Canadian Live in Caregiver Program

By Andy Semotiuk | July 21, 2015

Canadian Live in Caregiver Program


US and Canadian Immigration Lawyer Andy Semotiuk – Those wishing to use the Live-In Caregiver program in Canada are seeing what its new rules look like in practice. Take the case of this woman looking for a caregiver in a rural area:

She put her now-15-month-old baby on a waiting list for one of those six spots before she was even conceived and still didn’t get one. Private daycares are all booked up. Job ads for local nannies attracted exactly one candidate, a 16-year-old high school student and mother whose home Ketchabaw determined wouldn’t be safe for her daughter.

So Ketchabaw applied to hire a foreign nanny on a temporary work permit, through the decades-old arrangement formerly known as the Live-In Caregiver Program. After the nanny Ketchabaw wanted to hire failed an English test, however, she had to re-apply under new rules that went into effect in December, removing the requirement that the caregiver live in the family’s home.

Approved applications “will only include a live-in arrangement if the employer and caregiver have agreed to that arrangement,” announced Citizenship and Immigration Canada in an October news release. But since applications to hire foreign caregivers under the new rules started pouring in, the government has been denying almost all of them.

If ever there was evidence of an immigration program that has been more harmed than helped by recent policy changes, this article is it.
Frankly, the federal government dismantled a great caregiver program – really, the best immigration program Canada had – and replaced it with this clunker. Despite complaints about exploitation and other shortcomings, the past program at least made it possible for families to bring much needed caregiver supporters to Canada. Yes, many were family members, but if they were qualified, so what?
We need to get back to the basics of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” If young people need live-in caregivers to help them succeed at being productive citizens, we should allow them to hire one. Instead, we now have a program that accepts paperwork and then declines the applications for the apparent reason that local workers are being harmed. Then why are you accepting the applications in the first place? And where are these workers when they are needed?
The Live-In Caregiver program desperately needs a reset.

Andy Semotiuk is a Canadian and US immigration lawyer with immigration law firm Pace Immigration. You can learn more about Andy at My Work Visa.