Canada Immigration: Are live-in caregivers given relaxation?

Resonant Success – The resonantly successful Live-In Caregiver Program was included in Immigration revamped, as Canadian families are unable to find care for kids and elderly parents. The government has announced waiting periods for these caregivers to obtain open work permit be less than 18 months. Open work permits will let caregivers to look for a new job, in whichever field, the moment their two year long live-in caregiver tenure is complete. Many believe that the inclusion is timely and sensible.

Associated Fears – Nonetheless, there are some associated fears. Experts are of the opinion that this inclusion could result in a caregiver shortage. The government stated that it would admit a maximum of 8000-9000 live-in caregivers annually, down from a straight 10,500 to 12,500. Experts further assert that the government should have kept the numbers unchanged just to witness the impact of open-work-permit scheme. It may well be the case that this number has to be increased.

Bondage And Slavery – Despite all apprehensions, the inclusion is strongly backed as many activists believe that it is a move that frees these caregivers from bondage and slavery. Reports emerging have revealed that foreign nannies were treated as servants and were paid far below the poverty line. A coordinator of Toronto Caregiver Resource Centre stated that they are released from the clutches of bondages, slavery and severe neglect. Further, she said that on an average a nanny earn about $250/week working for 12-16 hours.

Open Permit Provisions – In the provisions of the open work permit, the work would change under the federal Live-In Caregiver program in the sense that caregivers are now free to look for a new job and clear themselves from their owner’s homes as they hang around for a decision on their requests for permanent residency. Ahead of the change, live-in caregivers had to wait for a preliminary consent on their request for permanent residence. Only then would they be eligible for an open work permit.

The Program – As a whole, the LCP is a demand-based program where caregivers are accepted as permanent residents corresponding to the number of those coming to Canada as temporary foreign workers (TFWs) some years previously. An estimated 4,700 live-in caregivers were enrolled TFWs in 2002, and about 4,500 PR applications were accepted for the same class in 2005. In 2005, way above 7,200 caregivers enrolled in the program and nearly 10,400 applicants, counting spouses and relatives of the caregivers themselves, were granted permanent residency via the Live-in Caregiver Class in 2008.