What do I need to know about HCCP & HSWP if I am a refugee or undocumented?

The Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCP) and Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) are temporary pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents who have provided in-home care to children or the elderly and/or people with disabilities.

There are two categories you can apply under for HCCP and HSWP: 

  1. Direct to permanent residency category
  • This option is for temporary migrants who gathered the required work experience in in-home care to children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities while on valid temporary work authorization. 
  • That means work experience while you were a refugee claimant without temporary status or undocumented cannot be counted. 
  1. Gaining work experience category
  • This option is for temporary migrants who have not gathered the required work experience yet, but have a job offer with an employer to provide in-home care to children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities. You must maintain your valid immigration status while waiting for a decision on your HCCP or HSWP application. 
  • If you have a pending refugee application, you may have valid status, but make sure to get legal help to verify this. If your refugee application has been denied, you do not have valid status. If you lose temporary status or receive a negative decision on your refugee claim while waiting for a decision on your HCCP or HSWP application, your application may be denied unless you restore your immigration status.

Can refugee claimants or undocumented people apply under HCCP or HSWP?

  • If you are a refugee claimant with valid temporary status and a job offer in in-home care for children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities – and you meet all the other criteria – technically you can apply. But make sure you meet all the criteria first! Read below for more information!
  • Because you must maintain temporary status throughout the application process, you cannot apply if you do not have temporary status, are undocumented, your refugee claim was denied, you are appealing at the RAD or under judicial review, or you have or are waiting for a removal order.

What type of work experience do I need to have or get to be eligible to apply for HCCP or HSWP?

Direct to permanent residency category

You must have completed two years (at least 30 hours per week) of valid, full-time work experience in the last three years as an in-home care worker to children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities. 

This means work in a hospital, nursing home or long-term care home does not count. However, if you are hired by an agency to provide care to one or multiple clients inside their house or residence, this work can be counted.

“Valid” means you did this work while on temporary status or with temporary work authorization (i.e. the work permit as a refugee claimant does not count because it is not considered to be valid temporary status).

Gaining work experience category

If you have a job offer from an employer for in-home care with children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities, they must complete this form: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/documents/pdf/english/kits/forms/imm5983e.pdf. After this form is completed, you can use it to apply for an industry-specific work permit under HCCP or HSWP, so that you can complete the two years of work experience required to apply for permanent residency. 

What other requirements do I need to have to apply for HCCP or HSWP?

  • Outside of Quebec: You must declare that you will not live in Quebec if you get permanent residency.
  • Ability to do the job: You must show you have relevant work experience or training as a home child care provider (nanny, babysitter, live-in caregiver providing child care) or a home support worker (attendant for persons with disabilities, live-in caregiver for seniors, personal care attendant, home support worker). These jobs are described under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code 4411 and 4412 under NOC 2016, or 44100 and 44101 under NOC 2021.
  • Education accreditation: You must provide proof of at least 1 year Canadian post-secondary education or its equivalent.
    • If you did not study in Canada, you must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved organization to see if your completed degree, diploma or certificate from back home is equivalent to 1 year of post-secondary education in Canada.
  • Language test: You must provide valid English or French language test scores for a minimum of CLB Level 5. The test results must be valid and less than two years old. Read more here.
    • Any migrant with valid identification, including refugee claimants, can take the IELTS or CELPIP test. Just type “IELTS or CELPIP test centres” in google, find the closest location to you, and book your test online. The cost for each test is usually around $300!

Is there a cap or limit to how many applications IRCC will receive per year under HCCP and HSWP?

  • Yes. HCCP and HSWP programs have only 2,750 spots EACH per year, and this year they broke it down into these categories:
    • Gaining experience category:
      • 1,650 applications, including 1,500 online applications & 150 alternate format applications
    • Direct to permanent residence category:
      • 1,100 applications, including 1,000 online applications & 100 alternate format applications
  • Once IRCC receives 2,750 applications in a year, they stop accepting more applications. This is not fair!

Is this a new program?

  • The HCCP and HSWP programs were created in 2019. It was created because migrant workers like you in Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) campaigned under the call of “Landed Status Now”. 
  • But these temporary programs have existed in one way or another since the 1950s making it the longest running temporary foreign worker program in Canada. We have been fighting to improve it, and were successful at making partial changes before. But now the increased requirements, including the education accreditation and language tests, have blocked many of our care worker members on work permits from being able to apply – just like what many of you are going through right now!
  • We must continue to fight for regularization and status for everyone, and make sure no one is excluded because of racist and discriminatory requirements like English skills, education or caps!