- Overview of Caregivers Programs
- What are the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
- How Do I Apply for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
- How Can I Work in Canada Temporarily as a Caregiver?
- What is Maintained Status?
- Closed Programs for Caregivers
- What is the Live-in Caregiver Program?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of Caregivers Programs
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) operate a few different programs to enable caregivers and people who work in care to come and work in Canada.
These include the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot, which eligible applicants can use as a pathway to permanent residence.
If you’re not eligible for permanent residence as a caregiver, you may instead be eligible for a temporary work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
There are also a number of programs that are closed to new applicants but are still processing applications for those who applied before the closing dates.
Additionally, the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is still open to those who are already in Canada on an LCP work permit.
What are the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot are five year pilot programs that allow caregivers and their family members to come to Canada with the goal of becoming permanent residents.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, most applicants must have a valid job offer in Canada to be eligible to apply.
The application process for these pilots will be different depending on if you have:
- No qualifying work experience
- Less than 12 months’ qualifying work experience (Gaining Experience category)
- More than 12 months’ qualifying work experience (Direct to Permanent Residence category)
Note that the guidelines for these pilots changed in April 2023. As part of these changes, the threshold for work experience is now 12 months instead of 24 months as it was previously.
The pilots grant participants an open work permit to come to work in Canada on a temporary basis. This work permit:
- Is occupation-restricted (meaning that you’re restricted to work in that specific occupation)
- Doesn’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
- Lets you get the work experience you need to be eligible for permanent residence
You will be able to apply for permanent residency through this scheme once you have 24 months’ worth of qualifying work experience, if you don’t already.
How Do I Apply for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
You may apply for the pilots either on paper or online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Note that the specific eligibility requirements and application processes will differ based on your level of work experience. However, all applicants must take a language test to prove their English or French proficiency and meet the minimum educational requirements, which may involve getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
The application process will also differ depending on whether you’re inside Canada or outside it.
To apply for the scheme you wish to participate in, you will have to fill out an application form and the document checklist. The document checklist will help you to assemble all the supporting documents you need to apply.
You will then have to pay the application processing fee and the right of permanent residence fee, which will total $CAN 1,085.
You may also have to pay a fee of $CAN 85 if you have to give your biometrics information.
Note that the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot have a yearly cap of the number of people who can apply for the schemes. If the yearly cap has been met for the current year, you may be able to apply for the schemes again next year.
How Can I Work in Canada Temporarily as a Caregiver?
If you’re unable to apply for permanent residence as a caregiver, you may wish to consider working temporarily in Canada instead.
Caregivers can apply through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to work in Canada temporarily. To be eligible for this route, one of the following must apply to your situation:
- You’re in Canada and eligible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada
- You’re outside Canada and your employer applied for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before June 18, 2019
- You’ll be working in Quebec
Note that you won’t be able to apply for a new work permit (that needs an LMIA) if any of the following apply:
- Your employer applied for an LMIA on or after June 18, 2019 and:
- You’re applying for a work permit from outside Canada through the TFWP
- You plan to work in a province or territory other than Quebec
- You applied for a work permit at a port of entry on or after April 22, 2022
- You’re in Canada as a visitor and applied for your first work permit on or after April 22, 2022
You may also be eligible to extend your work permit through the TFWP if you’re currently working in Canada as a caregiver.
Note that your employer will need to get a positive LMIA first before you apply for a new work permit or extend your current one.
What is Maintained Status?
It’s important to note that you must always have valid temporary resident status while working in Canada. This means that you must apply to extend your work permit or change its conditions before it expires.
If you applied for a new work permit before your current permit expired, you can keep working under the same conditions of your original work permit while you wait for a decision. This is known as ‘maintained status’.
Note that applications that depend on a decision on permanent residence, such as those under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots, may take a year or more to process. This will mean that you’ll be on maintained status for the duration of this period.
Under maintained status, you:
- May have difficulties accessing some government services or benefits
- Must keep the conditions of your expired work permit
- May not be able to leave Canada without losing your maintained status and won’t be able to work until your application is processed if you re-enter
If your application for permanent residency is refused or rejected, your application for a work permit and your work permit fees will also be returned to you.
You will also lose your maintained status if you didn’t apply for a work permit separately, and you will have to leave Canada if you’re not eligible to restore your status as a temporary resident.
If your application for permanent residency has been refused or rejected and you’re unsure about the next steps to take, speak to one of our advisers for more information. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.
Closed Programs for Caregivers
There are a few programs for caregivers that are now closed but are still processing applications for those who applied before the closing dates.
These include the Caring for Children Program and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program, which both closed on 18 June 2019.
If you’ve been caring for children in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot instead. Similarly, if you’ve been working in Canada as a home support worker, you may be eligible for the Home Support Worker Pilot.
In addition to these two programs, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers closed on 8 October 2019, but applications made before the closing date are still being processed.
What is the Live-in Caregiver Program?
The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) was a scheme that allowed applicants to apply for permanent residency after 24 months of full-time, lived-in employment.
It is closed to new applicants, although you may still be able to apply for permanent residency under the scheme if you have at least 24 months’ of work experience in the program and either:
- You’re already working in Canada with a work permit from the Live-in Caregiver Program, or
- You were approved for your first LCP work permit based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada on or before November 30, 2014
If you have work experience in Canada as a caregiver but don’t qualify for any of the schemes outlined above, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through a different program.
For more information about the paths to permanent residency available to applicants, or any other question about immigrating to Canada, speak to one of our expert legal advisers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
How Can Total Law Help?
Coming to work in Canada as a caregiver can be a good opportunity to gain valuable work experience either in a care home or in a patient’s own home. The opportunity to obtain permanent residency is also a valuable one that many people may wish to take advantage of.
If you’re a caregiver looking to emigrate to Canada either permanently or temporarily, Total Law can help.
We are expert legal advisers specialising in immigration law. Whether you require help with an application for a work permit or permanent residency, need assistance if your application has been rejected or require urgent legal advice for an imimigration issue, we assist and guide you through every step of the application process.
We can also liaise with IRCC and government officials to ensure that your application is processed properly and any and all queries, questions or concerns are responded to in a timely manner.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
You must have a Canadian Language Benchmark level of 5 or higher in all abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
Your test results must also be less than two years old when you apply for the scheme.
For English speakers, you may take either of the following tests to demonstrate your language abilities:
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
- International English Language Testing System (ILETS)
Meanwhile, French speakers, may take either of the following:
- TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
- TCF Canada : Test de connaissance du français
To be eligible for the pilots, you must have completed one year of post-secondary education credential or higher.
This may be in Canada or in another country.
If your education was in another country, you will have to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved organization to demonstrate that your education meets the minimum requirements.
The yearly cap for applications for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots changes every year.
As an example the cap in 2023 for the Home Support Worker Pilot was 1,650 applications in the Gaining Experience category and 1,100 applications in the Direct to Permanent Residence category.
It’s important to apply for the scheme of your preference as quickly as possible before the yearly cap is reached.
The schemes re-open for applications on 1 January of each year.