Care-Giver Program in Canada – Application Process, Requirements and Types
- 1 Care-Giver Program in Canada
- 2 Different Types of Care-Giver Programs in Canada
- 2.1 Past Caregiver Programs
- 2.2 New Caregiver Programs
- 2.3 Temporary Work Options for Caregivers
Caregiving is becoming prevalent in the Canadian way of life as people try to reduce their health care costs and keep their families close. As a result, it is trending as an occupation among various age groups in Canada. Statistics show that in 2018, 7.8 million Canadians aged 15 and older, which accounts for 25% of the population, took up jobs as caregivers. Of these, almost 1.5 million were aged 65 and older. It is not only popular among the permanent residents of Canada, but also foreign nationals who are immigrating to Canada for the job.
But the main question is, will the caregivers from other nations apply in the same way as other skilled workers? Or is there any other way?
The answer to this is the CARE-GIVER PROGRAM in Canada.
Care-Giver Program in Canada
Among other skilled workers, Canada is a nation that gives importance to caregivers and the work they do to take care of children, elderly and other people who need help. Initially, the old caregiver programs (The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and In-Home Caregiver Programs: Caring for Children Program and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program) were employer-driven and employer-specific. It means that if an employer was facing labour shortage of qualified caregivers in Canada they could hire a qualified caregiver from outside of Canada. The only condition was that the employer had to undergo the process of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and the caregiver was bound to work for the same employer. Moreover, the caregiver was not allowed to bring their family with him/her. They could only come to Canada alone to perform their job duties as a caregiver. This resulted in the exploitation of the workers. As a result, changes were made in the new programs for the caregivers.
New Caregiver Program
In the new caregiver program, it is no longer employer-specific, although it is employer-driven. It means that Canadians need to hire caregivers for their job, but the employers do not have to undergo the LMIA process for hiring. So, it has become occupation-specific as the caregivers do not have to be obligated to the specific employer or location after they receive the work permit. Moreover, the caregivers can now bring their family with them.
The new caregiver program provides more security and confidence to the caregivers as they can easily overcome the barriers of the old programs and achieve permanent residency with their families.
Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Canadians are allowed to bring foreign workers into the country to work as caregivers through special, separate immigration programs:
- Interim Pathway for Caregivers (currently closed to new applicants)
- Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program & Home Support Worker Pilot Program
All these caregiver programs are managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To be approved, both the employer and the caregiver must satisfy several criteria, as well as complete the application process.
After the caregiver has the job offer from the employer, they submit two applications together:
- An application for permanent residence for the family through the Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker pilot.
- An application for a work permit for their own and spouse and children, if applicable.
The caregivers, who are from outside Canada, will receive the decision on their work permit applications in around 10-12 months. As soon as it happens, they will be allowed to move to Canada on an interim basis and work in specific occupations, mostly related to caregiving. They should clear their background checks. Candidates who meet permanent residence requirements will get a work permit valid for three years, allowing them to work for any employer in the specific occupation. But their PR applications might remain unprocessed until they complete their 2 years of work experience with the Canadian employer(s).
The caregiver who already works in Canada on old live-in Caregiver or Home Caregiver programs can also apply either to convert into this new program or file for the permanent residence application if they meet the PR requirements of the new caregiver program.
Requirements under the Program
In order to qualify for a work permit and permanent residence under the program, there are some basic requirements. They are:
To work as a care-giver you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian leader. It should be a full-time position with over 30 hours of work every week. Under the House Service Support Pilot, the kids to be taken care of should be under 18 years, and under the House Support Employee Pilot, it is given that it is not compulsory for you to stay with the person you are looking after.
You need to have an equivalent of a Canadian high school certificate and one year of post-education where you have taken care of a kid or worked in home care. Any past experience and guidance will not confirm your eligibility as an employee in Canada.
Work Experience :
You should have a valid one-year verifiable experience in the same discipline under which you are applying i.e. under HCCP or HSWP.
The applicant must be able to communicate in English and/or French, as or when required. They should offer language results from an approved agency and should meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in either English or French.
Permission to Canada:
Just like in all other immigration programs, you have to ensure that you are not or will not be a security threat to the country or have a health condition. For this, you have to endure security clearance and scrutiny.
Different Types of Care-Giver Programs in Canada
In this section, we will discuss two sets of Care-Giver Program in Canada. The first set comprises past programs which are currently not accepting applications and the second set consists of the new and improved programs for caregivers.
Past Caregiver Programs
Under this category, there are Live-In Caregiver Program, Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program and Caring for Children Program.
Live-In Caregiver Program (1992-2014):
Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) is for foreign nationals who wish to be employed by a Canadian citizen as a caretaker for their children or someone with disabilities in the home. This is a direct way to receive permanent residence. After just two years of experience with the LCP work permit, foreign nationals can apply for permanent residence. Currently, it is closed for new applicants.
Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program (2014-2019):
The eligibility of an applicant to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway is he/she has to have a minimum of two years (within the past four years) of full-time work experience (at least 30 hours of paid work per week) in Canada as a registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse aide, orderly, patient service associate, home support worker, or other similar occupation, with a valid work permit. But this program is no longer accepting applications as of June 18, 2019. In case, if the applicant has submitted their application before the stated date, their application will be processed.
Caring for Children Program (2014-2019):
The eligibility of an applicant to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for Children Pathway is that he/she needs to have a minimum of two years (within the past four years) of full-time work experience (at least 30 hours of paid work per week) in Canada as a home child care provider for children under the age of 18, with a valid work permit.This program is no longer accepting applications as of June 18, 2019. But the applications submitted before this date will be processed.
New Caregiver Programs
In 2019, Canada initiated a new caregiver program known as The Interim Pathway for Caregivers. It was in operation from March 4th, 2019 to June 4th, 2019. The program allowed individuals with Canadian work experience as home child care providers or home support workers to apply for permanent resident status. This program is no longer accepting applications as of October 18, 2019.
After the deadline was met, the program gave way to two new pilot programs in 2019- Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot.
Home Child Care Program (2019 – 2024)
It is a five-year program that allows caregivers to migrate to Canada along with family members and eventually become permanent residents in Canada. For applicants to be eligible for the Home Child Care Program, they must have a job offer as Caregivers or have working experience in Canada. The applicant must have qualifying work experience according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The applicant must have 1 year of full-time experience as a Home Child Care Provider – NOC 4411 where experience as a foster parent is not accepted or Home Support Worker-NOC 4412 where experience as a housekeeper is not accepted.
Some exceptions include child care workers – day-care (in 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants) & the Live-in caregivers for seniors and persons with disabilities (in 4412 Home support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations)
A Home Child Care Provider can be anyone providing care to children in a home including:
- Child-care live in
- Child-care provider in a private home.
- A parent’s helper.
- The caregiver must have the minimum educational qualification (at least the Canadian Secondary School equivalent education) .
- He/she must complete the appropriate training and experience including household management experience.
- In some cases, first aid certification and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training may also be required.
- Supervise and take care of children in their homes.
- Prepare and feed the children.
- Take care of infants by preparing formulas, changing diapers, bathe, and dress them.
- Make sure the child’s emotional well-being is being taken care of along with their social development.
- Maintain discipline as instructed by the parents.
- Provide educational training to the children, including tasks like taking them to school.
- Keep records of the children’s activities.
This program falls under the NOC 4412 and is meant for professionals who have experience providing care for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people recovering from illness or undergoing medical treatment. The caregiver needs to stay at the employer’s residence and take care of the person. Home care and support agencies are the main agencies for such jobs. But private households can also employ, or the caregiver can also find the job on his/her own. All types of house management duties will be required for housekeepers.
Caregiver under this category may be any of the following:
- Family caregivers
- Home support worker
- Attendant for people with disabilities
- Live-in caregiver for seniors
- Respite worker
- Personal aide as a home support
- The caregiver professional must have fulfilled the minimum educational requirement (at least secondary school) and should complete college or other courses in home support
- The person should have house management experience or proper training in care for the elderly, people with disabilities, and convalescent care
- In some cases, first aid certification may also be required.
- Provide care/companionship for families/individuals during medical treatment.
- Bathe, take care of personal hygiene, dress & undress and provide ambulation to the individual.
- Prepare meals and special diet and ensure the client is being fed according to their needs.
- Perform routine health-related duties.
- Collect medications or specimens under the direction of the household/home care agency/nurse etc.
- Housekeeping management may include duties such as laundry, washing dishes, making beds, etc.
- Housekeepers may have to perform house management duties which may also include preparing meals, serving meals, doing dishes, laundry, and taking care of children, if required.
Temporary Work Options for Caregivers
In case if a person already staying in Canada does not meet the requirements for permanent residence under the new caregiver permanent residence program, they do have the option to be able to work on an interim basis. He/she can extend their work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). But the applicant will need a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) provided by the employer.
It should be noted that this is only eligible if the caregiver is already in Canada or if the caregiver’s employer applied for an LMIA before June 18, 2019. It is also eligible if the caregiver is working in Quebec.
It has been announced by the Immigration minister that around 6,000 caregivers will be welcomed by the end of 2021. So, if you are willing to give it a try, now is the correct time!!