In acknowledgment of the importance foreign caregivers have in the fabric of Canadian society, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is committing to prioritize 6000 caregiver applications for permanent residence by the end of 2021.
In the plan put forward by the IRCC, they are committing to:
- Finalize permanent residence 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;
- Prioritization of these decisions will allow more caregiver work permits to be issued for those who have valid job offers to work for families in Canada.
- Increase the digitization of caregiver applications;
- Ensure applicants receive acknowledgment of receipt letters by May 31, 2021.
Why is Such a Commitment Needed?
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot program replaced the Live- In Caregiver program, allowing care professionals with at least 24 months of Canadian work experience in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) Code 4411 or 4412 to apply for permanent residence (PR) in Canada. In most case, this program is the only PR option available for these types of caregivers because of the skill level of the occupations.
These caregivers are often in Canada alone, whilst their families are forced to stay in their country as a result of rules pertaining to when a spouse is eligible to receive a spousal open work permit to join their caregiving spouse in Canada. Caregivers are left waiting anxiously for their PR application to be processed so they may be reunited with their family members in Canada.
Unlike many of the newer immigration programs, applicants under the caregiver program must submit a paper-based application. This has meant this program, more than others has more disrupted by the COVID 19 pandemic which has caused a huge backlog in the number of applications processed.
For 2021, IRCC will accept a total of 2,750 applications from within this category however a public policy to be passed May 3rd, 2021 will allow IRCC to process applications submitted in 2020 to be processed now, with no regard to the quota.
As of March 3rd, 2021, IRCC announced around 12,000 caregivers and accompanying family members where in limbo, waiting in the processing inventory. This new Public policy should see most of these processed by the end of 2021.
Moving forward and to avoid such huge delays, eligible caregivers should take advantage of the new Public Policy targeting essential workers, due to open May 6, 2021.
“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