Author Topic: Less and Less Live-in Caregivers Coming To Canada  (Read 8253 times)


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Less and Less Live-in Caregivers Coming To Canada
« on: March 28, 2012, 08:51:26 PM »
Numbers dip but business as usual for caregivers
by FAYE ARELLANO    Mar. 28, 2012

In December last year, two caregiver friends, Linda and Anna, had a common cause for celebration.  Both women were among the 14,000 caregivers who received their open work permits as a result of a processing change effected by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

While it took Linda only three months, after she submitted her application for permanent resident status to receive her open permit in the mail, Anna had to wait for more than a year before hers was issued.  However, they both welcome the positive change that took effect December 11, 2011 as it would considerably lessen the anxiety of caregivers waiting for open work permit.

Both women still work as caregivers as they await their permanent resident status.  Linda still works live-in with her current employer, while Anna has started her own business babysitting and cleaning houses with a steady clientele.

Despite their open work permits, these women feel a real need to upgrade themselves before leaving their caregiving jobs.  In the meantime, they also have to provide for their families they left in the Philippines.  With their meager income and the high cost of education, schooling takes a back seat for now.

Recent statistics indicates that the number of Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) participants entering Canada has constantly declined since 2007.

Stringent measures in screening applicants particularly from the Philippines lengthen the process to about 18 months.  The so-called speak test, designed to evaluate verbal proficiency of caregivers, has reportedly yielded ufavourable results to a great number of applicants.

From the staggering 13,773 in 2007, the number of arrivals in Canada sharply dropped to 8,394 in 2010, when new legislations improving LCP were introduced.

Those in the nanny recruitment business are apparently feeling the pinch.  The situation has created what they refer to as “nanny market” as more and more caregivers are poised to exercise their option to work live-out or shift to other industries.

In the Greater Toronto Area, it is estimated that there are more than 28,000 caregivers currently working at any given time.  The population of those employed as caregivers has remained steady to this date.

Anna thinks that the early issuance of open permits tips the balance in favour of caregivers, who may now be spared of unbearable working conditions.
It provides caregivers the necessary safeguard against abusive employers,” she said.

But for those whose employment conditions are reasonable, they prefer to remain with their employers until they have acquired their permanent status.

Linda opined that staying with her employer allows her PR papers to go through the process without unnecessary delay.

As for Anna, who has lived with her employers for over two years, it was high time for her to venture out on her own.

“I have complied with the 24-month requirement, so I can now choose to work outside the home,” stressed Anna.

The number of applicants hiring foreign live-in caregivers has dropped partly due to the fact that employers do not want to incur expenses associated with their application.

Caregiver advocates insist that anyone hiring a caregiver should be made to pay for all the expenses involved just like in any open job market where placement fees are absorbed by the employers.

They laud the government’s action in passing the burden of costs to the employers who are now obliged to pay travel expenses; medical insurance for the first three months (while the caregiver is waiting for OHIP coverage); workplace safety insurance and recruitment fees.

Limiting the application for labour market opinion to employers, lawyers or accredited immigration consultants effectively addresses the despicable problem on illegal recruiters that bleed helpless foreign caregivers with hefty fees.

As the LCP is geared more toward the provision of services to child care; senior home support and care of disabled person as opposed to domestic work, the government’s move to strictly test the genuineness of the offer serves to protect caregivers from exploitative work conditions.  In addition, a standardized employment contract ensures that both the caregiver and the employer are clear on the description and terms of the job.

Ironically, the protective measures put in place somehow have, at the same time, diminished the demand for live-in caregivers by would be employers especially those who balk at the costs involved.

However, observers note that the absence of a universal daycare program and the lack of retirement or nursing homes for Canada’s aging population seem to justify the existence of the LCP.  It would be prudent for the government to continue improving the system and protect foreign workers if LCP is here to stay.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 07:22:33 AM by LWSEdmonton »

Nita Major

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Speak test - Philippines
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 12:05:19 PM »
I am sponsoring a previous employee under the Live in Caregiver to work for our family in Canada.
She worked for our family for as a nanny for 3 years in the USA under a domestic visa.

Our family moved to Canada. She was unable to move with us as she did not have the required education to comply under the Live in Caregiver program. She went back to the Philippines and upgraded her education such that she now complies.

We have just been advised that her application was denied as the Visa officer was not convinced she had the substantive experience to work as my nanny in Canada. Basically - she passed the English portion of the Speak test but failed the substantive portion.

Our family is shocked as she was the best nanny we have ever had. Is there anything that can be done.

Most importantly - I do not see any regulation or relevant Act which requires an applicant to verbally prove their substantive ability. The regulations states they must prove their English/French ability - but no where do the Regs or the pertaining act give the visa officer the authority to questions someone on their substantive ability.

If you can assist, I would be grateful.


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Re: Less and Less Live-in Caregivers Coming To Canada
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 12:05:20 PM »

 On the question about what can be done to the refused application? None, there's no appeal on refusal of work permit application. The only option is to re-apply for a new LMO, Labour Market Opinion and the caregiver again re-apply for a work permit.

One of the requirements for foreign live-in caregiver is proof of English proficiency. The Canadian Embassy Manila requires caregiver applicants to take the SPEAK test. SPEAK is a computer generated test in which test takers answer questions as they pop up on the computer and their answers are recorded. There are two parts, the proficiency and knowledge (or substantive portion). In your caregiver's case, she did not pass the knowledge part. It's very important that Speak test takers should prepare for it by reviewing their caregiver training materials and attend review courses on SPEAK test.

Another option is for the caregiver to work as a nanny in another country,example Taiwan and from there re-apply for a work permit for Canada. Employer needs to apply for a new LMO in Canada. Applicants who are applying from Taiwan for work permit to Canada submit applications to Hong Kong Canadian Embassy and interview is waived in most cases.


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There goes a sensible response again. Thank you, IPC. Hope you come back here often. In my opinion, it is better to consult a very knowledgeable person when it comes to hiring foreign workers or sponsoring nannies or even applying for the revised Federal Skilled Worker program.

Getting admitted to come to Canada is the biggest hindrance, as far as I know, but once you have landed - it becomes easier and more options become available. I read somewhere that there are at least 60 programs which can make working or living in Canada possible. But those programs are known mostly by reliable immigration lawyers and consultants who are adepth at the latest changes in Canadian immigration laws.

What do you think, IPC?