Former live-in caregiver jailed for exploiting migrants who wanted to follow in her footsteps to Canada.


A woman who came to Canada from the Philippines as a live-in caregiver has been jailed for exploiting would-be immigrants in a stiff sentence designed to thwart a wave of bogus immigration consulting. “She lied to them, cheated them, and, in some cases, even threatened them. By doing so, not only did she harm the…

via Former live-in caregiver jailed for exploiting migrants who wanted to follow in her footsteps to Canada — National Post – Top Stories

This is such a shame!  Taking advantage of those in need is terrible and not the Canadian way.

Advertisements

Live-In Caregiver Solutions: Wee Care Placement Agency – February SALE!


For everyone asking me for a sample nanny contract – the government has removed their online version – I now have one available!  I reached out to Robyn Zeldin who operates the Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency here in Toronto and she provided me with a sample, and can provide you with one as well.wee care logo

We used the Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency for all of the sponsoring, paperwork and requirements of the Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program for the 3 caregivers that were under our care. Robyn and her company are great – especially through the hiring our first nanny – because not only did they do all the paperwork, but they made sure we were compliant with the programs’ requirements, they prepped us for the interview with the government and helped us set up our home to welcome our caregiver.

When we had questions, concerns or issues, we turned to Robyn and her company.  When the caregiver’s had questions or needed clarification on things, they turned to Robyn and her company.

They really matched our family with the perfect caregiver – our last caregiver was with us for 6-years until she went back home to get married.

Wee Care was also able to help with part-time and temporary placement, as well as with the contract, do’s and don’ts and pretty much everything else.

When you’re in business over 20-years, there is a good reason for it!

I’ve referred friends to Robyn at Wee Care for LMIA processing because, to be honest, it’s a giant pain in the butt to do especially with young children, and Robyn’s team quickly and happily took that over that headache and processed all the documents with Service Canada. They’re a one-stop shop!

Here is their website: www.weecareplacementagency.com

Find them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Wee-Care-Placement-Agency

They also have a company called In A Pinch@ www.inapinch.ca which offers babysitting services – a couple of hours or a couple of couple of months.


SALE

For The Urban Daddy readers, Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency is having a Family Day Flash Sale on their services from this Friday, February 12th, to Monday February 29th.

For $700 + HST, they will advertise, complete and process your LMIA application.

Call them at 416.789.3070, or email them at weecare@rogers.com.

 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announce Improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced Improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program, formerly known solely as the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), and the Canadian government hopes that these improvements will:

  • Result in faster processing at all stages of the program
  • Provide faster reunification of families in Canada
  • Create better career opportunities upon completion of the program, and
  • Establish better protection against potential workplace vulnerability and abuses

These reforms were put in place to address some key concerns of the old Live-In Caregiver program through the removal of the live-in requirement and increasing the processing time for permanent residence.   In the old program there actually were employers who felt that since the caregiver was living in their homes that they were available to work 24/7, and even questioned their caregivers who wanted to go out in the evening, or stay away on the weekends.

Another major problem with the old program was the lack of long-term opportunities for caregivers who, through talking to their peers, waited for their program requirements to end so that they no longer needed to live-in, and could demand a higher wage.  Often this was not a discussion between the employee and the employer and thus a job change was the often outcome.

The resulting job change often meant a higher salary, but in the same field, or with less hours, or with less “perks” like meals and living accommodations earned as the caregiver and the families bond over the years.  It’s usually a major step backwards when the caregivers should be leveraging their employers for their next step once their employment is no longer required.

In addition, CIC plans to reduce the backlog by admitting 30,000 permanent resident caregivers and their family members in 2015, an all-time high, and also a major change in direction from a government which has always publically stated that the Live-In Caregiver Program was not meant to be used for reunification.

CIC also announced that they will be dropping the live-in requirement for caregivers.  If employers and caregivers wish to agree to live-in arrangements, they can continue to do so.  In addition, caregivers currently in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) may choose to live out and later apply for permanent residence by applying for a regular work permit to replace their LCP-specific work permit.

On November 30th, 2014, the Canadian Government launched two new pathways for caregivers which will:

  • accept up to 5,500 applicants for permanent residence per year plus family members,
  • process these permanent residence applications with a 6-month service standard, and
  • accept applications from those already in the LCP queue who prefer one of the improved pathways

The 2 New Pathways:

1.  Caring for Children Pathway:  A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided child care in a home, either living in the home or not.

Eligibility is based on:

  • Work experience – A minimum of 2 years of Canadian work experience as a home childcare provider, with a work permit.
  • Human capital criteria – A 1-year completed Canadian post-secondary credential, or equivalent foreign credential, and language level of at least initial intermediate

2.  Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway:  A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided care for the elderly or those with disabilities or chronic disease at higher skill levels in health facilities or in a home

Eligibility is based on:

  • Work experience – A minimum of 2 years of Canadian work experience 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.
  • Human capital criteria – A 1-year completed Canadian post-secondary credential, or equivalent foreign credential, and an appropriate level of language proficiency to practice their occupation, ranging from initial intermediate to adequate intermediate

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What sort of work permit should I apply for if this is my first time as a caregiver in Canada and my employer applies for a Labour Market Impact Assessment after November 30, 2014?

A1: You will need to apply for a regular work permit, not a specific caregiver work permit.

You can live in your own home. If you and your employer have agreed that you will live in their home, this should be:

  • in your employment contract, and
  • noted in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) request by your employer to Employment and Social Development Canada. Your employer will have to confirm that the accommodation they are providing meets acceptable standards before they get the LMIA.

Q2: I am working as a live-in caregiver but would like to move into my own home. Can I?

A2: To work as a caregiver on a live-out basis, your employer will need a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and you will need to apply for a new work permit based on that LMIA. In addition, you would have to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway, and not through the Live-in Caregiver Program.

Q3: I have submitted an application for permanent residence through the Live-in Caregiver Program. Can I submit an application to either the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway as well?

A3: If you meet the requirements of either the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathways, you may submit another application for permanent residence, including providing the required information and processing fee.

Q4: I am already working as a live-in caregiver. Will I be able to apply for permanent residence when I complete the work requirement?

A4: Yes. You may continue working as a live-in caregiver and apply for permanent residence when you meet the work requirement. You do not need to switch to one of the new pathways.

If you choose to remain in the Live-in Caregiver Program pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will still be based on the requirements of that program. This includes the requirement to live in the home of your employer.

If you choose to apply to the Caring for Children Pathway or the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will be based on the requirements of those pathways.

Q5: I just applied for a work permit as a live-in caregiver. Will I be able to apply for permanent residence when I complete the work requirement?

A5: Yes. You may come to Canada to work as a live-in caregiver and apply for permanent residence based on the requirements of the Live-in Caregiver Program. This includes the requirement to live in the home of your employer.

If you choose to apply to the Caring for Children Pathway or the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will be based on the requirements of those pathways.

Summary: What are the improvements to the Caregiver Program?

As of November 30th, 2014, the Caregiver Program includes two new pathways for permanent residence for foreign workers with experience as caregivers in Canada.

The two new pathways are:

  • Caring for Children
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs

For both the Caring for Children Pathway and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway:

  • You do not need to live in the home of your employer to qualify for permanent residence.
  • You do need to work in Canada with a work permit in an eligible occupation for two years.
  • You do need to meet requirements for language ability and education.

In addition, the Live-in Caregiver Program pathway to permanent residence is still open for all live-in caregivers who:

  • have started working in Canada as a live-in caregiver, or
  • have applied for a work permit as a live-in caregiver, or
  • apply for their initial work permit based on an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment that had been submitted by the employer to Employment and Social Development Canada by November 30, 2014, and
  • complete the work requirement of the Live-in Caregiver Program.

All your questions, plus more, can be answered here; (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/index-featured-int.asp), on the government’s website.

Hiring a Nanny in the US: Not an Easy Task.


English: Seal of the United States Department ...
English: Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kind folks at www.nannypro.com brought this article to my attention, as a Canadian, in order to help shed some light on the requirements and obstacles around hiring nannies in the US.  The article link is below;

http://www.nannypro.com/blog/why-it%e2%80%99s-not-so-easy-to-hire-a-nanny-from-overseas/

Once you get through this informative post you will come to the same conclusion that they did, and that it is a long, complicated process to hire a nanny from overseas to work in the US.

Some of the delays include;

Potential nanny employers in the US are legally required to verify a nanny candidate’s employment eligibility using form I-9 from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services.

The purpose of the form is for all U.S. employers to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. On the form, the employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.

The form can be found here;

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

The handbook for the form is here;

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf

The other key concern here is that in order for a nanny to legally accept work in the United States, she must be a citizen of the United States, a noncitizen national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in the United States.  As a result of this language and strict criteria, most nannies outside of the United States aren’t able to legally accept work in the United States.

Hmmm.  Great law, eh?

As a result, many parents turn their attention to Au Pairs since the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs has a visa progran to bring over foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 26 years of age who are a secondary school graduate or equivalent and who are proficient in English to continue their education and experience American life with a host family.  Here is where it gets interesting… They can do this in exchange for room, board, and a stipend, Au Pairs provide limited child care.

This is unfortunately a short-term solution.

On the horizon, the U.S. Department of Immigration recently reclassified live-in nannies from unskilled to skilled workers, meaning some nannies in some countries may be eligible to secure a visa to work in the United States as a live-in nanny.   Emphasis on the word “some”.

But if this appeals to you, this article recommends that these parents seek the services of an immigration attorney who specializes in securing visas for nannies, which makes sense.

So after all this if you are still interested in looking for a live-in caregiver, I wish you the best of luck and I encourage you to get moving on this process early.

Some parents register their kids for school while pregnant with that child and unless the rules and regulations lessen, hiring a caregiver in the US will be the next task.

Getting Started with the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program


I receive quite a few emails and comments each week on the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) and the majority of them surround how to participate in the program, from the perspective of a potential foreign worker and from potential employers.

I try to be very up front and honed when I discuss this topic – especially when I say that I do recommend the use of a nanny agency – as the rules and regulations have been getting more and more specific and with that more and more complicated over the years.  The Conservative government has put measures in place to make it less desirable for foreign workers to abuse the system and have absolutely clamped down on abusive employers.  The government has also tightened up requirements on nanny agencies making sure they have immigration consultants on their staff as well as an immigration lawyer.  If anyone is going to be able to get the caregivers over to Canada properly and navigate through the rules, it’s an agency.

With all this tightening, we are left with two very clear facts;

1.  You have to have money to hire a live in caregiver.  The government has been known to reject single parents with income of less than $70,000.00 per year and couples with a combined income of less than $100,000.00 per year, as reported on their personal taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  They ask for a copy of your previous 2 years’ notices of assessment (NOA’s) to ensure you are telling the truth.

The main reason behind the minimum salary requirements is quite simple.  Too many nannies came forward complaining at having not been paid and / or were being paid much less than minimum wage.  The government is trying to change people’s perspectives through the LCP that these people (mainly women) are foreign workers, not nannies, and as such, the employers will be less likely to take advantage of then re: wages, working conditions, tasks, hours, vacation time, etc.  Companies who abuse their foreign workforce get sued.

The downfall of the high salary requirement for employers obviously is that a single mom, for example, who needs to get out into the workforce to provide for her family cannot afford to hire a nanny through the program and instead resorts to daycare or hiring a nanny under the table, which generally means being paid in cash.  Cash is great for not paying taxes and not having to perform the monthly remittance to the government however without an official record trail of being employed in Canada and paying into the system, when that caregiver finds themselves unemployed, they are not eligible to claim EI and are forced to take a low paying job somewhere else in order to keep the income flowing.  If they are in the LCP, they are not getting credit for time served.

2. The  second thing this tightening of screws does, is it pushes any potential employer towards a nanny agency in order to ensure they complete the paperwork and get through all the new requirements.  When we sponsored our first nanny – over 7 years ago – there were only two pages of paperwork required and through our agency, The Wee Care Placement Agency, http://www.weecareplacement.ca/, we jointly completed the paperwork and went through the next steps together.  I spoke to the government, they asked the questions I was now expecting and I gave them the answers they needed to hear to know we needed a nanny and would treat them with respect and in the same way we expect them to treat our kids.

It’s an intimidating process to say the least, at least it was back in 2004 when we started sponsoring nannies, and it’s been getting that much more complicated as we continued sponsoring nannies once our nannies completed the program and went off into the workforce.

Nowadays, the documentation needed is upwards of 18 pages long, and the requirement to advertise on the job bank is also quite specific, let alone figuring out the logistics around the paying for the ticket of this potential nanny to come to Canada – hoping they will stay with you, or that you mesh together…  It’s not so easy anymore to do on your own.  One mistake or omission could set back your nannies anticipated arrival by days, weeks, months or worse, permanently and land you on the banned employer list.

It’s also easier when going through an agency to find out why a nanny coming from the Philippines needs a year and proof of travel being paid for, while a nanny coming from Hong Kong can be here in half that time.  Most agencies also provide a guarantee so if you do sponsor through them and the nanny bails or you find they do not mesh with your family, you have 3 months to sort this out,

An additional bonus to having an agency on your side is as a resource to ask when you are unsure of overtime amounts to be paid or duties which can and cannot be performed, or about how to address performance issues, or vacation request, sick requests or open permits.  I called Wee Care to discuss the newest regulations and it helped me write this post.  It was money well spent back in 2004 and we continue to have a relationship to this day.

So if I was being asked again to provide my thoughts on how to move forward through the LCP, my advice would be to speak to an agency.  It’s worth every penny and you’ll keep going back over and over again.  As a matter of fact, in the 7 years which we have sponsored 4 nannies we have done them all through Wee Care and for us the program suited our needs it got to the point where they knew what kind of caregiver we needed and they brought us a couple to meet and interview along our guidelines and one remains with us.

But you do not hae to take my word for it.  Read up on the guidelines online at the CRA and Immigration Canada websites on what is required, then you too will probably come to the realization that you will need an agency to assist you though this process.

Good luck.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and if I cannot answer them, I will forward them along to the amazing folks at Wee Care for their expert opinions.