Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Pilots Explained
Whether you are an experienced caregiver or looking to break into the industry, Canada’s live-in caregiver programs offer an immigration pathway for newcomers looking to live and work as caregivers in Canada. But what exactly are these programs and how do you know if you are eligible?
Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Canada’s Caregivers Programs?
Canada’s caregiver programs offer work permits and permanent residency to hopeful newcomers seeking employment as live-in caregivers in Canada.
Under the terms of these programs, a live-in caregiver is defined as someone who is living in a private residence where they are providing caregiver services.
There have been several different caregiver programs in place in the past that have been closed and replaced with newer versions, the most recent being:
The Live-In Caregiver Program
The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) was a popular program that offered permanent residency pathways for temporary foreign workers in Canada. The program enabled Canadians to recruit foreign nationals to work as live-in childcare or home support workers for seniors or people with disabilities.
As of June 2019, this program is no longer open to new applicants, however, you can still apply for permanent residence through the LCP if you have at least 2 years of work experience through the program and:
- You are working in Canada with an LCP work permit;
- 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 missed the deadline for new applicants for the LCP, you may qualify for permanent residence through a different caregiver option listed below.
Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot
The purpose of the Home Child Care Provider Pilot program is to bring live-in childcare providers to Canada on temporary work permits and allow them the opportunity to apply for permanent residence after obtaining two years of work experience.
Similar to the Home Child Care Provider Pilot, the Home Support Worker Pilot is designed to bring home support workers to Canada on temporary work permits and enable them to apply for permanent residence after obtaining two years of work experience.
With both pilots, the work permits you will obtain:
- Are occupation-restricted, meaning you must work in a specific occupation;
- Do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
- Allow you to obtain relevant work experience required for permanent residence.
Unlike the LCP, the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots offer applicants the ability to change employers and have spouses and/or children accompany them to Canada and be eligible to apply for open work permits and/or study permits.
If you are interested in applying for one of these two pilots, keep in mind that you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a job offer in Canada at the time of application;
- Meet certain language requirements (proficiency in French or English);
- Have one year of Canadian post-secondary education or foreign equivalent.
You also must have a certain amount of qualifying work experience. Qualifying work experience includes being a home childcare provider or home support worker. It does not include being a foster parent or a housekeeper.
How to Apply
For those who are interested in applying for one of the programs mentioned above – either the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot – here is what the process typically looks like:
- Submit your work permit application.
- If you meet the eligibility requirements, a work permit will be granted, allowing you to work on a temporary basis in Canada.
- You will be able to work only as a caregiver for any employer you choose.
- After obtaining 24 months (two years) of work experience, you will be able to apply for and qualify for permanent residence (proof of work experience must be sent with your application).
- After applying for permanent residence, Immigration and Citizenship Canada will make a final decision regarding your application.
The processing time for these two pilot programs is around 12 months for work permit applications. After obtaining the mandatory two years of work experience, the processing time for your permanent residence application is approximately 6 months.
Also keep in mind that both programs accept only limited number of applicants – around 2,750 for each program.
Can I Study While Living and Working as a Caregiver in Canada?
If you only have your temporary work permit, then you will only be able to study in Canada if your course or program lasts 6 months or less.
If you wish to take a program longer than this, you will have to obtain a study permit.
However, if you have obtained permanent residency, you have the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada, while also benefiting from:
- Most of the social benefits that all Canadian citizens receive such as health care;
- The ability to apply for Canadian citizenship;
- Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.
For those who are looking to begin a new life in Canada working as a live-in caregiver and are considering one of the two open pilots, it is highly advisable that you seek guidance from an immigration lawyer.
An immigration lawyer will help you with your application, including gathering and submitting the correct documents, facilitating the approval process, and communicating with immigration officials on your behalf. Having this kind of guidance will help maximize your application’s chances of success, so you can focus on starting your new life and career in Canada.