In November 2014, the government of Canada announced that it would make major reforms to the Live-in Caregiver Program. These changes were aimed at giving more opportunities for caregivers to become Permanent Residents and also ensured that workers' rights were upheld.
The changes also incorporated an elimination of the mandatory "live-in" component which formerly demanded that caregivers live with the employers, instead making “live-in” an optional part of their working arrangements. This was because many cases of worker exploitation had occurred in which housekeeping and other non-work related tasks were imposed. Additionally, the living expenses portion of the regulations was altered, preventing employers from reducing pay for room or board.
The changes in regulations also created two new categories through which caregivers can apply in order to obtain Permanent Residence. They included pathways for childcare providers and caregivers tending to the elderly or patients with a chronic medical need.
The Home Care Giver Program
Though this news represents changes, there is a lot that remains the same. Caregivers must still meet the following requirements:
- They must have worked full-time for at least two years before they can apply for Permanent Resident status, or have 3,900 hours of authorized employment within 22 months
- They must have gained all work experience within four years of arrival in Canada
Naturally, this first means that they will have already met the criteria of the Live-in Caregiver Program in general. That would mean being approved at a visa office outside of Canada and then having their valid work permit as the caregiver for an employer in Canada. Having been approved by the program, you must then meet the two-year requirement to apply for Permanent Residence. As indicated in the news above, and per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), "work experience under the Live-in Home Caregiver Program may also allow you to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway."
Naturally, there are some issues that can impact your application. If you or a spouse has a criminal record or medical problem, and if you were not accurate or truthful in your application to the Live-in Caregiver Program (when first obtaining your visa), you may be disqualified from Permanent Resident eligibility.
Unlike other residency applications, though, your application is not going to be impaired by any financial issues, your marital status, or factors that look more positive (i.e. volunteerism or skills obtained while in Canada) as well.
How to Apply
When you apply for Permanent Residency through the Live-in Caregiver Program, you are required to include all of your family in the application too. This is true even if they are not interested in coming to Canada at that time. This is because any family member not noted on the application will be unable to receive your sponsorship (or that of your spouse or partner) at a later time. Your entire family is able to obtain Permanent Residency status all at once.
Even if your family is not within Canada, you can all apply and they will make their way through the process using the local visa office. They will have to go through the typical criminal and medical screening, and once you have the permanent resident status, your family outside of Canada is issued their visas.
In the past, the process for applying and receiving Permanent Resident status through this program has taken as long as three years. According to the news release, the "faster processing of applications made by caregivers should facilitate speedier family reunification, as principal applicants should attain permanent resident status quicker than before." Of course, there are many legal matters that may be of concern to you, and so you may want to discuss this with an immigration expert to help you enjoy the fastest application process.
Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.