How to migrate to Canada through the Caregiver program

It is hardly news to anyone that there is a need for people who can work as a caregivers for children and the elderly in Canada. Did you know that there are two pilot programs through which you can get a temporary work permit as a caregiver and later on obtain Permanent Residence status?

The basics: you have to get a job offer, and have an intermediate knowledge of English or French.

The best thing: your employer doesn’t need to have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); and you can move to Canada with your partner, and they can get also a work or study permit.

These programs are called: Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot.

In the first, the idea is to take care of children under the age of 18, and in the second one, to offer domestic help to people who need it, like an elderly person who lives alone. In both cases, you don’t need to live in your employer’s home.

These programs fit people who don’t have qualifying work experience.

The process

  • Decide which program you’d like to apply for. The work permit you would receive is an occupation-restricted open work permit, so you wouldn’t be allowed to work in another field.
  • Submit a work permit application together with your permanent residence application.
  • If you obtain the work permit, get at least 24 months of working experience to be able to qualify for permanent residence.
  • Once you have enough work experience, send proof of it to Immigration Canada.
  • A final decision on your application for permanent residence will be made.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for these programs, you have to:

  1. Have a valid and genuine job offer.
  • It has to be made using the form:  Offer of Employment IMM 5983 (PDF, 2.33 MB)
  • It must be a full-time job offer, that means at least 30 working hours a week.
  • It must come from a Canadian employer who is not an embassy, high commission or consulate.
  • It must be outside Quebec.
  • It must be genuine, which means there must be a real need to hire you.

2. Meet the language requirements.

You have to take an language test to proof your command in English or French.

For English you need at least a 5 level in the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for the four language skills: reading, speaking, listening, and writing. For French, you need 5 in the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien.

3. Meet the education requirement.

You must have a completed post-secondary education credential of at least one year in Canada, or you will need to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved organization, to prove that your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian post-secondary education credential of at least one year.

These approved organizations are:

How to apply

1.    Get a valid job offer. Your employer doesn’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you.

2.    Get the instruction guide for applicants outside Canada. This will help you to get the forms and fill them correctly.

3.    Complete your application.  Fill out the forms on a computer answering all the questions carefully and truthfully. Use the Document Checklist – Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker [IMM 5981] (PDF, 3.39 MB) to make sure you have everything.

4.    Pay your application fees. There’s a fee for the right to apply for the permanent residence, another for processing the work permit, and another one for biometrics. If you want to bring other family members to Canada, like a partner or children, you have to pay fees for them too. The fees amount goes from 85 (biometrics) to 550 dollars. You’ll find all about the fees in the instruction guide for applicants outside Canada. You may need to pay other fees in case you need to get a medical exampolice certificatelanguage test, or Educational Credential Assessment.

5.    Submit your application. All the questions must be answered, all the forms must be signed. You have to include your fee payment receipt and all the supporting documents. You should mail your application in a stamped enveloped to an address in Edmonton, Alberta.

If your application is approved you’ll receive a letter that says that you can work in Canada, but that’s not the work permit itself. When you come to Canada, you should show the letter to the border services officer, as well as all the supporting documents.

Once they have checked your identity and confirmed that you are allowed to work in Canada, the border services officer will print your work permit.

The last step is to work at least 24 months in Canada (not necessarily continuously) and then send proof of your working experience, such as job offers, contracts, pay stubs, or tax information issued by Canada Revenue Agency.

Canada then will make a final decision on your permanent residence application.

These two pilot programs are one of the many other immigration programs that Canada offers to people interested in migrating. If you want to know more about those, check this post I wrote in November.

At that time the Caregiver and Home Support pilot programs were not available, that’s why I didn’t include them in the article.

You should know that for the next three years, Canada intends to receive 400,000 immigrants per year, a number only seen once before in its history. So, if you want to emigrate to Canada, this is the time! Good luck and take care.

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