KAIROS delegates call for a guaranteed pathway to permanent residency for migrant caregivers
KAIROS organized a delegation of migrant caregivers and advocates in Ottawa on March 23 to meet with Members of Parliament, including Jenny Kwan, MP and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, and to participate in a consultation with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The delegates urged Canada to ensure that the pathway to permanent residency for migrant caregivers is guaranteed and protected.
With the announcement that Canada is ending its Caregiver Program in November 2019, the situation of migrant caregivers has become more precarious than ever. It is not yet known what will replace the Caregiver Program.
The IRCC consultation process is designed to receive input from migrant caregivers working in Canada under the Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs.
Migrant workers feel it is imperative that their voices be heard and concerns addressed regarding the many flaws and loopholes in the current Caregiver Program and its predecessor, the Live-in Caregiver Program, including medical inadmissibility. Thousands of caregivers are on a waitlist for permanent residency, a wait that has lasted many years.
Migrant caregivers assert that if they are good enough to work in Canada, they should be good enough to stay here too.
“Canadian women are able to go back to the workforce, practice their profession and financially contribute to the household and Canadian economy because of us, nannies and caregivers, the majority of whom are women,” said Arlene Gapuz, a caregiver. “Yet, the Canadian government does not seem to value our work and is giving us a hard time in attaining our permanent residency. Our employers come home to a clean house, their children are well taken care of, and hot meals wait for them. Yet our application is refused because a member of our family has a medical issue and is considered to cause excessive demand on Canada’s health system and social services.”
KAIROS is working with partners nation-wide to build the political will for Canada to ensure permanent residency for caregivers and other migrant workers. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more about migrant caregivers, temporary foreign workers and KAIROS’ Migrant Justice work, please contact Connie Sorio at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-463-5312 ext 240.