ARCHIVED - Public policy to provide an interim pathway for caregivers

Note: This public policy has expired.


In November 2014, the Live-in Caregiver Program was closed to new applicants, and the five-year caregiver pilots – the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs classes – were introduced. Under the 2014 caregiver pilots, foreign national caregivers enter Canada as all other temporary foreign workers. Unlike the former Live-in Caregiver Program, they are not assessed for their ability to economically establish as permanent residents (e.g. official language, education) at the temporary stage. Interested temporary foreign worker caregivers can apply for permanent residence after they obtain the relevant work experience, if they meet all applicable permanent residence requirements. Compared to the former Live-In Caregiver Program, the mandatory live-in requirement was removed, and the program criteria were changed to more closely align with the Government’s approach of selecting economic immigrants on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada. As five year pilots established under section 14.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the 2014 pilots are set to expire on November 29th, 2019.

During consultations in Spring 2018 on the 2014 caregiver pilots, the Department heard that the program change in 2014 was not fully understood by caregivers and stakeholders. As a result, since November 2014, foreign national caregivers have continued to arrive in Canada believing that they would be eligible for permanent residence after obtaining a temporary work permit and acquiring two years of Canadian work experience. Many caregivers said they found out after they arrived in Canada that they did not meet the requirements for permanent residence, including education, and were not “en route” to permanent residence. The confusion surrounding the 2014 pilots was exacerbated by a large number of grandfathered applicants under the Live-in Caregiver Program, which continued to be assessed according to the old program criteria. The Department also heard that migrant caregivers face unique challenges, which are made worse by their temporary status. Examples include the often gendered and isolated nature of caregiving occupations; the high incidence of live-in work arrangements, despite the removal of the formal live-in requirement in 2014; and caregivers’ dependence on their employers to obtain and provide proof of the Canadian work experience needed to qualify for permanent residence.

Public Policy Considerations

In February 2018, the Government committed to having an improved permanent residence pathway for caregivers in place before the 2014 pilot programs expire in November 2019. The eligibility criteria and application process for a new pathway will be announced well before November 2019.

A three-month public policy will provide a one-time, short term dedicated pathway to permanent residence for some of the in-home temporary foreign worker caregivers who came to Canada expecting to obtain permanent residence, but who do not qualify under existing caregiver pathways. This one-time, short-term pathway will help mitigate the unique vulnerabilities that in-Canada temporary foreign worker caregivers face because they are not eligible under a current pathway to permanent residence. This pathway is a recognition of the significant contributions that these caregivers have made to Canadian families, while maintaining minimum requirements for applicants to be able to establish themselves and their families in Canada as permanent residents.

Pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, I hereby establish that there are sufficient public policy considerations justifying an exemption from the following requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, to foreign nationals who apply under this public policy and meet the conditions set out below: the requirement to be a member of a class [70(1)(c) and (d), 72(1)(a),(c) and (d)].

Eligibility Criteria and Conditions

This public policy applies to foreign nationals who meet the following criteria:

  1. At the time of application:
    1. is authorized to work in Canada on a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit;
    2. is authorized to work without a work permit pursuant to subsection 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, if they have applied for a renewal of a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit; or,
    3. has applied and is eligible for restoration of status, and held a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit as their most recent work permit.
  2. Intends to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
  3. Has obtained:
    1. a completed Canadian educational credential of at least a secondary school diploma; or,
    2. a foreign diploma, certificate or credential, along with an equivalency assessment — issued within five years before the date of application— that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a completed Canadian secondary school diploma.
  4. Has attained a level of proficiency of at least benchmark 5 in either official language for each of the four language skill areas, as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens, as demonstrated by the results of an evaluation designated by the Minister — that must be less than two years old on that date — by an organization or institution designated by the Minister for the purpose of evaluating language proficiency under subsection 74(3) of the Regulations.
  5. Since November 30, 2014, has acquired one year of authorized full-time Canadian work experienceFootnote 1 on a Temporary Foreign Worker Program work permit in any combination of the following eligible occupations:
    1. a home child care provider within the meaning of that occupation as set out in the National Occupational Classification for unit group 4411, other than any experience as a foster parent;
    2. a home support worker or related occupation, but not a housekeeper, within the meaning of that occupation as set out in the National Occupational Classification for unit group 4412, including the occupations — other than housekeeper — listed under that unit group as example titles.
  6. Is not otherwise inadmissible.
  7. Meets all other statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to foreign nationals seeking to obtain permanent resident status in Canada, with the exception of the requirement to belong to a class.

Start and End dates

This public policy comes into effect on March 4, 2019 and expires on June 4, 2019. Applications received during this time period will continue to be processed until all applications are finalized.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 14 day of February 2019

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