How to Apply for a Caregiver Visa to Canada

Canada offers many visa options to people who want to work and live there. One of the most popular options is applying for caregiver status, which is available to people with specialized medical care knowledge or those with experience working as caregivers elsewhere in the world. If you’re an experienced and qualified caregiver looking to work in Canada, you may be wondering about how to apply for a caregiver visa to Canada. With so much information, it can be hard to get the facts straight – especially when you’re already busy working. To learn more about the requirements, you’ll need to fulfill and some potential challenges you’ll face here’s everything you need to know about applying for a caregiver visa to Canada.

How to Apply for a Caregiver Visa to Canada

Caregivers who are interested in immigrating to Canada have two options. To facilitate the immigration of home assistance caregivers, Canada has launched two new home caregiver pilot programs as of June 18th, 2019. They also act as a stand-in for the LCP (Live-in Caregiver Program), which no longer accepts new applications. But do not worry; if you have a legitimate employment offer or prior Canadian caregiver experience and meet the eligibility standards, you may apply for permanent residency through the new home care provider trial programs.

About the Canadian Caregiver Immigration Programs

The pilot programs for home childcare providers and home support workers got underway in 2019. Instead of employer-specific work permits, these routes to permanent residency for caregivers offer occupation-specific work permits. As long as they continue to work in their field, caregivers do not need to be bound to a single employer. In 2020, some 2,900 carers and their relatives moved in permanently.

Applications for over 12,000 caregivers and their accompanying family members were pending as of March 3, 2021, according to the IRCC. This includes applications for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilot programs and cases from earlier caregiver programs that IRCC is still concluding.

A rough estimate of 2,367 Home Child Care Provider Pilot applications has been submitted to IRCC as of April 8, 2021. This represents approximately 86% of the total number of applications that can be accepted for 2021. IRCC has projected that 516 Home Support Worker Pilot applications have been submitted, accounting for around 19% of the total applications that can be approved in 2021.

The two new immigration pilots available to caregivers are the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. Both 5-year pilot programs are intended to assist skilled and experienced foreigners in providing in-home child care and home support services to settle in Canada and get permanent status. Let's take a deeper look at the prerequisites to see if you qualify to apply for the Home Support Worker Pilot or the Home Child Care Provider Pilot.

The most beneficial factor between these programs and the LCP is that it enables you to change employers if desired and allow your family members to join you in Canada. 

Home Child Care Provider Pilot

In addition to helping parents with child care, home child care professionals may be asked to assist with household chores. Unlike the Live-in Caregiver Program, which requires carers to live in their employer's home, care can be provided at either the caregivers' own homes or their employers' homes. The program is open to applicants with the following job titles:

  • Babysitter;
  • Au pair;
  • Child care live-in-caregiver;
  • Child care provider - private home;
  • Nanny;
  • Parent's helper;
  • Foster parent;
  • Babysitter - fitness center; and
  • Babysitter - shopping center.

Home Support Workers Providers

In times of recovery, incapacitation, and family upheaval, home support workers assist the elderly, people with disabilities, and people undergoing rehabilitation by providing personal care and company. Meal preparation, feeding, bathing, changing clothes, giving medication, and other standard housekeeping tasks are among the responsibilities. The home support worker may be expected to live in their employer's or clients' homes while providing care. Children may be cared for by home support workers, but it must not be their primary duty. This program is open to applicants with the following job titles:

  • Attendant for persons with disabilities - home care;
  • Family caregiver;
  • Home support worker;
  • Housekeeper;
  • Live-in caregiver - seniors;
  • Personal aide - home support;
  • Personal care attendant - home care;
  • Respite worker - home support;
  • Doula; and
  • Home visitor - infant care.

Eligibility Requirements for Caregiver Visa to Canada

You may be eligible to apply for the Home Child Care Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot if you meet the following requirements.

Valid job offer

You must first obtain a formal offer from a Canadian company confirming that the position will be full-time and that you will put in at least 30 hours per week of labor. It must be evident that there is a genuine need for you to be hired, and it might not come from an embassy, high commission, or consulate. It's possible that the offer isn't for employment in Quebec.

  • Home Childcare Pilot: The children must be under 18 years of age and cared for in your home or your employer's home but you do not have to live in your employer's home.
  • Home Support Worker Pilot: The person may be cared for in your home or your employer's home, but you do not have to live there.

Admissible to Canada

When you apply for your visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or arrive in Canada, a customs official will decide this for you. You can be denied entry if you have a criminal record, are in bad health, or the border patrol officer believes you pose a security risk. Your application must include a police certificate and medical examination results.

Language proficiency in English or French

Practical communication skills are crucial because you frequently interact with youngsters and adults. To demonstrate that you have the requisite language abilities—including writing, reading, listening, and speaking—you must pass a language test. You can take the test in either English or French.

Completion of 1 year of post-secondary school education

  • Home Childcare Provider Pilot: If you have completed post-secondary school studies applicable to childcare outside of Canada, you need to have your foreign qualification assessed to determine if they meet the required one year of post-secondary education in Canada.
  • Home Support Worker Pilot: Some secondary school education in conjunction with home care training is usually required

Child care and home management experience

  • Home Childcare Provider Pilot: You will also be considered if you can show experience or training in childcare or home support. However, this will require you to complete one year of post-secondary education in Canada. Note that experience as a foster parent doesn’t count.
  • Home Support Worker Pilot: You will also be considered if you can show experience or training in home management. However, this will require you to complete one year of post-secondary education in Canada. Note that former experience as a housekeeper doesn’t count.

Permanent Residence Through the Caregiver Visa to Canada

Before a decision is made regarding your application for permanent residence, you must have at least 24 months of work experience providing in-home child care or in-home support. You must submit a work permit application along with your permanent residency application. You will be granted a temporary work visa to work in Canada if you meet the general conditions for the pilot. This will allow you to gather the required qualifying work experience to apply for permanent residency.

You can apply for permanent residency once you have your open work visa, which is occupation-restricted but also allows you to work as a caregiver for any employer and have at least 24 months of full-time work experience in Canada. Along with you, your family members will be allowed to immigrate to Canada. They can submit permission applications with yours if they want to work or study.

Final Thoughts

Don't risk your chances of living your Canadian dream. The possibility of immigration to Canada might be complicated and perplexing because of the constantly changing Canadian immigration programs and pilots. You can optimize your chances of success in the visa application process by consulting accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs).

Furthermore, the new pilots, Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker, will each have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants per year, plus their immediate families. Initial applications to the new pilots will have a 12-month processing service standard. A six-month processing standard will apply for finalizing an application after the caregiver submits proof that they have met the work experience requirement. With the move to occupation-specific work permits under the Home Child Care and Home Support Worker pilots, employers will no longer need a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a caregiver from overseas.

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