Canada’s now defunct Live-In Caregiver Program was very popular with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The relative ease with which OFWs could qualify for the program opened the floodgates for the entry of low skilled workers into the Canadian labour market.

The Live-In Caregiver Program was a stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, a program which gave local employers a way to fill positions when they couldn’t find available (or willing) individuals in Canada.

Canadian employers (who could demonstrate that they could afford it and that they had the need) could hire OFWs under the Live-In Caregiver Program to take care of children, elderly and family members with disabilities. With minimal requirements, Canadian employers saw the program as a cheaper alternative to expensive daycare.

OFWs jumped at the chance to work in Canada. They came from the Philippines and other parts of the world (including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the Middle East), low-skilled workers who were drawn by the promise of being able to reunite their families after years of separation. They paid third party representatives (recruiters and agencies) handsomely for the chance to go to Canada.

Imagine what happened when news came out that they wouldn’t able to do that anymore.

Confusion ensued when the Toronto Star‘s Nicholas Keung quoted IRCC spokesperson Faith St. John as saying that “caregivers who have not accrued the required two years of employment by Nov. 29, 2019 need not apply.”

After a couple of days of frenzied activity on social media and a visit to the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Government of Canada issued the following statement on their official Facebook page,:

“We’ve recently had clients asking us for clarification about the possible expiration of the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs. To be clear, these were launched as five-year pilots, and are now being assessed, which is a regular part of analyzing pilot programs. As indicated by Minister Hussen, caregivers will continue to have a pathway to permanent residence beyond November 2019.”

So there you have it, Caregivers. You can still apply for Permanent Residency beyond November 2019.

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