Caregivers

As a caregiver, you have options to come to Canada to become a permanent resident or work temporarily.

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COVID-19 effect on programs

Due to issues with COVID-19, there may be processing delays with caregiver permanent residence applications (including any related work permit applications). This includes these programs

Permanent residence for caregivers

Keeping your temporary resident status

You must always have valid temporary resident status while working in Canada. You must apply to

  • extend your work permit before it expires or
  • change its conditions before it expires

If you applied for a new work permit before your current permit expired, you can keep working under the same conditions of your original work permit while you wait for a decision. This is called “maintained status” (previously known as implied status). Please see below for further details.

Work permit applications related to a permanent residence application

Delays in processing your permanent residence application mean that any work permit application related to it may also take longer to process. This includes

Note: If we already sent you a letter saying you’re eligible under the permanent residence program you applied for, the decision on your work permit application should not be delayed.

You should also consider:

  • Work permit applications that depend on a decision on a permanent residence application, such as those under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots, may take a year or, in some cases, even more. This is because we have to assess the PR application first before issuing the work permit. This also means you could be on maintained status for a year or more.
  • If you are on maintained status while waiting for a decision on your caregiver application, you may have difficulties getting some government services or benefits.
  • You can work while on maintained status, but you must keep the conditions of your expired work permit (for example, working for the same employer and in the same occupation). If you leave Canada during this period, you may lose your maintained status, and if you re-enter you won’t be able to work until we make a decision on your application. It’s also possible you may not be allowed to re-enter.
  • If we refuse your PR application, reject it for being incomplete or return it for being over that year’s cap (the caregiver pilots have limits on the number of applications we can accept each year) we’ll also return the work permit application along with any fees you paid with it.

If this happens

  • you would lose your maintained status if you didn’t apply for a work permit separately, and
  • if you’re not eligible to restore your status, you’d have to leave Canada

You may consider applying for a different work permit or extend a current work permit not related to your permanent residence application, such as a work permit supported by an employer’s positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.

Work permit applications submitted on their own

If you apply for a work permit that isn’t tied to a permanent residence application, you may be able to through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for an employer who has a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment. This type of work permit application for caregivers is currently on a COVID-19 list for faster processing.

If you’re applying for a work permit with a Labour Market Impact Assessment, there may be other measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic that may help you.

Change jobs or employer:

If you have an employer-specific work permit and you want to change jobs or employers, you must apply for a new work permit from inside Canada.

Due to COVID-19, you don’t need to wait until your work permit application is approved to start your new job or work for a new employer. You just need an email from IRCC that says you have permission to change jobs.

If your status as a worker has expired:

If your work permit has expired, you may be able to restore your status even if it’s been more than 90 days.

Visitors who need work permits:

Normally, visitors can’t apply for work permits from inside Canada. Due to COVID-19, visitors can now apply online for an employer-specific work permit. To be eligible you must:

  • have been physically present in Canada on August 24, 2020 (if you left Canada and returned after August 24, you can’t apply this way)

and

Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot

You may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot if you:

  • meet the eligibility requirements, and
  • have a job offer to work in one of these occupations

Through these pilots, you’ll get an open work permit to come to Canada and work temporarily. This work permit:

  • is occupation-restricted (so you have to work in that specific occupation)
  • doesn’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • lets you get the work experience you need to be eligible for permanent residence

If you recently worked as a home child care provider or support worker, your experience may count towards your eligibility for permanent residence.

Live-in Caregiver Program

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is closed to new applicants.

You can only apply for permanent residence through the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) if you have at least 2 years of work experience in the program and:

  • you’re already working in Canada with an LCP work permit, or
  • you were approved for your first LCP work permit based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada on or before November 30, 2014

If you have work experience in Canada as a caregiver but don’t qualify for either of the options above, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through a different program.

Temporary work for caregivers

If you don’t meet the requirements for permanent residence as a caregiver, you may be able to work temporarily.

Apply to extend your work permit

If you’re currently working in Canada as a caregiver, you may be eligible to extend your work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Your employer will need to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) first.

Apply for a new work permit

In most cases, you can apply for a work permit to work in Canada temporarily as a caregiver through the TFWP if:

Your employer will need to get a positive LMIA first.

Find out how to apply for a work permit.

Applications we no longer process

As of June 18, 2019, we’ll no longer process new work permit applications to work as in-home caregivers if:

  • you’re applying from outside Canada
  • you’re applying through the TFWP
  • you’ll be working outside of Quebec, and
  • your employer applied for an LMIA on or after June 18, 2019

Closed programs

Caring for Children Program

The Caring for Children Program ended on June 18, 2019. If you submitted a complete application before June 18, we’ll continue to process it.

If you’re a caregiver who has been caring for children in Canada, you may be eligible for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot.

Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program

Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program ended on June 18, 2019. If you submitted a complete application before June 18, we’ll continue to process it.

If you’re a caregiver who has been working in Canada as a home support worker, you may be eligible for the Home Support Worker Pilot.

Interim Pathway for Caregivers

The Interim Pathway for Caregivers ended on October 8, 2019. If you submitted an application before or on October 8, we’ll continue to process it.

If you need to send us your language test results or educational credential assessment, follow the instructions in the guide.

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