Changes to the Caregiver Program as of Nov 30, 2014
Caregivers are individuals who are qualified to provide care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes or healthcare facility without supervision. Canada has great demand for caregivers. Due to shortage of Canadian workforce, employers tend to hire caregivers from foreign countries. Both employers and employee sign a contract which outlines job duties of the caregiver along with wages and other important clauses required as per Canadian labor law. Great advantage for these caregivers is that they can apply for permanent residence of Canada after two years of work experience.
As of Nov 30, 2014, Government of Canada has made few changes to Caregiver Program. They are as follows:
- Ending the live-in requirement – Caregivers don’t have to live-in with the employers anymore. However, if employers and caregivers wish to agree to live-in arrangements, they can continue to do so. Also, caregivers who are currently in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) have an option to live out and apply for permanent residence under new rules once they become eligible.
- Two new categories –
- Caring for Children Pathway – Caregivers who gains minimum two years of Canadian experience providing child care can apply for permanent residence under this new pathway.
- Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway – Caregivers who gains minimum two years of Canadian experience providing care for the elderly (65 years of age or over) or those with disabilities or chronic disease at higher skill levels in health facilities or in a home, can apply for permanent residence.
Under these pathways, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will:
- Accept up to 5,500 applicants for permanent residence per year (2,750 applicants per pathway) plus family members,
- Process these permanent residence applications with a six-month time frame, and
- Accept applications from those already in the LCP queue who prefer one of the improved pathways
As per CIC, these improvements will lead to faster processing for permanent residence applications, faster family reunification, better career opportunities, and better protection against potential workplace vulnerability and abuse.
Following are the steps to apply for Caregiver Program:
- The prospective employer needs to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – The employer has to get a positive LMIA in order for a caregiver to apply for a work permit. The employer has to submit the request and applicable fees to Employment and Social Development Canada/ Service Canada (ESDC/SC). The positive LMIA confirms that:
- There is a need for this job in Canada and the employer can proceed to hire a foreign worker to do it; and
- The wages and working conditions offered by the employer meet provincial/territorial employment standards and equivalent to the wages paid to Canadians in the same occupation.
- A written contract between caregiver and prospective employer – There must be a written employment contract between the caregiver and prospective employer to ensure there will be a fair working arrangement.
- Apply for a Work Permit
A work permit shall be applied by the caregiver once LMIA is approved. The caregiver can file for the work permit online or by paper.
Copyright 2015 Prateek Babbar, RCIC
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