Is It True That Caregivers Will No Longer Be Able To Apply For Permanent Residency in Canada?
It is a well established fact that Canada has one of the most generous foreign caregiver programs in the world. The caregiver program is a Canadian government policy that allows qualified individuals and families to sponsor foreign nannies and caregivers to come to Canada. The program allows foreign caregivers to immigrate to Canada and also provides a pathway for the foreign caregiver to apply for permanent residency and eventually become a Canadian citizen. Filipino caregivers are the largest beneficiaries of this program but other foreign caregivers from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Caribbeans can also be found under this program.
Since its inception, the Caregiver Program has undergone a number changes in the hands of successive governments in the name of trying to make the program better. There is no doubt that a lot of the changes in the past have contributed to making the program more efficient and sustainable. On the other hand, some of the new policies added or taken away have negatively affected these overseas foreign workers.
Child caregivers, elderly caregivers and caregivers for the disabled were all under the then Live-in Caregiver Program. Then came the elimination of the compulsory “live-in” part to make it optional for foreign caregivers to either live on their own or work and live with their employers.
After changing the program from The Live-in Caregiver program to the current Caregiver Program, the Conservative government in 2014 decided to create three ways to apply for permanent residence, based on Canadian work experience, as a caregiver. Foreign caregivers in Canada could now apply for Permanent Residency through the Caring for Children Program, the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program or through the defunct Live-in Caregiver Program.
Our mailbox at caregiversincanada.com is currently overflowing with questions and concerns from caregivers in Canada as well as foreign caregivers from overseas. A common fear is that the government is quietly taking away the pathway for caregivers to apply for permanent residency. Then there is this frequently asked question: Is It True That Foreign Caregivers Will No Longer Be Able To Apply For Permanent Residency In Canada?.
Should Caregivers Be Worried About A Possible Cancellation Of The Caregiver Program?
One may wonder why these caregivers are suddenly expressing fears and anxiety of this solid government program. The answer lies in a recent surprising message posted on the website of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Below is the message that is on display under Permanent residence through the Caring for Children Program:
“If you have work experience in Canada as a home child care provider, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for Children Program.
We will stop accepting applications for this permanent resident program on November 29, 2019. If you don’t have two years of full-time work experience as a caregiver before it closes, you won’t be eligible to apply”.
A similar message is displayed under Permanent residence through the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program. The appearance of this notice has since caused panic within the foreign caregivers community in Canada and beyond.
If you did not have all the background information and knowledge about the changes that were made by the previous Conservative government in 2014, your natural conclusion would be that the current government is about to put an end to the much cherished Caregiver program in Canada.
However, it is important to note that the splitting of the pathway to obtaining permanent residency under the caregiver program in 2014 was a pilot program. Basically, the government decided to give the program a lifespan of 5 years. The government at that time decided that the caregiver program was going to be reviewed automatically after the expiration of the 5-year period.
Consequently, there is going to be a review of the caregiver program in accordance with the law that was passed in 2014. The current caregiver program legally started on November 29, 2014. Therefore, November 29, 2019 will be exactly 5 years from the day the program came into being.
The truth of the matter is that no one can predict precisely the outcome of the pending review to the caregiver program. The current program may be maintained as it is right now or minor changes can be made to the program.
Perhaps the best and most accurate “official” explanation so far can be found in a recent Toronto Star article: Canada’s immigration program for migrant caregivers under review. Immigration Canada spokesperson Faith St. John is said to have provided the following explanation:
“Both programs were launched as five-year pilots, including a date that they expire. With a launch date of November 29, 2014, this means they will expire on November 29, 2019,”
“An assessment is underway on both of these pilots. This assessment will help determine what pathway to permanent residence should be in place after that date. Options to replace the two pilots or make them permanent will be reviewed and announced before they expire in 2019.”
Good luck to all current and future caregivers in Canada.