Caregiver Pilot Programs

Exploring the Caregiver Pilot Programs: IRCC’s Acceptance of Applications in 2024

As of January 1st, 2024, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is gearing up to welcome applications for two pivotal caregiver pilot programs: The Home Childcare Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot: Direct to Permanent Residence category. Here, we highlight the details of these programs and recent changes.

The Reset and Renewal

In a bid to fortify the caregiver landscape, IRCC is set to reset the cap for both pilot programs, inviting fresh applications. The Home Childcare Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot: Direct to Permanent Residence category offers a specialized pathway for individuals with caregiving experience. Launched in 2019, these programs have gained significant traction, drawing nearly 1,100 caregivers and their families into the realm of permanent residency in 2022.

Time Is of the Essence

IRCC issues a crucial piece of advice to aspiring candidates: apply sooner rather than later. The 2023 cap for online applicants in the Home Child Care Provider Pilot reached its limit on April 14, 2023. However, there are still available slots for the Home Support Worker Pilot in 2023, as per the information on the official website. The impending reset on January 1st beckons those with caregiving aspirations to seize the opportunity promptly.

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Halved Work Experience Requirement

A significant development unfolded in February 2023, reshaping the caregiver landscape. IRCC announced a noteworthy reduction in the work experience requirement for caregivers, slicing it in half from 24 to 12 months of full-time work.

IRCC clarifies that full-time work requires 30 hours of paid labor per week, and the necessary work experience should be accumulated within the 36 months preceding the application submission. Notably, work experience garnered during the candidate’s student phase does not qualify for consideration.

Specific Work Experience Criteria

Candidates must fulfill specific work experience criteria outlined by IRCC. The work experience must align with National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412, with strict adherence to the NOC job description. Mixing roles under both codes is not permissible; the candidate must predominantly engage in the main duties associated with the chosen NOC code.

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While the work experience requirements transformed, other prerequisites for candidates remained unchanged in 2023. These include showcasing language proficiency with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5, one year of Canadian post-secondary education or its foreign equivalent, and passing an admissibility check covering health, criminality, and security.

Options for Temporary Resident Caregivers

For caregivers not qualifying for permanent residency under the specified pilot programs, avenues remain open through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). To extend their work permit, caregivers need their employers to obtain a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA serves as a testament to the employer’s inability to find a suitable Canadian or permanent resident for the role.

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A positive or neutral outcome grants the employer the authority to hire the caregiver, who then operates under a closed work permit, exclusive to their employing organization. As the caregiver pilot programs reset for 2024, the prospects for caregivers to secure permanent residency in Canada remain promising. With reduced work experience requirements and a streamlined application process, caregivers are encouraged to embark on this transformative journey sooner rather than later.

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