Today Marc Miller will announce significant updates to Canada’s caregiver programs

caregiver programs

Today, Immigration Minister Marc Miller will announce significant updates to Canada’s caregiver programs at 4:45 p.m. ET (Toronto time) in front of the media. 

As part of the federal government’s efforts to establish a permanent program for foreign caregivers, Immigration Minister Marc Miller will make the announcement of two new pilot programs  this afternoon. The programs are designed to provide care for elderly adults, children, and individuals with disabilities. 

These updates include the introduction of two new pilot caregiver programs designed to improve support for caregiver programs and offer a clear pathway to permanent residency upon arrival in Canada. The new pilots will replace the existing Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots set to expire June 17, making it easier for caregivers to find stable employment and achieve permanent resident status. Under the two new pilots English requirement will be dropped to CLB 4.

caregiver programs

Additionally, IRCC will permit caregivers to work for companies that provide short-term or part-time care for individuals recovering from illness or injury and those who are not yet completely independent. If a caregiver from outside Canada has an offer for a full-time home care position, recent and relevant work experience, and the equivalent of a Canadian high school education, they can apply for the programs.

Changes that would allow foreign caregivers and opponents of Canada’s policy a clear path to permanent residency, including removing the post-secondary education and language competence criteria and capping the number of applications approved annually, have been advocated.

As part of its overall immigration targets, Canada is expected to accept approximately 15,000 caregivers as permanent residents over the course of the next two years, according to the IRCC.

Caregivers play a critical role in supporting Canadian families, and our programs need to reflect their invaluable contributions,” Mr. Miller said in a statement.

Jenny Kwan, the NDP immigration critic, highlighted ongoing issues within the caregiver sector. She pointed out that there is a significant shortage of caregivers in Canada, and those who immigrate to fill these roles often face exploitation and abuse due to their vulnerable immigration status. Kwan argued that the classification of caregivers as “low-skill” workers undermines their crucial contributions and makes them more susceptible to mistreatment.

Kwan criticised the stringent language and education requirements imposed on caregivers, describing them as unnecessary barriers that have hindered caregivers from settling in Canada. These standards, introduced during the Conservative government prior to Justin Trudeau’s tenure, have acted as significant obstacles for caregivers seeking permanent residency.

As of April 30, nearly 5,700 caregivers and their family members have become permanent residents since 2019 under the pilots.

The introduction of these new pilot caregiver programs marks a significant step forward in Canada’s efforts to support caregivers and provide them with a more accessible pathway to permanent residency. By addressing the shortcomings of the previous programs and potentially lowering language requirements, Canada aims to attract more caregivers and alleviate the ongoing shortage. Overall, these changes will represent a positive shift towards a more inclusive and supportive immigration system for caregivers.

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