Canadian government has decided to consider reforms to the visa program for live-in caregiver in the near future. In a discussion with the editorial board members of the National Post in Toronto, Minister Kenney offered his speech regarding the temporary foreign workers program in Canada. He said that the live-in caregiver scheme that allows nannies from overseas to come to this country to live and work with a Canadian family has been distorted in its nature and has become a hidden family reunification plan.
Thousands of applicants abroad are using it to come and get engaged in other profession for their own Canadian relatives rather than caregivers. Thus, as per the decision of the conservative government, the future of this visa program that allows families to bring nannies from overseas is in limbo, being the next in line for a shakeup.
The government is choosing to leave this program largely untouched as of now, despite public servants’ years of internal warnings that it has been used as a family reunification program, particularly for the Filipino community in Canada.
Internal documents show that the Canadian embassy has been alerting colleagues in Manila and since 2007 this fraud has been an ongoing crisis in the live-in caregiver program and the absence of mothers was causing disruption and infidelity in families that are left behind in the Philippines. A report in 2011 by Citizenship and Immigration, similar warnings were repeated. The report also noted that large percentages of nannies are brought into Canada to work for their own relatives.
Live-in caregivers come to this country through the temporary foreign worker visa program; however, when Ottawa declared major changes lately, the caregiver component along with the rules for agricultural workers was mostly unchanged.
Applicants are made eligible for permanent residence in Canada after 2 years of employment in the country by the live-in caregiver program which fairly different from Canadian temporary work visa programs. As said by the minister, through the program the number of applicants looking to get permanent resident status just ran out of control.
Minister Kenney also added that in the very near future his colleague, Chris Alexander, Minister for Citizenship and Immigration will be announcing reforms to this program. However, details on what the reforms were and when they would be executed would not be divulged.
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