Live-in caregivers in Quebec are concerned their chances of obtaining permanent residence are in jeopardy because of provincial government immigration policies.
Caregiver candidates say the Coalition Avenir Quebec government’s Bill 9 has resulted in a significant slowing of their applications for permanent residence.
This is despite the candidates coming to Canada under the federal Live-In Caregiver Program, which featured a guaranteed pathway to permanent residence.
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The caregivers say they are being subjected to unjust stress and anxiety despite fulfilling their obligations for Quebec immigration.
They fear time is running out and are seeking assurances their Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) applications are not being affected by Bill 9.
The controversial proposed legislation will see a backlog of 18,000 existing Quebec Skilled Worker applications cancelled, affecting 40,000 candidates including dependents.
It is widely expected to be voted into law in June 2019.
Candidates for the Live-In Caregiver Program should not be affected by the legislation, but with the CAQ also reducing Quebec immigration by 20 per cent in 2019, processing times are increasing.
The CAQ intended to stop processing the QSW backlog from the time the bill was introduced in February.
The Impact of Quebec’s Bill 9
Number of pending applications
How many working/studying in Quebec
Number of applications concluded monthly 2015
Number of applications accepted monthly 2015
But an injunction granted by a Quebec judge means cases will continue to be processed until such time as Bill 9 becomes law.
However, even Quebec immigration candidates who have already received a CSQ) face longer waits to have their cases approved due to lower immigration quotas.
As of March 2019, there were 41,200 applicants in the system already approved for Quebec immigration, but reduced quotas means longer wait times.
Since 2015, Quebec has requested 25,000 cases per year be approved by the federal government.
However, under the CAQ provincial government, this figure has dropped to 19,500 for 2019.
Meanwhile, Canada’s federal government is currently in the processing of updating its caregiver immigration system.
A new temporary caregiver immigration pathway is now open, aimed at candidates who do not qualify under existing programs.
The Interim Pathway for Caregivers is open for three months, from March 4, 2019 to June 4, 2019.
It provides a window of opportunity for candidates who came to Canada expecting to qualify to remain here permanently, but then found out they did not.
The Interim Pathway for Caregivers is separate from the new Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot.
These will replace the existing Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs programs when they expire in November 2019.
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot will have a maximum of 2,750 principal applicants each, for a total of 5,500 principal applicants, per year. Spouses/common-law partners and dependent children will not count against the limit.
Interim Pathway for Caregivers: Eligibility Criteria and Conditions
Candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Be authorized to work in Canada on a work permit other than a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit.
- Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
- Has obtained:
- a completed Canadian educational credential of at least a secondary school diploma; or,
- a foreign diploma, certificate or credential, along with an equivalency assessment — issued within five years before the date of application— that indicates that the foreign diploma, certificate or credential is equivalent to a completed Canadian secondary school diploma.
- Has attained a level of proficiency of at least benchmark 5 in either official language for each of the four language skill areas, as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens.
- Since November 30, 2014, has acquired one year of authorized full-time Canadian work experience on a Temporary Foreign Worker Program work permit in any combination of the following eligible occupations:
- Home child care provider as per the terms of NOC 44112, other than any experience as a foster parent.
- Home support worker or related occupation, but not a housekeeper, under NOC 4412.