On June 18, 2019 Canada launched the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot.

The Home Child-Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot are 2 economic pilot programs targeted to foreign national caregivers who:

  • have a job offer or Canadian work experience in an eligible caregiver occupation; and
  • meet minimum education and language proficiency requirements.

The ability to be a foreign caregiver in Canada has largely been restricted to these two programs as the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada has issued Ministerial Instructions refusing to process Labour Market Impact Assessments for caregivers.

Application Caps

A maximum of 2,750 complete applications will be processed per year in each pilot.

Applicants with 24 Months or more of Eligible Experience

Applicants with 24 months or more of eligible Canadian work experience must satisfy the following criteria:

  • meet the minimum language requirements of Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing;
  • meet the minimum education requirements of having either a Canadian one-year post secondary (or higher) educational credential or a foreign educational credential that is equivalent to a completed one-year Canadian post-secondary (or higher) educational credential;
  • meet the work experience requirement; and
  • be admissible to Canada.

Eligible Canadian experience must be full-time work of at least 30 hours per week in the following applications:

  • Home Child-Care Providers (except for foster parents);
  • Home Support Workers.

Housekeepers and related occupations are not eligible to apply.

Canadian work experience does not need to be continuous to qualify, but the period of 24 months of required employment does not include

  • any extended absence from Canada (including any time worked for an employer outside Canada);
  • periods of unemployment;
  • prolonged sickness; and
  • parental leave.

A reasonable period of vacation time will be counted towards meeting the work experience requirement. For example, a 2-week period of paid vacation leave within a given 52-week period in which the applicant was engaged in qualifying work would qualify, whether that period of vacation was taken in Canada or outside Canada.

Any periods of self-employment or periods of employment during which the applicant was engaged in full-time study will not be included when calculating the period of qualifying work experience.

Applicants with Fewer than 24 Months Canadian Experience

Applicants with fewer than 24 months of eligible Canadian work experience must satisfy eligibility and admissibility requirements upfront.  They must:

  • meet the minimum language requirements of Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing;
  • meet the minimum education requirements of having either a Canadian one-year post secondary (or higher) educational credential or a foreign educational credential that is equivalent to a completed one-year Canadian post-secondary (or higher) educational credential;
  • have a valid job offer;
  • be able to perform the work; and
  • be admissible to Canada (which will require that they provide police certificates).

A valid job offer must be:

  • from a single Canadian employer;
  • for a position outside the province of Quebec;
  • for full-time employment (full time means at least 30 hours of paid work per week)
  • non-seasonal;
  • in a home child-care provider or home support worker occupation;
  • genuine and likely to be valid when the applicant is issued the initial occupation-specific open work permit;
  • one that the applicant is able to perform.

Proof that a job offer is valid and genuine may include but is not limited to

  • a genuine need for a caregiver (for example, proof of a school-age child or a person with medical needs in the home);
  • the fact that the wage specified in the job offer is aligned with the prevailing wage in the province where the work will be carried out;
  • the fact that the employer has the financial ability to pay the wages specified in the job offer; and
  • in the case of a live-in arrangement, the fact that reasonable accommodations are provided (for example, a private room).

If the applicant is eligible, the permanent residence application is put on hold and the applicant is issued an occupation-restricted open work permit. Dependants are also eligible to accompany the principal applicant and can be issued open work or study permits.  Once issued an occupation-restricted open work permit, the principal applicant must obtain 24 months of eligible, full-time, Canadian work experience. To remain eligible in the program, this must happen within 3 years of being issued their occupation-specific open work permit. Applicants must submit proof of obtaining this work experience within 3 years of being issued their occupation-restricted open work permit.

Applicants may have some, but less than 24 months, of the qualifying Canadian work experience when they receive an occupation-specific open work permit. They can count this experience toward the 24-month requirement, as long as they demonstrate that the 24 months of experience was acquired in the 36 months prior to submission of their proof of work experience.

Financial Inadmissibility

Somewhat uniquely for an economic immigration program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has set forth elaborate instructions to officers as to when a caregiver applicant may be financially inadmissible to Canada.  A foreign national will be inadmissible to Canada for financial reasons if:

  • they are or will be unable or unwilling to support themselves or any other person who is dependent on them; and
  • they have not satisfied an officer that adequate arrangements for care and support, other than those that involve social assistance, have been made.

IRCC may assess the likelihood that the applicant will have access to funds by taking into consideration the wages specified in the job offer, and the prevailing wage in the province where the applicant intends to reside.  They may also consider whether the principal applicant’s spouse or dependant(s) at age of majority will accompany the applicant on an open work permit.

IRCC may also take into consideration the principal applicant’s living arrangements. If the applicant will be living in the employer’s home or with family or friends, this may allow them more financial flexibility to support themselves and their accompanying dependants.

Finally, IRCC may consider the funds that applicants have available to them.

Affidavits of financial support from family or friends in Canada that may accompany home child-care provider or home support worker applications are not acceptable and will not be considered.

Bridging Open Work Permits

As with other economic immigration programs, applicants who meet the two year Canadian work eligibility requirement, and who have permanent residence applications in processing, can be eligible for Bridging Open Work Permits.