by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN News
EDMONTON — Sally Leyson, a native of Iligan City, entered Canada in November 2012 to work as a caregiver. After obtaining two years work experience, she submitted an application for permanent residence.
Next week, Leyson is scheduled to land as a permanent resident after waiting for almost four years.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa panginoon dahil next week mag land na ako. Alam mo ba pinapangarap namin makapunta ng canada tapos bigla na lang binago. Siyempre gusto rin namin makasama ang pamilya namin. Malaki din naman ang naitutulong ng mga caregivers.”
But now, foreign caregivers will not be eligible for permanent residence if they have not accrued two years of employment by Nov 29, 2019, according to a notice posted by the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship — Canada website.
If you have work experience in Canada as a home child care provider, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the caring for children program.
Pinoy caregivers were caught off guard by the announcement posted online this week, prompting fear that this could mark the end of the special pathway to permanent residency for foreign caregivers.
“This news is so sad for us caregivers, because eto na lang yong pag asa sana namin to build a life here in Canada,” said caregiver Joan Daculiat. “I’m lucky enough that hindi ko naabutan yong sa news. I’m hoping na sana ma change yong news, and hopefully they will hear us caregivers.”
Canada’s unique program is believed to be the only one in the world that provides access to permanent status for foreign caregivers after two years of full-time employment as caregivers. The access to permanent residency is an incentive to make up for the job’s relative low pay and sometimes unpleasant work conditions.
Last month, Canada’s minister of infrastructure, Hon. Amarjeet Sohi and member of parliament Hon. Randy Boissonault held a press conference in Edmonton, and announced the elimination of backlogs in the processing of permanent resident applications under the caregiver program.
They reiterated the govt. of Canada’s commitment to finalize a minimum of 80% of the cases that were in the live in caregiver program inventory by the end of 2018.
In an email to BA, special assistant from the office of the minister of immigration, Jawal Hursh confirmed that there is and always will be a pathway to permanent residency for caregivers.
The program is under review to determine improvements, to allow better access to a pathway for permanent residence for caregivers.