Canada is reducing the amount of work experience required for its Caregiver immigration programs by half, to one year instead of two years.
“Caregivers are an important option for families in Canada and have played an instrumental role in the lives of many growing children, aging parents, and those who need additional specialized care,” says Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“By reducing the work experience required in Canada to one year, more caregivers and their families will become eligible to transition to permanent residence sooner, meaning that they can settle down and start the next chapter of their lives here in Canada.”
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expects the change will dramatically improve processing times for these applications, benefiting up to 90 per cent of applications currently in processing and providing an advantage for both the caregivers who are just starting out and those who have been providing care in Canada already.
The immigration minister is also hinting that the current pilot Caregiver programs could become permanent programs starting in June 2024.
“Caregivers are indispensable in assisting Canadian families and it’s an honour for us to provide them a more expedited route to permanent residence and prosperous integration into Canada,” said Scarborough Centre MP Salma Zahid at the announcement on Friday.
“The decreased work experience requirement and reserved pathways to permanent residence recognize the sacrifices that caregivers make and the value of their work to Canadian society.”
The lower work experience requirement for the Caregiver programs will become effective on April 30, 2023 and will be retrospective for caregivers who have already applied.
Since the launch of the five-year Home Child Care Provider (HCCP) and the Home Support Worker (HSW) pilots in 2019, nearly 1,600 caregivers and their family members have become permanent residents. In 2022 alone, nearly 1,100 caregivers and their family members became permanent residents through the two pilots.
“It is our responsibility to support caregivers in Canada,” said Mississauga-Streetsville MP Rechie Valdez, on Friday.
Immigration Is Driving Population Growth In Canada And Helping Address Labour Shortages
“Reducing work experience and creating reserved pathways to permanent residence are just a couple of ways we can show our appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work of caregivers. We are committed to improving the process and making changes that are needed to recognize the value that caregivers bring to our community and to Canada.”
Immigration accounts for almost all of Canada’s labour force growth, with more than 75 per cent of Canada’s population growth coming from immigration, mostly in the economic category.
By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30 per cent of the Canadian population up from 20.7 per cent in 2011.
Fifty years ago, there were seven workers for every retiree in Canada. Today, that number is closer to three, and if Canada stays on its current trajectory, in the next 10 to 15 years, that ratio will drop to two workers for every retiree.
The Caregiver pilots are part of Ottawa’s strategy to tackle the labour shortage challenges facing Canadian employers.
Under the HCCP and HSW candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for permanent residence:
- a job offer;
- CLB 5 language level, and;
- one year of Canadian post-secondary education or its foreign equivalent.
Applicants For Caregiver Pilot Programs Must Have Valid Job Offers
That should include an occupation-specific work permit to obtain the work experience the applicant will need for permanent residence.
Once the two years of work experience is completed – soon to be one year of work experience – the applicant must submit proof of that to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to get their permanent residence.
Candidates who already have work experience as an in-home caregiver in Canada can choose one of two options:
They can use the two-step process outlined above, then complete the required work experience to get permanent residence or they can keep working in Canada with a current work permit and apply for permanent residence once the work experience term is completed, provided the general requirements are met.