Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said his department will process 80% of backlogged permanent resident applications by the end of next year from those who came to Canada through the former Live-in Caregiver Program by the end of next year.
Hussen said, “While many live-in caregiver applicants have faced long delays and family separation, they can rest assured that they will soon receive a positive decision on their application."
But caregiver advocates say the government is still not doing enough to address inherent inequalities in the program, which allows caregivers to apply for permanent residency after they have worked in Canada for two years.
Anna Malla, an organizer with the Caregivers’ Action Centre, said caregivers should be granted permanent residency upon arrival, like other classes of economic immigrants.
Caregivers, who come to Canada primarily from the Philippines, Indonesia and the Caribbean, are barred from bringing their families with them while they take care of Canadian children, the elderly or people with disabilities. After two years they are eligible to apply for permanent residency, at which point their families can join them.
But under the former Live-in Caregivers Program, which was overhauled in 2014, a massive backlog accumulated, creating wait times of several years before applications were processed. Approximately 30,000 caregivers are currently in the backlog.
Hussen blamed the previous Conservative government’s “mismanagement” for the “unreasonable delays,” saying the Liberals inherited the backlog.
Under current rules, caregivers are no longer required to live in the home of their employer, and they are split into two different streams: caring for children and caring for people with “high medical needs.”
Hussen said in future, all caregiver applications will be processed within one year.