Ottawa: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working to overcome the pandemic-related roadblocks that have interfered with processing applications from caregivers and their families by announcing a processing plan for 2021.
IRCC said in a statement: “Caregivers from abroad play an important role in supporting Canadian families who are unable to find the care they need for a family member. The pandemic has caused great disruption to life in Canada, including to application processing at IRCC offices.
“We recognize that many caregivers working in Canada are waiting anxiously to be reunited with their loved ones, and they need their applications to be processed for that to happen,” the statement added.
As part of this plan, IRCC will:
• finalize permanent residence applications for up to 6,000 caregivers who have completed their in-Canada work experience and their immediate family members, by December 31, 2021
• make at least 1,500 first-stage decisions on applications for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots by June 30, 2021
◦ Prioritization of these decisions will allow more caregiver work permits to be issued for those who have valid job offers
• increase the digitization of caregiver applications and ensure applicants receive acknowledgement of receipt letters by May 31, 2021
Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said: “The pandemic disrupted people’s lives in Canada and around the world, and Canada’s immigration processes were no exception. Immigrant caregivers, who take care of our families and elders, are often separated from their own families, and the pandemic has significantly slowed down permanent residence application processing. We’re getting caregiver immigration back on track.”
“With reduced capacity and office closures resulting in more employees working remotely, in 2020 IRCC only entered as many mailed-in applications as was possible into our case management system. As a result, a new public policy is being issued so that IRCC can process applications in 2021 that were received in 2020.”
The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots were launched in 2019. They feature a clear transition for caregivers from temporary to permanent status, as well as occupation-specific, rather than employer-specific, work permits. They also provide the opportunity for caregivers and their families to move to Canada as they gain work experience. The response to these pilots suggests these features are attractive to caregivers and Canadian families who need in-home care for a family member.
• The new public policy will take effect on May 3, 2021. Applicants to the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots in 2020 will not need to reapply.
• As of March 3, 2021, there were applications for about 12,000 caregivers and their accompanying family members in the processing inventory. This includes applications to both the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots
• As of April 8, 2021, 2,367 applications have been received for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot, representing about 86% of the number of applications that can be accepted for 2021. For the Home Support Worker Pilot, an estimated 516 applications have been received, representing about 19% of the number of applications that can be accepted in 2021.
• Nearly 2,900 caregivers and their family members became permanent residents in 2020.
• Caregivers who are already in Canada can apply for permanent residence through the permanent residence pathway for essential workers.