by Veronica Silva, ABC-CBN News, Toronto
TORONTO — The Liberals on Sunday vowed to further reduce the backlog in processing permanent residency applications under the now-defunct live-in caregiver program.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a room full of mostly Pinoy caregivers that 5,000 more applications will be finalized by the end of this year.
The government opened communication channels to caregiver to process their applications faster.
“While we have made good progress at reducing the backlog, we recognize that we should do more to reunite caregivers and their families more quickly,” said Minister Ahmed Hussen, Canada immigration minister.
“Therefore, I’m happy to tell you all today, that we will finalize 80% of all the cases in the caregiver inventory by the end of 2018.”
Caregiver advocates estimate that the PR backlog inventory from the old program currently numbers 27,000, down from 62,000 in 2014 under the former Conservatives.
Despite the announcement, some caregivers and their advocate are still not happy, as some have been waiting for years beyond the two years already required to apply for reunification.
Some caregivers are still following up their application status, with no clear answers in sight.
“I applied 2011 and still waiting up to today. I missed one interview but they grant me another interview. That was last May,” said Wilma Dulin.
“Nag request na sila ng original passport ng anak ko, February 2016. That was original passport submitted to Manila office, and now, February is coming up. Di ko alam ginagawa nila sa passort ng anak ko,” said Margie Hashim.
The Liberals also announced plans to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement from employers, for families with high medical needs and low-income families with children.
With these reforms, the government recognized once again the economic contributions of caregivers to Canada.