Canada is a multicultural country, with a diverse population of origin, ethnic and religious background. The population in Canada was built, and continues growing on immigration from different countries. In fact Canada is well known as a country of immigration, which was built through its history by immigrants and settlers who came from all over the world. Today, the number of immigrants coming to Canada every year is about 1 percent of the whole population. Due to the low natural population growth, Canada maintains a constant migration and that way enabling economic and demographic stability in the country. Large part of immigrants who came to Canada usually is in the category of skilled workers and examined according to a scoring system based on criteria of education, age, knowledge of the language and more. Others arrived to Canada on the basis of study or work permits.
To fully understand the situation regarding work permits for the live –in caregiver program we conducted an interview with a representative of the ACNA (Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies Canada):
What can you tell us about the live-in caregiver program?
The live-in caregiver program is designed initially to provide help for a child, an elderly or a person with a disability in their own home. The state has set clear rules about who is eligible to apply, when you can submit it and ultimately who may be employed.
What do you think the future holds in this program?
I believe that the program might be closed in the next election because the government doesn’t like this program and think that employers should hire local caregivers instead of bringing foreign ones. Furthermore, the situation with this program is purely political and election will play big role in this issue, even if the opposition party wins the election, it will take time to revise the program so, there’s some hope in that case.
Can you give us some statistics about the process you are describing?
Sure, in the past year we see a significant decrease in the LMIA permits, for example, in February 2015, out of 367 requests only 32 were approved and we see this trend throughout the year.
If indeed the live-in caregiver program will be closed, in your experience, what would you suggest for people who are interested in working in Canada?
A caregiver in the live-in caregiver program is considered by the government as a ‘low skilled worker’ therefore with the threat of closing the program, government prefers to approved high skilled workers to enter the country. My suggestion to all those who are interested in working and may be even staying in Canada as a permanent resident in the future should aim higher and develop themselves from a ‘low skilled worker’ to a ‘high skilled worker’ . In that way, they have better chances of working in Canada and even settle there in the future. Another option is by studying, they can start their studies in Canada in order to become a ‘high skilled worker’ and work after graduation with the advantage of professional studies in Canada.
It seems that the future of the live-in caregiver program is not clear and might even facing closure. This means for those who are still dreaming of a job in Canada and perhaps even settle down there in the future, is to think about other ways to make this process, know the laws and regulations of the Canadian immigration policy and keep track of changes in the political field. And the most important way that Manuela mentioned is upgrading the status from a ‘low skilled worker’ to a ‘high skilled worker’.