Sun | Aug 18, 2019

Immigration Corner | New pilots to help caregivers become permanent residents in Canada

Published:Tuesday | July 16, 2019 | 12:29 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I’m a 43-year-old nurse. I just completed a course in geriatric care, and I have a degree. I’ve been hearing so much about the caregiver programme in Canada and that I can apply to live in Canada through this programme. Can you tell me how it works? Who can qualify under this programme? Can I bring my family with me? How long will it take to process? Thanks for your time.

BH

Dear BH,

Individuals who would like to become permanent residents of Canada should be pleased to hear that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched two new pilot projects in June 2019. These programmes will assist caregivers who come to Canada to get permanent residence status in Canada.

The Home Child-Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) and Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) was opened for applications on June 18, 2019. That programme replaces the existing Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots which were previously in place.

How the Pilot works

Under the new pilots, the most important criteria are that caregivers who are not yet in Canada, if they have a job offer in Canada and able to meet the standard criteria for Canada’s other economic immigration programmes. The other economic programmes in place are the federal skilled worker programme (FSWP), federal skilled trade programme (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programme and some provincial nominee programmes (PNP). Those programmes are managed by the express entry system.

Once an individual has been able to demonstrate that they have a valid job offer, education, skills and work experience to do the required job, they could get a work permit. After two years of working in Canada, caregivers can qualify for permanent residence of Canada and later apply to become Canadian citizens.

These pilots may be an 'open-work permit', as the permit being granted are occupation-specific, rather than employer-specific, work permits. This means that caregivers can change employers quickly, if necessary.

How to Qualify?

Individuals will be required to produce language test results with a minimum of a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5. The acceptable English exams are the IELTS, General training or the CELPIP General exam.

The caregiver must clearly demonstrate a minimum of one-year Canadian post-secondary education or the foreign equivalent. Therefore, individuals may be required to provide an educational credential assessment report form one of the authorised bodies listed on the IRCC website. Additionally, the caregiver must pass all the medical and security checks including demonstrating that they are admissible to Canada.

Benefits to family members include the granting of open work and study permits for the caregivers’ immediate family. This is in keeping with Canada’s goal of keeping families together.

These pilot programmes are designed to provide a clear, direct transition from temporary status, based on the work permit to permanent resident status. This is an effort to ensure that caregivers and their family can become permanent residents in a timelier manner, once they have met the work experience requirement.

Pathway to Citizenship

These programmes were implemented to help employers to find qualified employers to find caregivers to assist Canada’s ageing population. It is also an effort to bolster the labour market in Canada. Under these programmes, legitimate employers can offer job to a caregiver by using a new job offer template that is available through the government’s website, without going through the Labour Market Impact Assessment process. Both the employer and the caregiver will save money and time through this process.

Most individuals over 40, find it challenging to qualify under the express entry system due to the limited or no points that they receive under the age category, or because their work experience does not fall within the job code or National Occupational Code ( NOC) that is required. The types of jobs that qualify under express entry are jobs that fall within NOC A, B and O. Through these pilot programmes, many qualified individuals who can find a job offer, can utilise this option to apply to get permanent residence of Canada.

A caregiver with work experience in National Occupational Classification (NOC) 4411 (excluding foster parents) will be eligible for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot. Additionally, caregivers with work experience in NOC 4412 (excluding housekeepers) will be eligible for permanent residence through the Home Support Worker Pilot.

It is expected that the new pilots will have an average processing time of 12 months for work permit applications and a six-month processing time for applications for permanent residence, from those who already meet the work experience requirement.

Based on the background information provided, this could be a great programme for you. If you have additional questions or concerns, I recommend that you book a consultation with an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer to advise you, based on the finer details of your case.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practise are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: info@deidrepowell.comsubjectline: immigration; Call (613) 695-8777/ (876) 922-8899