Caregivers: What you need to know about the new immigration announcement!

Published on February 25, 2019

Caregivers organized and we won! This is OUR VICTORY. It means, if we keep raising our voices, we can get even more!

On February 23, 2019, the government announced a new caregiver program. The new program will give Care Workers open work permits (for the caregiver sector) so we can change employers more easily. We will have the right to bring our spouses and children when we come to Canada to work as Care Workers. In the new program, there will be a pathway to permanent residency after two years of services as a Care Worker.

For Care Workers that are working in Canada now, there will be a new Interim Pathway PR application program for workers under the LCP and Caregiver Program. Some Care Workers will be able to apply with 12 months of services (instead of 24). The educational and English requirements for this small program are also lower.

IMPORTANT: If you are a Caregiver in Toronto who had difficulty getting PR, get in touch with us! Text / WhatsApp: 647-782-6633. If you are outside of Toronto, email info@migrantworkersalliance.org with your city and you will be connected to a group closest to you.

We welcome the newly announced Caregiver Program. It is a direct response to the Landed Status Now (www.LandedStatusNow.ca) campaign and our decades of organizing before that.  

While we recognize the gains, the new programs do not go far enough. We still don’t have permanent resident status on arrival which is needed to get at the cause of exploitation in our work. We remain united in calling for permanent resident status on arrival for all migrant workers.

We outline the main changes below. There are still many questions on the details of the program that we need to find out about.  

FOR CAREGIVERS COMING INTO CANADA IN THE FUTURE

What we know:

Two new 5-year pilot projects will be announced soon for Home Child Care Providers and Home Support Workers.

When these projects come into place, Care Workers coming to Canada will:  

  • Get open work permits to work as Home child care or support workers. This will let workers change jobs quickly if necessary.
  • Care Workers can come to Canada with their families. Spouse / common-law partners will get open work permits and dependent children will get study permits.
  • Care Workers will have to meet qualifications for Permanent Residency before they will be approved for the program and before they come to work in Canada.
  • Once a Care Worker has 2 years of work service under the Home Care Child Provider or Home Support Worker program, they will have a direct pathway to permanent residency.

What we don’t know:

  • What are the criteria or qualifications Care Workers will need under the new program to qualify for permanent residency?
  • When will the program come into effect?
  • Will children of Care Workers have to pay international fees for school? Will the families get healthcare and housing support?
  • How will the processing take place for workers who are abroad?

 

FOR SOME CAREGIVERS IN CANADA NOW

What we know

The government says it heard from Care Workers that the current program is unfair. Too many Care Workers have worked under the Caregiver Program yet don’t qualify for permanent residence. It has created a new Interim Pathway for Care Workers facing problems qualifying for PR.

You can apply for PR between March and June 4, 2019 if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have at least one year of work experience since November 2014 under the Caring for people with high medical needs or Caring for children program or a mix or service under both programs.
  • You have English or French language skills level CBL 5 (Canadian Language Benchmark). You must have taken an approved language test.
  • You must have a valid work permit; have applied to extend your work permit; or, have applied to restore your status as a worker.
  • You have education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma (reduced from one-year secondary education credential).

What we don’t know

  • What about workers who have lost their work permits?
  • Is there support for workers to apply?
  • What about workers who can’t apply in the 3 month window?

We will continue to work to find out details of the new programs and how to help workers currently in Canada.  

For information:
Caregivers’ Action Centre 647-782-6633
Landed Status Now! Care Workers Organize