The five-year caregiver pilot programs were introduced in the year 2014 following the scrapping of the old Live-in caregiver program. With an objective of targeting people with high medical needs and the caring of children these caregiver pilot programs thus acted as an invitation for the foreign national caregivers to have a legal entry in Canada. What was new about the recently introduced program was that it gave them some leverage in not having to establish their eligibility as a permanent residence on the basis of an official language, education at a temporary stage. The candidates on this temporary visa option can choose to file for permanent residency after acquiring the relevant work experience. Unlike the former Live-In Caregiver Program which involved the mandatory live-in requirement and following the removal of this clause the program was centered to be in sync with the Government’s approach of selecting economic immigrants on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada. The validity of these 2014 pilot programs established under section 14.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, is until November 29th, 2019.
CONFUSION OVER THE CHANGES IN THE IMMIGRATION POLICY FOR CAREGIVERS
Following various consultations in 2018 about 2014 caregiver pilot, it was found out that most of the caregivers were ignorant about changes that were made by the authorities, following which many national caregivers have continued to flock the Canadian shores with a candid hope that they would be eligible for the Permanent residency following their temporary work permit and two years of Canadian work experience as a caregiver. The caregivers were taken aback after their arrival when they found out that they did not fulfill the requirements for the permanent residency. Also, the confusion led many an applicant to be assessed under the old The confusion surrounding the 2014 pilots was also escalated following the old program criteria. The Department also highlighted the myriad challenges faced by the immigrant caregivers which are worsened owing to their temporary status. The growing incidences of live-in work arrangements, despite the removal of the formal live-in requirement in 2014; and caregivers’ dependence on their employers led them to obtain and provide proof of the Canadian work experience needed to qualify for permanent residence.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR PR (CAREGIVERS)
Following February 2018, the government has dedicated its efforts to put the PR pathway for caregivers in place before its expiration by November 2019. The eligibility criteria and application process for a new pathway will be announced well before November 2019.
Department has proposed a three-month public policy thus providing a single shot, short term focused road to seeking a PR for some of the initial temporary foreign worker caregivers who came to Canada expecting to obtain permanent residence, but who do not qualify under existing caregiver pathways. The key advantage of this program is that it shall lessen the gravity and the skepticism that prevails in the minds of the in-Canada temporary foreign worker caregivers face who don’t fulfill the eligibility criteria under a current pathway to permanent residence. Owing to the myriad contributions that the caregivers have given to the Canadian families, the pathway aims at providing recognition of their services. However, all the candidates need to satisfy the minimum requirements for applicants to be able to establish themselves and their families in Canada as permanent residents.
Under this public policy, and at the time of application, the foreign nationals who fulfill the following criteria can apply:
i) The candidate should be authorized to work in Canada on a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit.
ii) He should be authorized to work without a work permit pursuant to subsection 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations if they have applied for a renewal of a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit.
iii) Has applied for the restoration of status, and possesses a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit as their most recent work permit.
iv) The candidate should have the intention of residing in a province or territory other than Quebec.
The candidate should meet the following educational criteria:
i) completed Canadian educational credential of at least a secondary school diploma;
ii) Should possess a foreign diploma, certificate or credential, along with an equivalency assessment — issued within five years before the date of application— that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a completed Canadian secondary school diploma.
iii) Has attained a level of proficiency of at least benchmark 5 in either official language for each of the four language skill areas, as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadians, as demonstrated by the results of an evaluation designated by the Minister — that must be less than two years old on that date — by an organization or institution designated by the Minister for the purpose of evaluating language proficiency under subsection 74(3) of the Regulations.
Since November 30, 2014, has acquired one year of authorized full-time Canadian work experience.
A Temporary Foreign Worker Program work permit needs to satisfy the following eligible occupations:
i) Home child care provider within the meaning of that occupation as set out in the National Occupational Classification for unit group 4411, other than any experience as a foster parent;
ii) Home support worker or related occupation, but not a housekeeper
iii) Satisfy the other statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to foreign nationals seeking to obtain permanent resident status in Canada, with the exception of the requirement to belong to a class.
COMMENCEMENT AND VALIDITY DATES
This public policy comes into effect on March 4, 2019, and expires on June 4, 2019. Applications received during this time period will continue to be processed until all applications are final. As per the new policy, the caregivers would enjoy many privileges such as having access to the new 5-year caregiver immigration pilots that will replace expiring and ineffective pilot programs. One of the advantages that come with the introduction of new pilot programs that it allows the caregivers to touch down with their families thus fulfilling their chances of attaining a permanent residence. In a further extension, the caregivers would have the option to change jobs frequently and an option of accompanying the family members to Canada. The biggest advantage of the new program is that the candidate is also evaluated for his prospects for attaining a PR before he starts employment in Canada.No sooner does the caregiver attains 2 years of work experience, he is eligible for the direct pathway to become a permanent resident.
The above programs act as a replacement for Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots and are now inclusive of:
a) Occupation-specific work permits for caregivers, providing the ability to change jobs quickly when necessary.
b) Open work permits for spouses/common-law partners and study permits for dependent children, to allow the caregiver’s family to accompany them to Canada.
MAIN METHODS OF IMMIGRATION AS A CAREGIVER
Basically, there are 4 ways to apply for permanent residence as a caregiver.
INTERIM PATHWAY FOR CAREGIVERS
The interim Pathway opens on March 4, 2019, and concludes June 4, 2019. The interim program addresses the needs of the candidates following the discussion with the caregivers who had not understood the previous changes. As mentioned early many workers started working only to find dejection at the end of not being eligible for the PR under the existing program. The Interim opportunity provides caregivers with a chance to reside permanently in Canada.
The interim program provides 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. With a dedicated and focused effort from the Government of Canada which continues to reunite the families and eliminate the backlogs across all immigration streams, it has finally succeeded in the elimination of I80% of the caregiver backlog and reducing the processing time from its peak of more than 60 months. The government boasts of reduction of 94% of the backlog and processing time to about 1 year.
CARING FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM
The eligibility criteria for the Caring for Children Program is as follows:
i) Employed as a home child care provider in Canada for a minimum period of 2 years
ii) The candidate should fulfil the language and education requirements.
You must prove your language skills in English or French by taking a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The candidates should note the following points:
i) The test should be scheduled only at an IRCC approved centre and fees be paid.
ii) The test results after comparison with a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark), the candidate should find his level.
iii) The candidate should achieve at least a minimum level of CLB 5, following which the original test results have to be submitted.
iv) The test results should not be older than two years old.
vi) The candidate has the option of taking any of the two tests:
a) CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
b) CELPIP has three tests. You must take the “CELPIP-G” test.
For more information on these tests, the candidate can visit https://www.celpip.ca/
The candidate is advised to get Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an organization approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). He is required to follow the guidelines if he is
i) Main Applicant
ii) Educational Credentials outside Canada
NOTE: The candidate doesn’t require the ECA in case he has Canadian post-secondary education credential of at least one year.
NOTE: The candidate is hereby advised to include original ECA report along with proof of completed foreign credential following application.
The ECA report must:be:
i) Issued on or after the date the organization was approved by IRCC,
ii) Less than five years old on the date that IRCC gets your application, and
iii) Indicative that your completed foreign credential is equal to a completed Canadian post-secondary one of at least one year.
The Caring for Children Program is scheduled to end on November 29, 2019. To be eligible to apply, you’ll need to meet the requirements and submit your application before November 29, 2019.
CARING FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGHER MEDICAL NEEDS PROGRAM
The candidate can choose to apply for the Caring for People with High Medical Needs a class in case he satisfies the following criteria:
i) Employed in Canada for the last two years.
ii) Registered Nurse
iii) Licenced Practical Nurse
iv) A nurse aide or orderly
v) Home Support Worker
However, the language and education requirements are the same as CARING FOR CHILDREN program.
The Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program is scheduled to end on November 29, 2019. In order to be eligible one needs to apply prior to November 29, 2019.
LIVE IN CAREGIVER PROGRAM
In the event a candidate is applying for You can apply for the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), he has to satisfy the following conditions:
i) One should have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in the program.
ii) The candidate should be working in Canada with an LCP work permit
iii) He was approved for a first LCP work permit based on a Labor Market Impact Assessment submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada on or prior to November 30, 2014
iv) In case the candidate Has work experience in Canada as a caregiver but doesn’t qualify for any of the options above, he might be eligible to immigrate to Canada through a different program. The candidate is advised to check the official site https://www.canada.ca.
STATISTICS WITH CAREGIVER PROGRAM
Some of the major statistics of the caregiver program are enumerated as follows:
i) The processing time for applications under the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots is six months or less.
ii) The Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot are most likely to be launched with a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants each, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants, per year. However, Spouses/common-law partners and dependent children shall not be counted against the limit.