New rules around foreign caregivers concerning
The effective cancellation of the federal Live-in Caregiver Program makes it more time consuming and less appealing for foreign caregivers to come to Canada, says Toronto immigration lawyer Robin Seligman.
The National Post reports that new rules governing the caregiver immigration program removes the requirement that caregivers live with the families that hire them. It also requires the usual paperwork, but with an additional $1,000 fee for a Labour Market Opinion to prove the job had been widely advertised and no qualified Canadians could fill it.
“In the first months after the changes, documents obtained by a caregiver advocacy group showed that the number of approvals to bring in a caregiver from abroad dropped dramatically, by as much as 90 per cent,” reports the Post.
A spokesperson for the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada is quoted in the article as saying, “It’s just a real mess right now. It’s so much harder for families to hire. Work permit applications are taking a long time, usually seven or eight months.”
Seligman, a certified specialist in citizenship and immigration law, says what’s missing from recent media reports is that the federal government has effectively cancelled the decades-old program.
“What many reports discuss are the length of processing times, and that’s obviously a critical concern,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com. “However, what is even more concerning is that the government has effectively cancelled the program. It’s now conducted on a quota system. Even if some foreign caregivers are lucky enough to get in, there’s no guarantee they can stay in Canada."
“These foreign caregivers have sacrificed and worked hard and the government is not committing to them.”
Families in Canada are also adversely impacted by these new rules, she says.
"The government cap on the number of foreign caregivers that can get permanent residency makes Canada a lot less appealing to a prospective nanny," she says. "Additionally, the new rules no longer allow for families to deduct room and board from their nanny’s pay, which increases costs substantially."