IRCC to accept caregiver pilot program applications for 2024

On January 1st, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will reset the cap and begin accepting applications for two caregiver pilot programs: The Home Childcare Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot: Direct to Permanent Residence category.

These programs are specifically for applicants with work experience in caregiving. Both pilot programs were launched in 2019 and are set to expire on of June 17, 2024. They have proven popular with nearly 1,100 caregivers and their family members becoming permanent residents in 2022.

IRCC advises interested eligible candidates to apply sooner than later. The 2023 cap for online applicants in the Home Child Care Provider Pilot (1,000) was reached on April 14, 2023, although according to the website, there are still open spaces for the Home Support Worker Pilot in 2023.

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Work experience requirement halved in 2023

In February 2023, IRCC announced that the work experience requirement for caregivers would be cut in half, from 24 to 12 months of full-time work. The change was expected to impact 90% of applicants for caregiver immigration programs.

The department defines full-time work as 30 hours of paid work each week and the work experience must be gained within the 36 months before a candidate submits their application. Work experience gained as a student is not eligible.

Other work experience requirements for candidates include work experience that falls under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412. IRCC notes that work experience must be in one of these jobs and it cannot be a mix of both jobs.

Further, the candidate’s job needs to match the NOC job description and they must complete most of the main duties.

Other requirements for candidates remained the same in 2023. For example, they must be able to demonstrate

  • Language test results showing a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5;
  • One year of Canadian post-secondary education or the foreign equivalent; and
  • Pass an admissibility check (health, criminality, and security).

Temporary resident caregivers

Caregivers not eligible for permanent residency under these programs can still apply to extend their work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

To do so, their employer must first get a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is an application that an employer submits to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to prove that they are unable to find a Canadian or permanent resident who has adequate skills to fill an in-demand position.

If ESDC deems that hiring a foreign national through the TFWP will have a positive impact, or no impact at all, on Canada’s economy, the employer can hire them. Employees in the TFWP are on closed work permits, meaning they are not allowed to work for any other employer in Canada.

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