Is the Live-in caregiver program for Canada in jeopardy?
The live-in caregiver program has been a popular way for immigrants to move to and earn an income in Canada. And after working in Canada, live-in caregivers are rewarded with permanent residency.
But lately, there have been some problems with the live-in caregiver program:
- Wait time to come to Canada has increased to 18 months from 12 months just a few years ago.
- Live-in caregivers become trapped in one occupation – while waiting for permanent residency, they used to be given a special permit that allowed them to work other jobs. That permit used to only take six to eight months to arrive as little as a year ago, but now the wait is about 18 months.
- The number of live-in caregivers that have been accepted into Canada has decreased. In 2007, 13,800 live-in caregivers came to Canada. In 2010, only 8,400 were accepted.
Essentially, live-in caregivers are being made to work longer to earn permanent residency status, for reasons unknown, and fewer are coming to Canada.
One theory as to why numbers are declining is that in 2010, changes were made to the live in caregiver program to protect workers and prevent them from being exploited by employers, but these have lowered demand for live-in caregivers as families now have to pay way more fees.
In 2010, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said that the program was important and would grow in future years, but recently it was announced that the Live-in caregiver program would already be cut by 25-44 per cent in 2012, or to about 9,000 visas given out.
According to many articles in the media lately, live-in caregivers are starting to feel tricked by the Canadian government.
Live-in caregivers are often thought of as nannies for small children, but they are also extremely valuable care options for the elderly – and with Canada’s aging population, they may soon be needed more than ever.
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