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Live-in Caregivers in Canada Now Enjoys Faster Issuance of Open Work Permits Among Other Advantages

Friday, December 16, 2011

Canada's Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is one of easier for for foreign workers to obtain a permanent residence in Canada. I've used the word "easier", in the sense, that foreign workers hired as caregiver in Canada can become eligible for permanent residency after completing two years of work or 3,900 hours.

Plus, recent policy changes provides for faster issuance of open work permits for Live-in Caregivers.

LCP allows Canadian families to employ foreign workers to provide care to their child/children, elderly or member of their families with disabilities, provided that there is a proof of shortage of Canadians or permanent residents to fill that need.

In 2008, about 10,400 individuals (spouses & dependents included) became permanent residents from the 7,200 caregivers in 2005.

Canada deeply recognizes the role of live-in caregivers in their society that it has taken significant actions in protecting them from abuse and exploitation. Improvements made on the Live-in Caregiver Program in 2010 and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2011 greatly increases the protection of caregivers. They are:

  • allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is appropriately recognized;
  • the elimination of the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
  • increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work bligations, from three years to four;
  • the adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
  • defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver’s travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
  • emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately;
  • a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the department’s Call Centre;
  • an assessment of the genuineness of the job offer, including confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence and providing child care, senior home support care or care of a disabled person in that household without supervision, as well as whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate;
  • and a two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up to the terms of past job contracts.
More good news for Live-in Caregivers in Canada as they can now be issued open work permits once they completed their obligation and submitted an application for permanent residence.

Previously, they have to wait first for the approval of their permanent resident application before being eligible to an open work permit. An open work permit allows the caregiver to move out of their employer's home and seek jobs in other fields if they so desire.

There may be a decline on the demand for live-in caregivers in Canada nowadays but that is a path worth exploring for those who dreamed of working, and eventually settling, in Canada.

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