Politics

Ottawa to make it easier for caregivers to gain residency when coming to Canada

Ottawa is taking steps to make it easier for caregivers to come to Canada and establish permanent residency when doing so.

The federal government announced two new pilot programs on Monday afternoon, which will allow eligible caregivers — with relevant experience and education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma, among other criteria — to be granted permanent residency upon arrival.

“Caregivers play a critical role in supporting Canadian families, and our programs need to reflect their invaluable contributions,” Immigration Minister Marc Miller said in a statement included in a news release.

“As we work to implement a permanent caregivers program, these two new pilots will not only improve support for caregivers, but also provide families with the quality care they deserve.”

The government says that eligible caregivers will be able to work for organizations that provide temporary or part-time care for individuals — such as those receiving care while recovering from injury or illness.

Speaking in Toronto on Monday afternoon, Miller said the pilots could launch as soon as this fall. 

These updated programs replace two other pilot programs that the minister said brought thousands of caregivers to Canada, but which are slated to wrap up later this month. 

“While these pilots have attracted many qualified individuals and their families in Canada and helped provide in-home care, the need for caregivers continues,” said Miller, who indicated the government has been talking to caregivers and stakeholders to look at ways of improving the support these programs provide for newcomers.

The federal government announced two new pilot programs on Monday afternoon, which will allow eligible caregivers — with relevant experience and education equivalent to a Canadian high-school diploma, among other criteria — to be granted permanent residency upon arrival. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Miller said that with Canada’s aging demographics, there is an increasing need for caregivers to support people.

“This is something that is an increasing reality, not a decreasing one,” he said.

He noted many of the caregivers who come to Canada to take this work on are women, some of whom are being separated from their own families when moving abroad to take care of others.

“I can assure you that these sacrifices are not going unnoticed,” Miller said.

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