Canada has announced new caregiver pilot programs as the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot near their June 17 expiration date. These new initiatives will grant home care workers permanent resident status upon arrival in Canada, removing the previous requirement for a certain amount of work experience in the country.

Key Features of the New Pilot Programs:

Eligibility Criteria:

1. Minimum Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) level 4

2. Equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma

3. Recent and relevant work experience

4. Offer for a full-time home care job

This marks a change from the previous pilots, which required a CLB of 5, a year of Canadian post-secondary education (or foreign equivalent), and at least six months of work experience. Details on the new work experience requirements are pending.

Work Flexibility:

  • Caregivers can work for organizations that offer temporary or part-time care for semi-independent individuals or those recovering from injuries or illnesses.

Statement from Immigration Minister Marc Miller:

“Caregivers play a critical role in supporting Canadian families, and our programs need to reflect their invaluable contributions. As we work to implement a permanent caregivers program, these two new pilots will not only improve support for caregivers, but also provide families with the quality care they deserve.”

Caregivers in Canada:

The 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan anticipates over 15,000 new permanent residents through caregiver programs. Since the 2019 launch of the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot, around 5,700 caregivers and their family members have obtained permanent residency as of April 30, 2024.

  • Demand for caregivers is rising due to an aging population. With over nine million Canadians expected to retire within the next six years, the need for home or institutional care will increase.
  • The Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence highlights the pressing needs for caregivers, noting that many caregivers are over 65 and often do not access support services.
  • Increased childcare needs are driven by more women entering the workforce. Statistics Canada data from 2023 indicates a rise in the labour force participation rate for women aged 15 and older from 58.5% in 1990 to 61.5% in 2022, while the rate for men declined from 76.1% to 69.5% during the same period.

These new pilot programs aim to address the growing demand for caregivers and support the integration of these essential workers into Canadian society by granting them permanent resident status upon arrival.