Canada's new caregiver program to open applications on June 18
MANILA, Philippines – The two new 5-year caregiver immigration pilot project in Canada will start accepting applications on Tuesday, June 18.
The new programs, the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots, will only receive a work permit if they have a job offer in Canada and meet the criteria. (READ: Canada's new caregiver program raises more questions than answers)
Applicants outside of Canada will have to meet the following requirements:
- Canadian Language Benchmark 5 language level
- One-year Canadian post-secondary education or its foreign equivalent
The programs will replace the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pilots, which will expire in November this year. Applications to the expiring program will close on June 18 as well.
According to the Canadian immigration office, the new program gives care workers "occupation-specific" work permits, which will allow them to change employers quickly, unlike the model of the expiring program which ties them to their employers.
Caregiver applicants can also apply work or study permits for their spouse and children for permanent residency. The application will be finalized by the Canadian government after two years of work experience by the caregiver, if eligible for residency.
"We made a commitment to improve the lives of caregivers and their families who come from around the world to care for our loved ones and with these new pilots, we are doing exactly that," Canadian immigration minister Ahmed Hussen said in a press statement on Saturday, June 15.
It will each have a maximum of 2,750 applicants for a total of 5,500 yearly, apart from their immediate family.
Initial applications will have a standard of 12-month processing time.
It will take another 6 months to finalize an application after the care worker has submitted proof that they have met the two-year work experience requirement.
For care workers already in Canada, the immigration office announced that it will be extending the application for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers on July 8 for 3 months.
The interim pathway program is for caregivers who came to Canada as temporary foreign workers since 2014 but failed to quality for permanent residence through an existing program at that time.
While recognizing the gains, the Canada-based Caregivers' Action Center and other migrant workers' groups have tempered enthusiasm about the program, and have launched an online campaign reiterating their call for the federal government to offer care workers landed status upon arrival.
They said that the new program requirements will "shut out" migrants with fewer resources who cannot comply with the high English language proficiency and the Canadian one-year post-secondary education equivalent.
The campaign also asked for an end to the backlog of 30,000 care workers waiting for a decision on their permanent residency, and 20,000 for family reunification. – Rappler.com