As of June 18, 2019 Canada is now accepting applications to its two new caregiver immigration pilot programs named the Home Child Care Provider (NOC 4411 caring for children) and Home Support Worker (NOC 4412 caring for someone who needs help from a home support worker) pilot. Both pilots provide eligible caregivers with a pathway to permanent residence once they acquired two years of work experience. As pilot programs, they do have an expiry date which has been set at five years or June 2024, meaning, applications for permanent residence must be submitted prior to that date in order to be accepted for further processing.
The aforementioned pilots make accessible work permits to caregivers without an LMIA as long as they have a written job offer from a Canadian employer outside the province of Quebec. The following criteria must be met:
- language test results showing Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or French (CELPIP-G: Listening 5, Speaking 5, Reading 5, Writing 5; or EILTS-G: Listening 5.0, Reading 4.0, Writing 5.0, Speaking 5.0)
- one year of Canadian post-secondary education or an educational credential assessment (ECA) report of foreign education equivalent (WES etc...)
- be admissible to Canada (security, criminally, medically...)
Caregivers already working in Canada on an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) employer-specific work permit and who meet these criteria, can also apply for permanent residence through the new pilots. The standard for permanent residence application processing for those who have 24 months of work experience in Canada is 6 months. Key advantages of these pilots for all eligible applicants are as follows:
- Occupation-specific work permits instead of employer-specific work permits (on LMIA). This change will allow caregivers to change employers (if they apply for their work permit using the pilot);
- Caregiver’s immediate family will also be entitled to open work permits and/or study permits;
- Employers will no longer need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a caregiver from overseas
- Can apply while living inside OR outside Canada
- Work permit is processed on pass/fail basis meaning if you met the previously mentioned eligibility criteria, you will get a work permit.
The work experience must be acquired in the 36 months prior to applying for permanent residence meaning there can be up to a 12 month gap between when the caregiver ceased providing services in Canada and when they applied for permanent residence. The work experience does not have to be consecutive or in a row. It may be possible for experience on an open work permit to qualify as there are no program instructions disqualifying this instance in our view to date. However, there is a cap of 2,750 principal applicants per year meaning that eligible principal applicants should pay attention to the cap statistics annually and ensure that applications are still being accepted in the current year.
The eligible job offer must be for full time, at least 30 hours per week, employment from a Canadian employer outside the province of Quebec. It must be genuine meaning that there is a real need to hire you and in the NOC code eligible for the pilot program. You must be able to do the work described in the lead statement of the relevant NOC code and your ability will be judged by any previous relevant work experience and education in this field, as the case may be.
The prescribed employment requirements include:
+ Completing secondary school (if required)
+ Completing a training program in child care or a related field
+ Having the relevant experience in child care or household management (if required)
+ Demonstrating the ability to perform work (if required) and,
+ Training in first aid certification and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (if required)
The prescribed employment requirements include:
+ Some secondary school education is usually required
+ Home management experience may be required
+ College or other courses in home support may be required
+ First aid certification may be required
+ Completion of a training program in care of the elderly, care of persons with disabilities, convalescent care or in a related field may be required
LMIA - Alternative OR NOT?
The prescribed requirements are as follows for a caregiver LMIA in either of the two mentioned NOC codes of 4411 and 4412 only for applicants already in Canada not abroad:
- family or individual income of $150,000 or more
- unless there are specific circumstances, there is no live-in requirement; a caregiver can commute to the employer's location
- wait time of approximately 5 months for an approved LMIA (VS 12 month under the pilot program)
- be able to pay wages of $12.50 to $15.00 per hour; varies by province
- register a business or get a business number and open a business bank account with sufficient funds to pay a foreign worker's wages
- foreign worker must meet some or all of the work experience and education requirements mentioned above
- some English or French especially in the case of being able to call emergency services and get by in the regular day-to-day activities but no official minimum requirement, meaning that less then CLB 5 may be acceptable
- employee must be admissible
- family members of the employee may be eligible to immigrate with them but in some circumstances they cannot until permanent residence is obtained. It would depend on provincial and territorial agreements in place between the federal and provincial governments and other factors. As such, family may be separated for over two years.
If you submitted a Labour Market Impact Assessment application through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to hire a caregiver who is outside Canada on or after June 18, 2019, their work permit application won’t be processed. Therefore, even though you may get an approved LMIA, they will not get a work permit using that LMIA. As of June 18, 2019 the caregivers from overseas should apply for a work permit without an LMIA using the pilots only. More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/hiring-caregivers-overseas.html