Victoria – A group of Filipino caregivers and advocates today held a press conference and Community Meeting calling for permanent residency for caregivers from overseas.
The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website was updated recently to say that all caregivers who have not completed 24 months of caregiving work by November 29, 2019 will no longer be eligible to apply for permanent residency. The update was in reference to the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs that were introduced by the Trudeau government in 2014.
“Considering there is nothing temporary about Canada’s need for caregivers who provide a valuable and skilled service to countless families – the time is now for the federal government to grant all caregivers permanent residency upon arrival. ,” says Annette Beech, Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association spokesperson.
“The update also caught many off-guard. They’re now worried they might not meet the deadline and for those in abusive work condition, they may feel compelled to stay,” she added.
For her part, Dominga Passmore of the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society, said that Ahmed Hussen’s statements about how the caregiver programs were under review and that a “pathway” to permanent residency will remain was not reassuring.
“The ‘pathway’ they introduced was filled with obstacles that made it difficult and expensive for many to obtain permanent residency,” she said, noting the number of caregivers granted permanent residency plummeted to 555. Under the previous Live-in Caregiver Program, an average of 5,540 each year received permanent residency.
Other actions in the campaign for permanent residency for all caregivers include a petition-drive and a community meeting and rally in Vancouver on February 24th by the Filipino Canadian Advocacy Network.