Caregivers’ route to becoming Canadian permanent residents

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Dear Mr Brown,

I recently received a job offer as a live-in caregiver in Canada. I am anxious to start but I was told that there is no possibility of becoming a Canadian permanent resident, even if I am there working for years. I was of the impression a few years ago that one could become a permanent resident via this route, what changed?

— SF

 

Dear SF:

A live-in caregiver is a person who provides childcare, senior home support care, or care of the disabled in a private household in Canada in which the person resides, without supervision.

The Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) deals with the care of:

• Children under the age of 18;

• Elderly persons 65 and older; or

• A person with disability.

Caregivers contribute significantly to the Canadian labour market, as they allow for the possibility of double-income households — in many cases — to earn an income while the caregiver looks after their young children or elderly parents.

However, the Live-In Caregiver Program has suffered from a severe backlog over the years. At one point, the backlog was so large that it could take as long as 10 years for a caregiver to bring over relatives, a situation that put a strain on many families, particularly mothers who had left children at home.

 

Pilot programmes

Caregivers will soon have access to two new five-year caregiver immigration pilot programmes. The new Home Child Care Provider pilot and the Home Support Worker pilot will begin later this year, with a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants each, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants per year.

The new pilots will allow:

• Caregivers to enter Canada with their family, with open work permits for spouses/common-law partners and study permits for dependent children;

• A pathway to permanent residence;

• Occupation-specific work permits for caregivers, providing the ability to change jobs quickly, when necessary.

Under the new pilots, applicants will be assessed for permanent residence criteria before they begin working in Canada. Once the caregiver has their work permit and two years of work experience, they will have access to a direct pathway to become a permanent resident.

The Interim Pathway for Caregivers, will be open from March 4, 2019, until June 4, 2019. This interim programme is being launched after hearing directly from caregivers and interested parties that the previous changes made in 2014 were not well understood. Many caregivers began working for families in Canada, only to find out later that they were not going to qualify for permanent residence under an existing programme.

To address this issue, the Interim Pathway for Caregivers will provide those caregivers an opportunity to stay in Canada permanently. The interim programme will have modified criteria compared to the current pilot programmes ,and offer a pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who, in good faith, have come to Canada and are providing care to Canadians without a clear pathway to permanent residence.

 

General requirements

The employer must do the following:

1. Submit a Foreign Live-In Caregiver Application form;

2. Submit the employment contract, signed by the employer and live-in caregiver;

3. Offer prevailing wage rates and acceptable working conditions;

4. Show proof of adequate recruiting efforts in Canada before making a job offer, unless exempted, and obtain a Labour Market Opinion;

5. Provide the live-in caregiver with suitable accommodation in a private home at the same location as the person cared for, including a private and furnished room; and

6. Employ the live-in caregiver on a full-time basis.

In assessing the offer of employment, consideration is given to such factors as:

• The need for live-in care;

• If the job offer being genuine;

• whether the employer is offering wages and working conditions that meet provincial/territorial employment standards and labour laws;

• The job duties are that of a full-time live-in caregiver (minimum of 30 hours per week); and

• A reasonable search has been carried out to identify qualified and available Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents and unemployed foreign caregivers already in Canada.

 

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.

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