Caregivers from abroad able to seek permanent residency under new pilot program

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen speaks at the Black History Month reception in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is launching two new immigration pilot programs that will allow caregivers to come to Canada with their families while also offering them the opportunity to become permanent residents.

Under the newly designed programs, caregivers will be given greater flexibility to change jobs quickly, if needed. Current barriers that prevent caregivers’ family members from coming with them to Canada will also be removed, and open work permits will be offered to their spouses and common-law partners as well as study permits for dependent children.

“Caregivers provide care to families in Canada that need it, and it’s time for Canada to care for them in return,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

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“We are providing them with both the opportunity to bring their family members here and access permanent residency to demonstrate our commitment.”

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Applicants will be assessed for permanent residence criteria before they begin working in Canada. Once they obtain a work permit and have two years of work experience under their belts, they will have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident.

These five-year pilot programs are replacing the expiring ‘Caring for Children’ and ‘Caring for People with High Medical Needs’ pilot programs, which Hussen says were ineffective.

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The new Home Child Care Provider pilot and the Home Support Worker pilot will begin later this year with a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants each, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants per year. Spouses, common-law partners and dependent children will not count against these limits.

For caregivers already in Canada who arrived after changes made in 2014 to the caregiver program that were not well understood, an interim Pathway for Caregivers program is also being launched.

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A number of caregivers began working for families in Canada only to find out later they would not qualify for permanent residence under any existing programs. This new temporary program with modified criteria will provide those caregivers who, in good faith, came to Canada and are providing care to Canadians, a new chance to stay in Canada permanently.

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This interim program will be open from March 4 to June 4, 2019.

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