USA and the UK
- Caregivers Programs Overview
- Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program and Home Support Worker Pilot Program
- How Do You Apply for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
- Closed Caregiver Programs Overview
- How Can You Work Temporarily in Canada as a Caregiver?
- What’s a Maintained Status in Canada?
- How IAS Can Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Caregivers Programs Overview
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) operate some programs that allow caregivers and other care workers to immigrate and work in Canada.
The caregiver programs include the following:
- Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program & Home Support Worker Pilot Program
- In-Home Caregiver Programs: Caring for Children Program and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program
- The Live-in Caregiver Program
- Interim Pathway for Caregivers
However, it’s important to note that only the Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program and Home Support Worker Pilot Program are currently open to new applicants. You can use it to obtain permanent residence in Canada if you’re eligible.
If you haven’t met the permanent residence eligibility requirements, you may be qualified for a temporary work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Nevertheless, you and your employer must meet several standards and complete the application process.
Although the other programs are closed to new applicants, the application processing for those who met the deadline is ongoing.
However, those already in Canada can apply for the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) on an LCP work permit.
1. Education Credentials
You must prove that you have one of the following education credentials:
- Canadian educational credential: One-year post-secondary credentials or higher
- Foreign educational credentials matching the Canadian one plus an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an IRCC-designated organisation
The Canadian Credentials
This category of credentials includes any post-secondary certificate, diploma, or credential issued after completing a study or training in Canada. And you must have obtained these credentials from an educational or training institution acknowledged by the provincial bodies that register, accredit, supervise, and regulate such institutions.
Also, if you have started a college or university program and completed all the first-year credits successfully but not the entire course, you aren’t fit for this program.
The Foreign Credentials
The non-Canadian credentials depend on the ECA assessment, and the report must:
- Demonstrate that they’re equivalent to 1-year post-secondary or higher educational credentials
- Be issued within five years before the application receipt date
- Date back on or after the ECA designation day by IRCC
The ECA assessment outcome is the evidence that your credentials match at least 1-year of post-secondary educational credentials in Canada. The equivalency checks also include an authenticity-designated body assessment for your completed foreign educational credentials.
Nevertheless, the designated organisation’s authenticity evidence isn’t conclusive. If an officer questions your credentials’ authenticity, they must inform you. Also, they allow you to respond to the apprehensions and provide more documentation or information.
2. Language Proficiency
Language ability is the other criterion checked for you to qualify for this caregiver program in Canada.
Hence, you must prove that you meet the Minister of language proficiency’ set threshold in English or French in all the language skill areas. The assessed skill areas include:
Moreover, you must submit language ability test results from a designated body with your permanent residence application. The results must demonstrate that you meet all the required language proficiencies.
According to Ministerial Instructions, you must obtain test results for all four language areas from one evaluation. Hence, multiple test results’ results are invalid.
Also, the date of your language test results issuance must be within the past two years before your permanent residence application receipt. The results are conclusive evidence of your language ability. Therefore, any other written evidence isn’t accepted.
In addition to the education credentials and language ability, you must provide proof for the following.
3. Canadian Work Experience
After submitting proof of your Canadian work experience, the officer assesses you to confirm your qualification. That takes place upfront: in the initial stages of permanent resident application or once you receive the occupation-restricted open work permit (OROWP) via one of the pilots below:
Applicants without qualifying work experience: You may be eligible for the program but lack the 24 months of qualifying work experience in Canada during your permanent residence application. In such a case, you receive an OROWP. This work permit allows you to obtain at least 24 months of authorised full-time (at least 30 hours of paid work per week) work experience within 36 months.
Applicants with below 24 months of work experience (Category A): If you’re eligible for the permanent residence application but with less than 24 months of work experience, you also receive an OROWP. However, you’ll need less time to catch up with the requirement because you can count your experience as part of the 24 months threshold. Even so, you must prove that you acquired it within the 36 months preceding your proof of work experience submission.
Applicants with 24 months of work experience (Category B): If you have at least 24 months of work experience in Canada during the application time, you must provide proof before applying for permanent residence. You must demonstrate that you have a minimum of 24 months of eligible Canadian full-time work experience within the 36 before application time.
What Work Counts In The Canadian Work Experience?
You must have gained your work experience through an eligible occupation to qualify. That means a job listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as follows:
Home Child Care Provider Pilot: You must have obtained your qualifying work experience as a home care provider (NOC 4411). During this time, you must have been providing in-home care to children below 18 years. It could be in your home, the child’s or the employer’s home. Moreover, if you’re a foster parent, you aren’t an eligible candidate for this program.
Home Support Worker Pilot: The source of your qualifying work experience must be serving as a home support worker and related occupations (NOC 4412). However, among the NOC sub-occupations, housekeepers and other related occupations aren’t eligible for a home support worker application.
Therefore, it’s upon you to satisfy the officer that you primarily offered personal care and support services which align with the primary duties defined in the NOC occupational description. That includes performing routine housekeeping duties like washing dishes and laundry, among others. Such duties lie under the in-home care class.
All Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program and Home Support Worker Pilot Program applicants must have been temporary residents and be authorised during the Canadian work experience period. Unauthorised work won’t count.
You can obtain authorised work experience through combined work permits and other work authorisation.
Generally, you must demonstrate that you accomplished the following for your qualifying work experience to be valid:
- A significant number of primary duties, including all activities specified in the NOC’s initial lead statement
- Duties beginning with ‘may’ in the NOC description are non-essential
Canadian Work Experience Breaks
You don’t have to be working during your permanent residence application time. Also, you don’t have to work continuously to gain Canadian work experience. However, your 24 months of employment mustn’t include:
- Extended absenteeism from Canada (even if it’s out of work engagements)
- Unemployment periods
- Prolonged sicknesses
- Parental leave
A reasonable break is the one you get after meeting the work experience requirement. Usually, it’s two weeks of paid vacation leave within 52 weeks. You can spend your vacation in or outside Canada.
Moreover, any employment, including self-employment when studying full-time (during academic breaks), doesn’t count as part of your qualifying work experience period. If your work permit and study permit overlap, you must prove that you obtained your work experience after completing your full-time studies.
If you don’t have the 24 months of qualifying work experience, you must have proof of the following.
4. Job Offer
If you don’t meet the 24 months of qualifying work experience criteria during the initial application, you must show that you obtained a valid job offer:
- From a single employer in Canada: Your employer shouldn’t be a high commission, consulate, or embassy in Canada. And can comprise more than one person but with a single CRA business number.
- For a role not in Quebec province.
- To work full-time (a minimum of 30 hours per week of paid work).
- That isn’t seasonal.
- In an occupation under a homecare provider or home support worker.
- That’s genuine and whose validity won’t expire before you receive the initial OROWP.
Moreover, the job offer must define the work and duties you’ll be performing. The duties must comply with the actions of the NOC lead statement description for the eligible occupation. Also, you must submit your initial job offer in the form of the ‘Offer of Employment [IMM 5983] (PDF, 2.3 MB).’
Note that foster parents and housekeeper jobs aren’t part of the primary duties.
Job Offer from a Relative
Even if your job offer is from a relative, it undergoes the same scrutiny as any other. The immigration officer must examine all the application circumstances to assess the genuineness and eligibility of the job offer and employee-employer association.
How to Assess a Job Offer Genuineness
This assessment is essential in ensuring the safety of a caregiver in Canada and protecting the program’s integrity. Some of the proof that a job offer is valid and genuine include the following:
- An honest need for a caregiver like a person with a chronic or terminal illness
- Alignment of the specified wage to the prevailing wage in the host province or territory
- The employer’s financial ability to pay the specified wage
- Reasonable accommodation provision for live-in arrangements
5. Capacity to Execute the Work
If you lack 24 months of qualifying Canadian work experience, you must show that you can perform the work defined in the NOC lead statement description of such occupations, such as:
- NOC 4411 for Home Child Care Provider Pilot
- NOC 4412 for Home Support Worker Pilot
Nonetheless, foster parents and housekeepers aren’t part of NOC 4411 and NOC 4412, respectively.
During your assessment, the immigration officer may refer to the documentation of your permanent residence application. It includes:
- Relevant previous work experience proof: Employer reference letter, employer records, pay stubs, and work contracts
- Copies of relevant training or education credentials
- Copies of your most recent Canadian work permit (If applicable)
Reach out to us if you need assistance in your application for the pilots and gathering support documents.
How Do You Apply for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots?
You have two application modes for these programs. You may apply on paper or online via the IRCC website.
The main determinant of your application process and eligibility requirements depend on your qualifying work experience. Nonetheless, all applicants must meet the minimum educational requirements (Educational Credential Assessment- EAC) and undertake a language ability test (English or French proficiency).
The other factor that defines your application path is your location during the initial application: Inside or outside Canada.
The application process involves application form filing and the document checklist. The checklist guides you on what supporting documents to gather to apply. Additionally, you must pay $CAN 1,085 for the application processing and the right of permanent residence fees.
Also, you may have to pay $85 for the biometric information submission (if applicable).
Since these caregiver programs have a yearly cap on their applicants, you may have to apply next time if the current year’s cap is already met.
Three out of the four caregiver programs in Canada are currently closed. However, the processing of the applications received before the deadline is ongoing.
These programs include the following:
- In-Home Caregiver Programs: Caring for Children Program and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program
- Interim Pathway for Caregivers
- The Live-in Caregiver Program
1. In-Home Caregiver Programs
The Caring for Children Program and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program are the sub-categories under the In-Home caregivers. Workers in these programs care for children under 18 years and those with high medical requirements, respectively. Both programs closed on June 18, 2019.
You may qualify for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot if you have worked under the Caring for Children program in Canada. Likewise, you may meet the Home Support Worker Pilot program requirements if you previously worked as a home support worker.
The in-home caregiver program is under temporary work for caregivers.
2. Interim Pathway for Caregivers
This immigration route is a limited-time pathway to obtaining permanent residence for eligible in-home caregivers and their loved ones. It ended on October 8, 2019, but the processing of the applications submitted before the deadline is ongoing.
3. Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)
‘Living-in’ means the caregiver lives with the sponsoring family. While it was one of the Canadian caregivers’ requirements in the past, it isn’t. LCP is a permanent caregiver program but is closed to new applicants.
However, suppose you’re eligible for the program. In that case, you can apply for permanent residence via Live-in Caregiver Program if you have a minimum of two years of work experience in the field and:
- Already working in Canada as an LCP work permit holder, or
- Your first Live-in Caregiver Program work permit’s approval was based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada on or before November 30, 2014.
If you want to immigrate to Canada under these caregiver programs and aren’t sure about your eligibility, contact us for assistance and guidance.
How Can You Work Temporarily in Canada as a Caregiver?
You can apply through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to work temporarily in Canada as a caregiver. Your case must fall under one of the following to be eligible:
- You’re residing in Canada and qualify for a work permit application from inside the country
- You live outside Canada, and your employer applied for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before June 18, 2019
- Your job is in Quebec
Moreover, you can’t apply for a new work permit that requires LMIA if:
- Your employer’s LMIA application date is June 18, 2019, or after, and you’re applying from outside Canada via TFWP or your job province/territory is outside Quebec.
- Your work permit date at the port of entry is April 22, 2022, or after.
- You’re a visitor in Canada, and your first work permit application date is April 22, 2022, or after.
Also, you can extend your work permit through TFWP if you’re working in Canada as a caregiver. Nonetheless, your employer must obtain a positive LMIA before you extend or apply for a new work permit.
Note that you must maintain a valid temporary residence status while working in Canada.
What’s a Maintained Status in Canada?
A maintained status is the acceptable condition between the expiry of your document and an extension decision arrival.
While working in Canada as a caregiver, this’s the period between the expiring of your current work permit and obtaining a newly applied one. You can still stay, work, or study in the country during this time under the original work permit conditions.
During the maintained status period:
- Government services and benefits may not be easily accessible to you
- You must maintain the expired work permit conditions
- You lose the status if you leave the country, and when you re-enter, you must wait for your application processing to work again
The officer in charge will return your work permit application and fees upon rejecting your permanent residence application.
How IAS Can Help?
Immigrating to Canada as a caregiver is an excellent pathway to gaining helpful work experience. A caregiver in Canada works in home care or a patient’s own home. It’s also a perfect route to obtaining permanent residence in the country.
If you’re interested in moving to Canada temporarily or permanently, we are here to help!
Our immigration legal experts can assist with your permanent residence and work permit application process. And in case yours has already been rejected, they can offer legal advice on the way forward.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:17 am
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Yes, Canada is still accepting caregivers. However, you can only apply for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program & Home Support Worker Pilot Program. All the other caregiver programs are currently closed.
The average pay for a caregiver in Canada is $23.84 per hour. An average full-time caregiver’s salary is $17.50 per hour or $34,125 per year. While the entry-level starting salary is $29,250 per year, the most experienced caregivers’ pay is up to $46,966 per year.
Yes, IELTS is required for caregivers in Canada. Hence, you must pass the IELTS or CELPIP exam to work as a caregiver in Canada. Your English proficiency is necessary for effective communication with your employer.