Canada has a strong history of welcoming caregivers to contribute to its economy and society, and it continuously updates its immigration policies. Currently, there are two pilot programs for caregivers seeking permanent residence: the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. Each program allows a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants per year, totaling 5,500 principal applicants.
As of April 30, 2023, the required Canadian work experience for caregivers to qualify for permanent residence will be reduced from 24 months to 12 months. This change will also apply retroactively to caregivers who have already applied.Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot Both pilot programs offer permanent residence to caregivers who meet the following criteria:
- Have at least 12 months of full-time qualifying work experience in the 36 months before applying (effective April 30, 2023).
- Obtain language test results indicating a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5.
- Have one year of Canadian post-secondary education or its foreign equivalent.
- Pass an admissibility check, which includes health, criminality, and security assessments.
Qualifying Work Experience The work experience criteria for these pilots include:
- Having at least 12 months of full-time work experience within the 36 months preceding the application.
- The work experience must fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412 and must match the NOC job description.
- Full-time work is defined as a minimum of 30 hours of paid work each week.
- Caregivers with NOC 4411 experience (excluding foster parents) can apply through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot, caring for children under 18.
- Caregivers with NOC 4412 experience (excluding housekeepers) can apply through the Home Support Worker Pilot, providing assistance to individuals who require home support.
Language Levels Applicants must take an IRCC-designated English or French language test and obtain a CLB or NCLC 5 in all four language skills: writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Education Applicants need to have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, which can be from a Canadian or foreign institution. If it’s foreign education, they must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
Admissibility IRCC conducts admissibility checks, which include biometrics, a medical exam, and a police clearance certificate. Specific requirements vary depending on an applicant’s background.
Work Permit Pathways for Caregivers Eligible applicants to these pilot programs may obtain work permits while awaiting permanent residence. There are two categories for applicants:
- Category A (0-23 months of eligible Canadian work experience): Applicants with less than 12 months of NOC 4411 or NOC 4412 work experience in Canada need to apply for an occupation-restricted open work permit. This allows them to gain the required 12 months of work experience within three years.
- Category B (12+ months of eligible Canadian work experience): Applicants who already have 12 months of eligible work experience do not need an occupation-restricted open work permit. They can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) after submitting their immigration application.
Spouses and dependents of caregivers are also eligible for open work permits.
In-Home Caregivers Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Stream Families in Canada can hire foreign caregivers to assist with children, seniors, or individuals with certified medical needs. Caregivers work full-time and provide care in private households. Families must obtain approval for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Canadian government. Once approved, the foreign caregiver can apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Note that work permits for caregivers under NOC 4411 and 4412 have specific residency requirements depending on whether they will work in Quebec or other provinces or territories in Canada.
These programs reflect Canada’s commitment to attracting and supporting caregivers while enhancing its immigration system.