Immigrating to Canada from a foreign country and trying to forge a life is an incredibly challenging endeavour for most foreigners aiming to live and work in Canada permanently. Amid such challenge, caregivers working towards their permanent residency are now faced with major reforms to the Live-In Caregiver Program (“Program”). The Harper government has recently made significant changes to the Program. A major change is that the “live-in” component requiring caregivers to live with their employers is no longer mandatory but is optional on the part of caregivers. It is expected that such change will reduce workplace abuses and will give caregivers better employment opportunities. However, if employers and caregivers opt for live-in arrangements, they may still do so under the new Program.
There also now two pathways to permanent residence for caregivers namely:
- Caring for Children Pathway
- Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway
The Caring for Children Pathway are for caregivers who are providing child care in a home, either living in the home or not while the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway are for caregivers providing care for the elderly or those with disabilities or chronic disease at higher skill levels in health facilities or in a home.
Under the revised Program, eligibility requirements for permanent residency include:
- At least two years of full-time work experience in Canada as a home childcare provider, with a work permit for the Caring for Children Pathway;
- At least two years of full-time work experience in Canada as a registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse aide, orderly, patient service associate, home support worker or other similar occupation, with a work permit for Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway;
- One year of post-secondary study in Canada or equivalent foreign credentials for both pathways;
- Passing at least an initial intermediate level language test for Caring for Children Pathway; and
- Passing at least an initial intermediateto adequate intermediate level language test for Caring for People with High Medical Needs
In addition to this new set of rules, humanitarian and compassionate appeals for a caregiver’s dependants are now prohibited and will not be entertained by the Canadian government. This means that with the changes to the Program, caregivers will be deemed inadmissible to Canada if their dependants are deemed inadmissible.
As the immigration process in Canada becomes more complicated, it is critical that you get the best help available. DSF’s immigration law team can provide you with the legal support you need for your immigration applications. For more information on this topic or any other immigration issues, please contact Florendo Llameg at 416-446-5828.