Canada’s immigration department plans to finalize 6,000 caregiver applications for permanent residence by December 31, 2021.
In a statement released on April 15, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it will finalize the applications for caregivers who have completed their in-Canada work experience, as well as their immediate family members.
The department also said it would make at least 1,500 first-stage decisions on applications for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots by June 30, 2021.
“Immigrant caregivers, who take care of our families and elders, are often separated from their own families, and the pandemic has significantly slowed down permanent residence application processing, keeping them apart from their families longer than we would have hoped,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in the release. “With today’s announcement, we’re getting caregiver immigration back on track which will help reunite front-line heroes with their loved ones.”
By prioritizing these decisions, IRCC will be able to issue more caregiver work permits for those who have valid job offers to work for families in Canada. The statement also says the pandemic has affected operations at IRCC, particularly for paper-based applications as office closures resulted in more employees working remotely. The number of mail-in applications processed in 2020 was significantly reduced. As a result, IRCC is digitizing the application process so that the department can process the applications it received in 2020 before the end of the year. IRCC says it will ensure caregiver program applicants receive acknowledgement of receipt letters by May 31, 2021.
The new policy will take effect on May 3, 2021. Those who applied to the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots in 2020 will not need to reapply, IRCC says.
About Canada’s caregiver immigration programs
The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots were launched in 2019. These pathways to permanent residence for caregivers offer occupation-specific work permits, rather than employer-specific work permits. This means caregivers do not have to remain tied to one employer as long as they are still working in their occupation. About 2,900 caregivers and their family members became permanent residents in 2020.
As of March 3, 2021, there were applications for about 12,000 caregivers and their accompanying family members in IRCC’s processing inventory. This includes applications to both the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots, but also the cases that IRCC is still finalizing from previous caregiver programs.
As of April 8, 2021, IRCC received an estimated 2,367 applications for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot. This represents about 86 per cent of the number of applications that can be accepted for 2021. For the Home Support Worker Pilot, IRCC has received an estimated 516 applications, representing about 19 per cent of the number of applications that can be accepted in 2021.
Caregivers eligible for new immigration programs
Starting May 6, Canada will accept 30,000 new permanent residents with one year of work experience in essential occupations. Caregiver occupations, NOC 4411 and 4412, are considered eligible occupations under this new program.
In addition, IRCC will also open the doors to 20,000 healthcare workers and 40,000 international student graduates who are already living in Canada. In total, these temporary programs are expected to allow 90,000 foreign nationals to become Canadian permanent residents.
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