Canada’s Caregiver Pilot Programs Cut Work Experience Requirement by 50%

Members of Parliament Salma Zahid and Rechie Valdez announced that caregivers can now apply for permanent residence in Canada with 12 months of work experience instead of 24.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will ensure that applicants have the required amount of work experience before approval is granted to them. The change will take effect as of April 30, 2023, and it is retrospective for caregivers who have already applied for the program.

In addition, some spaces under the existing caregiver pathways have been reserved for caregivers who have already completed a work permit in Canada, giving them the experience required to apply to be permanent residents of the country.


It is expected that the change will have an impact on approximately 90% of applicants who are in the process of applying for caregiver programs at the time of the change.

The pilot programs were launched in 2019 and are scheduled to expire in June 2024. Nearly 1,600 caregivers and their family members have become permanent residents as a result of the programs. The two pilot programs made nearly 1,100 caregivers and family members permanent residents in 2022.

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“In Canada, caregivers have been instrumental in the lives of many growing children, elderly parents, and those who require additional specialized care”, said immigration minister Sean Fraser. Having one year of work experience in Canada will make caregivers and their families more eligible for permanent residence sooner, enabling them to settle down and begin their new lives.

In addition, other eligibility criteria remain the same for both programs, which means candidates must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The results of the language test show a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5;
  • A minimum of one year of post-secondary education in a Canadian institution, or the foreign equivalent.
  • Be able to pass an admissibility check (health, criminality, and security)
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It is now mandatory for candidates to be able to show the following types of work experience when applying:

  • Experience in work activities that fall under the NOC codes 4411 or 4412
  • One cannot have experience in both jobs at the same time
  • The candidate must meet most of the main duties of the NOC job description
  • A full-time job is at least 30 hours per week of paid work

A Growing Number of Aging Population

A census conducted in 2021 indicated that 861,395 Canadians over the age of 85 live in Canada. The Census also showed that there were 2.1 million people between the ages of 75 and 85 living in senior living facilities and care facilities. The data for 2016 indicates that there were 500,000 residents living in long-term care facilities.

It is also expected that there will be nearly nine million Canadians who will reach the age of 65 by 2030, which means that Canada will need to hire more caregivers in order to meet the demands of the population both now and in the near future.

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Furthermore, there is also a need for more childcare, as most Canadian families are either single-parent or dual-income families with both parents working outside the home. Many of these families do not have relatives close by to assist with childcare responsibilities, and they rely on either daycare or private household care for their children.

It is clear that in order to meet these needs, Canada continues to hire healthcare and social assistance professionals. According to the most recent labour force survey, over 7,000 immigrants were hired in January 2023, but there were still 131,800 job vacancies as of November 2022.

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