s no immigration pathway for caregivers anymore. In fact, two new such programs were introduced after the closure.
The two available caregiver immigration programs right now
The two new available programs are Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker.
Thanks to these new programs, immigrants don’t have to leave their family behind anymore to work as a caregiver in Canada. Furthermore, the programs offer a simpler and streamlined way for immigrants to gain permanent Canadian residence.
The first batch of applicants applied for these programs in 2019 after the previous programs were closed.
These older programs had a bad reputation for keeping caregivers away from their family members and trapping them in abusive work environments. After all, these programs were introduced before the liberal government came into power.
Caregivers would start working in Canada thinking they’d eventually get permanent residence — but that wasn’t the case. There was no guideline for caregivers to gain permanent residence in older pathways.
Processing time for the new programs
Even though the processing for the new programs has been taking longer than usual since 2019, the government has taken initiatives to speed up the process this year, promising to process as many as 6000 applications by the end of 2021.
Who can apply for these pathways?
According to the new guidelines, caregivers can apply for the new pathways if they have a job offer in Canada, plus they meet the criteria for standard Canadian immigration.
Two years of work experience is required for caregivers to apply for permanent residence. Hence, an immigrant has to actually migrate to Canada and work for 2 years before they can think of permanent residence.
Benefits of the new programs
The new programs offer the following benefits to immigrant caregivers.
- Caregivers will now be able to change their employers easier and faster — thanks to occupation-specific permits, rather than the older, employer-specific ones.
- Better opportunities for caregivers’ families to come to Canada.
- Clearer pathway for caregivers to gain permanent residence.
What to do if your work permit is expiring
If you’re already working in Canada and your existing work permit is expiring, you can go about the situation in two ways.
First, if you meet the criteria for permanent residence, i.e., you have been working as a caregiver for at least 2 years, you should apply for a permanent residence.
If you don’t meet the criteria, you should apply to extend your work period through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Since the older caregiver programs have been closed and new ones introduced, caregivers enjoy a clearer, streamlined process to work in Canada and gain permanent residence.