New Policy for Caregiver Applicants for PR Status

Posted on 21/04/2021

If you’re a caregiver in Canada whose application – especially paper-based applications – for permanent residence has been tied up due to closed offices and IRCC case officers only working virtually, then IRCC has some good news for you.

Pandemic-related bottlenecks – those closed offices and case officers who only work online as a result of COVID restrictions – will now be addressed by Canadian immigration authorities to speed up delayed applications and enable Canadian families whose parents or grandparents need at-home care to get the service they so desperately need. The following is planned for this year (2021):

  • Finalizing up to 6,000 applications for permanent residence by caregivers who have completed their in-Canada work experience by December 31, 2021.
    • This means 24 months (2 years) of work experience in Canada as is explained in the Home Child Care Provider Pilot program and the Home Support Worker Pilot program.
    • In other words, if you will have worked legally as a caregiver for 24 months in Canada by December 31, 2021, then you have the necessary work experience.
  • As well, at least 1,500 First-Stage decisions on applications under these pilots (Home Child Care Provider Pilot & Home Support Worker Pilot) will be made by June 30, 2021.
    • This will enable IRCC to issue more caregiver work permits for those applicants who have valid job offers to work with families in Canada.

To understand what first-stage decisions mean, let’s review the basic steps for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot & Home Support Worker Provider Pilot:

Step 1: You apply to one of these pilots, depending on what occupation you wish to work in.

Step 2: When you apply, you submit both:

  • A work permit application AND
  • A permanent residence application

Step 3: If you meet the requirements, you get a temporary work permit to work in Canada in the occupation you chose when you applied.

Step 4: The work permit will be an occupation-restricted open work permit. In other words, you have to work in your chosen occupation, but you can work with any valid employer you wish.

  • This is what is called the First Stage decision – when IRCC decides you are eligible and awards you an occupation-restricted open work permit.

Step 5: You obtain at least 24 months of valid occupation-restricted work experience and in doing so qualify for permanent resident status.

Step 6: Once you have 24 months of work experience, you submit proof of this work experience to IRCC.

Step 7: IRCC makes the final decision whether to award permanent resident status.

In other words, IRCC will hopefully be awarding at least 1,500 occupation-restricted open work permits by June 30, 2021 and up to 6,000 permanent resident visas/cards by December 31, 2021.

Let’s continue with the remaining objectives of this announced change in policy:

  • Increase the digitization of caregiver applications.
    • Caregiver applications have tended to have more paper-based ones than other applications which are mostly online nowadays. The government clearly wants to reverse this trend to help speed up the processing of these caregiver applications, especially in light of COVID restrictions in the workplace.
  • Ensure applicants receive Acknowledgement of Receipt Letters by May 31, 2021.
    • Again, this is help speed up the processing of applications received during 2020 which have been delayed by COVID restrictions.

Now it’s time to go through some key facts about this new plan:

  • The policy begins on May 3, 2021. However, if you applied to either of the pilot programs (Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker) in 2020, you do NOT have to re-apply.
  • As of early March 2021, around 12,000 applications are in the processing stage for these pilot programs.
  • As of April 8, 2021, the following number of applications (during 2021) have been received for each of the pilot programs:
    • Around 2,360 for the Home Child Care Provider pilot, representing about 86% of the applications that can be accepted for 2021.
    • Around 515 applications for the Home Support Worker pilot representing only 19% of the total that can be accepted for 2021.
  • Although these last figures indicate that there isn’t much room left for Home Child Care Provider applications, please remember that you can apply under the newly announced pathway for essential workers that we recently covered here.

Finally, although not formally listed as an objective, Minister Mendocino has explicitly mentioned the importance of re-uniting caregiver family members who cannot come to Canada until the caregiver has permanent residence status. Here is the Minister’s statement:

Immigrant caregivers, who take care of our families and elders, are often separated from their own families, and the pandemic has significantly slowed down permanent residence application processing, keeping them apart from their families longer than we would have hoped. With today’s announcement, we’re getting caregiver immigration back on track which will help reunite front-line heroes with their loved ones.

Posted in News and tagged Caregiver applications, Home child care provider, Home support worker

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