New rules for federal live-in caregivers program

New rules for federal live-in caregivers program

Ottawa has officially changed its decades-old live-in caregivers program to a two-stream program that will restrict the number of foreign nannies or caregivers it will accept.

Under the program, which comes into effect Sunday, caregivers will no longer have universal access to permanent residence status after working in Canada for two years. They must now apply under two categories — those caring for children, and those caring for people with high medical needs.

Ottawa will allow 2,750 caregivers under both new streams to access permanent residency, for a total of 5,500 applicants a year.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s says about 4,500 applicants have applied for permanent residence under the old program from 2011 to 2013.

The changes are bad news for caregivers, says Pura Velasco, a spokesperson with the Caregivers Action Centre, a Toronto-based group with 1,000 plus members.

“The pathway to permanent residency has been revoked,” says Velasco, a former caregiver herself. “It’s gone.”

Under the terms of the old program caregivers had a “guaranteed pathway to permanent residency,” Velasco says. But not anymore, thanks to the annual cap.

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