Canada announced in a policy statement released April 15 that the government has launched an ambitious plan to accelerate foreign caregiver immigration application processing and help reunite more caregivers with their loved ones. Six thousand (6,000) foreign caregiver immigration applications will be prioritized by the end of 2021; 1,500 by June 30, 2021.
According to information on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) webpage:
Caregivers from abroad play an important role in supporting Canadian families who are unable to find the care they need for a family member in Canada. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused great disruption to life in Canada and around the world, including to application processing at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). We recognize that many caregivers working in Canada are waiting anxiously to be reunited with their loved ones, and they need their applications to be processed for that to happen.
To achieve this ambitious goal, IRCC commits to:
• finalize permanent resident applications for up to 6,000 caregivers who have completed their in-Canada work experience and their immediate family members by December 31, 2021;
• make at least 1,500 first-stage decisions on applications for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots by June 30, 2021;
• increase the digitization of caregiver applications; and
• ensure all applicants receive acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letters by May 31, 2021.
Caregivers also eligible under Canada’s 6 new immigration programs
Starting May 6, Canada will accept 30,000 new permanent residents with one year of work experience in essential occupations. Caregiver occupations, NOC 4411 and 4412, are considered eligible occupations under this new program.
Quick facts about new Canada foreign caregiver immigration application processing
- The new public policy will take effect on May 3, 2021. Applicants to the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots in 2020 will not need to reapply.
- As of March 3, 2021, there were applications for about 12,000 caregivers and their accompanying family members in the processing inventory. This includes applications to both the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots, but also cases that we continue to finalize from caregiver programs of the past.
- As of April 8, 2021, an estimated 2,367 applications have been received for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot, representing about 86% of the number of applications that can be accepted for 2021. For the Home Support Worker Pilot, an estimated 516 applications have been received, representing about 19% of the number of applications that can be accepted in 2021.
- Nearly 2,900 caregivers and their family members became permanent residents in 2020.
- Caregivers who are already in Canada could also have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence through the recently announced creation of a permanent residence pathway for essential workers.
The coronavirus pandemic affected Canada’s foreign caregivers immigration programs just like all other immigration programs.
IRCC remarks that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for application processing, particularly for paper-based applications. With reduced capacity and office closures resulting in more employees working remotely, in 2020 IRCC only entered as many mailed-in applications as was possible into our case management system.
As a result, this new policy to accelerate foreign caregiver immigration application processing is being issued so that IRCC can process applications in 2021 that were received in 2020.
The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots were launched in 2019. They feature a clear transition for caregivers from temporary to permanent status, as well as occupation-specific, rather than employer-specific, work permits. They also provide the opportunity for caregivers and their families to move to Canada as they gain work experience. The response to these pilots suggests these features are attractive to caregivers and the Canadian families who need in-home care for a family member.
“The pandemic disrupted people’s lives in Canada and around the world, and Canada’s immigration processes were no exception. 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.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship