Huge changes to the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program are underway

The worst kept secret is finally out, that there are huge changes underway to the Canadian live-in caregiver program. In Friday’s Metro News in Toronto (a Toronto Star daily) is was reported that the number of caregivers accepted in Canada last year through this program declined last year to 8,400 from its previous high of 13,800 in 2007.

In 2008 it took just under 1 year to bring a nanny to Canada from overseas and currently that process takes upwards of 18 months to get this done. In addition, the latest requirement that employers pay the transportation fees to being the nannies over, plus the additional scrutiny that potential employers must go through, there are less nannies getting through the system, as it’s getting expensive for the average Canadian.

With fewer nannies arriving, the current group of nannies are being expected to work longer – under the program, a nanny could complete her requirements of working 2 years within 3 years of being in the program, and then could apply for an open permit while applying for permanent resident status. Two years ago, a nanny could have her permanent residence in less than 6 months after that. Nowadays, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is processing permanent resident requests much slower, taking up to 2 years per item, so nannies applying for this need to remain employed, thus prolonging their stays.

The belief is that the government would prefer to keep these jobs in the country and have employers hire locally trained nannies to keep Canadians employed, by making the program expensive for potential employers and difficult for potential nannies to be brought over to Canada and then in the process for them to become permanent residents.

Nannies working in Canada under the open permit are generally not allowed to attend Canadian schools to upgrade their education and applying as a foreign student is extremely expensive and unattainable for a caregiver working for minimum wage.

In our case, our nanny has been in the country for 3 years, 2 years with us and one year elsewhere, and her permanent residency has been sitting with the government for almost a year. She is bright, ambitious and would be a model Canadian, however, she cannot take any accredited courses, and she will not be leaving us to work at Tim Horton’s, it’s our obligation to make sure she gets a great job to help herself support herself and her family. I love that she is staying with us, and once she gets her permanent residency, we discussed her staying with us to continue to work – reduced hours – while attending school to work on her English and find what she really wants to do with the rest of her life.

Too few people take that approach with their employees, I mean don’t you want all your staff to improve, to grow and to be successful?

This delay is going to drive away some great nannies caught in the system and deter them from contributing to this beautiful country.

Reach out to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and tell him… I did. I actually caught him on Twitter. He didn’t reply, but if enough people reach out, maybe they’ll see the light.

Between these delays and the new requirements on nanny agencies – they must have an immigration consultant, lawyer and paralegal – tells me they are tightening the screws. It’s good and it’s bad. It’s good if it’s being done to prevent exploitation and make the system work better but it’s bad if it is forcing those great nanny placement agencies who are barely scraping by thanks to the new regulations and requiring them to spend more money.  It will surely put some of them out of business too… Unless that is the point of this exercise.

Here is the contact information for Canadian Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney;

Constituency Office:

1168 137 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
T2J 6T6
P. 403-225-3480
F. 403-225-3504

Ottawa Office:

325 East Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
P. 613-992-2235
F. 613-992-1920

Email: kennej@parl.gc.ca

Link: http://www.jasonkenney.ca/EN/4961/

Twitter: @kenneyjason

 

What are your thoughts?

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5 thoughts on “Huge changes to the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program are underway

  1. Hi Warren,
    I saw your tweet to Canadian MP @kenneyjason on Twitter…

    …and understand the frustration and empathy you must be feeling about your “awesome live-in caregiver.”

    Many of these caregivers and nannies are already highly educated and skilled. For example, many of the Filipino-raised workers are actually healthcare practitioners with degrees in nursing!

    Our law firm encourages skilled workers such as these to apply for the best type of immigration status (often times not the caregiver program). This way, they have a better chance to successfully integrate in Canada with the least amount of frustration.

    All the best to your caregiver, Warren!

  2. Hi Canadim, You should come back and leave more details since I seem to be getting a lot of traffic here and on my facebook page around this topic, from agencies, nannies and (potential) employers. You never know when they may need a service such as yours, and since you are clearly using social media, I would say that puts you and your firm up to date on pretty much everything.

    Thanks for the kind message!

  3. I hope that these regulations will improve things for nannies. I am disgusted by the way that many people treat their nannies. I know many stories of women expected to work long hours without breaks or overtime pay, and I’ve also heard a few stories of people firing their nannies if they get pregnant. Employers and nannies need to know that live in caregivers are covered by the Employment Standards Act and the Human Rights Code and there are remedies when their rights are breached. It’s very difficult for many of these women to pursue their rights though because of lack of knowledge and also because of their precarious immigration status.

  4. Of all the posts/news that I’ve read about live-in caregivers and the LCP, yours is entirely different–in a good way.

    Too much optimism that I wish would also reflect on the changes of the program.

    But it isn’t.

    The following changes was made in July:
    1. The LMO fee is $1,000
    2. Health insurance and transportation should be covered

    For more info refer to Employment and Social Development Canada.

    I admire your support to your nanny in helping her realize the full potential she can achieve in Canada.

    A successful person, immigrant or not, would benefit Canada (and other nations) in one way or another.

  5. Thanks for your comment!

    The post itself is quite old, and there have been many changes to the program, usually as a response to the public outcry about Foreign workers taking Canadian jobs, but as we all know, it’s 100% not true.

    The reason why Canadians love sponsoring and brining in Caregivers – many from the Philippines, is because Canadians do not want to take on jobs that require the amount of training, love and care that being a nanny / Caregiver requires.

    All immigrants who come to Canada (we’re a giant country of immigrants) who get the support that they need will thrive and succeed.

    As an employer who has sponsored and employed 4 nannies from overseas – 3 from the Philippines and 1 from Hong Kong – I can say that my intention from the day I agreed to sponsor each and every one of them – was to help them get settled in Canada, find a life after Caregiving, get their families over here and have them do the same to ensure that Canada is full of the right people, who are kind, considerate, educated, eager, and will contribute to society.

    My role as employer does not end at the end of the 2-year requirement or if there is an employment change in between.

    Whew.

    I’ll have a new post with the latest changes soon.

    Thanks again!

    Warren

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