Caregiver Applications to be Prioritized for 2021

On April 15, 2021, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they will prioritize 6000 Caregiver applications by the end of 2021. They have also indicated that they will process 1500 of those by June 30, 2021.

IRCC is promoting the message that Caregivers from abroad play an important role in supporting Canadian families who are unable to find the care they need for a family member in Canada. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a great disruption in application processing times and IRCC recognizes many caregivers working in Canada need their applications processed so they can be reunited with their loved ones.

Now, 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.

New Plans for IRCC

  • 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 to work for families in Canada.
  • increase the digitization of caregiver applications
  • ensure applicants receive acknowledgment of receipt letters by May 31, 2021

With reduced capacity and office closures resulting in more employees working remotely, there have been significant challenges for paper-based applications to be processed. In 2020 IRCC only entered as many mailed-in applications as was possible into their case management system. With the new public policy being issued, IRCC will be able to 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, but also cases that we continue to finalize from caregiver programs of the past.
  • As of April 8, 2021, an estimated 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 could also have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence through the recently announcedcreation of a permanent residence pathway for essential workers.

If you are interested to apply under the Caregiver Pilot Program, contact us now to determine your eligibility.