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Immigration Canada reduces work experience requirements for caregivers

Immigration Canada (IRCC) announced on February 10, 2023 that the amount of work experience in Canada required for a caregiver to qualify for permanent residence is being reduced from 24 months to 12 months. In addition, some spaces under the existing caregiver pathways have been reserved for caregivers who already have work experience in Canada from a previous work permit so that they are able to apply for permanent residence. The change will be effective as of April 30, 2023, and will be retrospective for caregivers who have already applied.

As a result, caregivers and their families will benefit from a faster path to permanent residence. By reducing the amount of work experience, Immigration Canada also intends to improve processing times. This update is expected to benefit around 90% of applications currently in processing, an advantage for both the caregivers who are just starting out and those who have been providing care in Canada already.

The shift in criteria is intended to apply to applicants from both the Home Child Care Provider (HCCP) pilot and the Home Support Worker (HSW) pilot, including those whose applications have already been received by IRCC and prospective applicants for the remainder of the five‑year pilots.

Both caregiver pilot programs were launched in 2019 and are set to expire in June 2024. As we approach the end date of the existing caregiver programs, Immigration Canada has announced that work is underway on the future of caregiver programming to plan for what comes next after the pilots conclude in June 2024.

Please note that Immigration Canada accepts only a certain number of applications each year:

2023 caps    

In 2023, IRCC will accept up to the following number of applications in each category:

  • Gaining experience category: 1,650 applications, including
    • 1,500 online applications Closed as of January 1st, 2023
    • 150 alternate format applications Closed as of February 1, 2023
  • Direct to permanent residence category: 1,100 applications, including
    • 1,000 online applications
    • 100 alternate format applications


You may be eligible to apply for the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot, if you:

  • have enough work experience
  • meet the language level
  • meet the education requirement
  • are admissible to Canada,
  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec

Work experience

You must have at least 24 months of full-time work experience in Canada in the 36 months before you apply through the Direct to permanent residence category.

Depending on which pilot you apply for, your work experience must be in 1 of these National Occupational Classification (NOC) jobs:

Home child care provider (NOC 44100)

  • You must care for children in your own home or in your employer’s private home
    • The location can’t be an institutional setting such as a daycare
  • You don’t need to live in your employer’s home to qualify
  • Experience as a foster parent doesn’t count for this pilot

Home support worker (NOC 44101)

  • You must have cared for someone who needs help from a home support worker in your employer’s private home
    • The location can’t be an institutional setting such as a nursing home
  • You don’t need to have lived in your employer’s home to qualify
  • Only home support workers are eligible under NOC 44101

National Occupational Classification 2021

On November 16, 2022, we switched to the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

If you submitted an application before November 16, 2022, your job offer or qualifying work experience will still be assessed as per the NOC 2016 requirements.

  • Home child care provider – NOC 4411 was replaced with NOC 44100
  • Home support worker – NOC 4412 was replaced with NOC 44101

Transition to NOC 2021

If you are applying under NOC 2021 in the Gaining experience category, Immigration Canada will still accept NOC 2016 job offers during the transition period. Your job offer will be considered valid so long as it meets the listed eligibility criteria of the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot.

For this work experience:

  • your qualifying work experience must be in 1 of these jobs. It cannot be a mix of both jobs
  • you must show that your job matched the NOC job description and you must have done most of the main duties
  • your 24 months of work experience must be gained in the 36 month period before you apply
  • you don’t have to have worked 24 months in a row, just 24 months total, within the 36 month period before you apply
  • full-time means at least 30 hours of paid work each week
    • any week where you worked less than 30 hours doesn’t count
  • any work experience you had while you were a full-time student doesn’t count

Language levels

You need to take a language test to prove you meet the minimum language skills.

The minimum language skill is CLB 5 in English or NLCL 5 in French for all 4 language skills:

  • writing
  • reading
  • listening
  • speaking


You must have a completed post-secondary education credential of at least 1 year in Canada. If you don’t have a Canadian education credential, you need to get your foreign education credential assessed to show that it’s equal to a completed Canadian post-secondary education credential of at least 1 year.

For more detailed information, please feel free to contact our office or complete our online assessment questionnaire: On-line Assessment Questionnaire