Canada’s immigration department plans to finalize 6,000 caregiver applications for permanent residence by December 31, 2021.

In a statement released on April 15, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it will finalize the applications for caregivers who have completed their in-Canada work experience, as well as their immediate family members.

The department also said it would 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.

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, keeping them apart from their families longer than we would have hoped,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in the release. “With today’s announcement, we’re getting caregiver immigration back on track which will help reunite front-line heroes with their
loved ones.”

By prioritizing these decisions, IRCC will be able to issue more caregiver work permits for those who have valid job offers to work for families in Canada. The statement also says the pandemic has affected operations at IRCC, particularly for paper-based applications as office closures resulted in more employees working remotely. The number of mail-in applications processed in 2020 was significantly reduced. As a result, IRCC is digitizing the application process so that the department can process the applications it received in 2020 before the end of the year. IRCC says it will ensure caregiver program applicants receive acknowledgement of receipt letters by May 31, 2021.

The new policy will take effect on May 3, 2021. Those who applied to the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilots in 2020 will not need to reapply, IRCC says.

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