New Live-In Caregiver rules create problems for sponsors

New rules for live-in caregivers coming to Canada

In April of 2010, new rules were introduced to govern Canada’s live-in caregiver program, offering live-in caregivers more protection against their employers.

The Association of Caregivers and Nanny Agencies Canada is now reporting that many people are abusing Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program to get into the country. Once people get into Canada, there is no real obligation for them to work for the family that sponsored them, says the group.

The issue is similar to that of marriage fraud for immigration purposes:  when a spouse sponsors a person to come to Canada and then the person ditches their spouse once they immigrate to Canada. Now families are sponsoring nannies who eventually come to Canada and don’t do any work for the family. They are issued work permits that are valid for three years and can be used to work anywhere else, with some of them changing families or doing things to get fired on purpose.

Canadians have little recourse when hiring live-in caregivers

It generally costs up to $5,000 for a family to sponsor a live-in caregiver to come to Canada, including their airfare, medical examination and other expenses like room and board plus payment. The new rules were created to offer more security to live-in caregivers after it was found that Ontario MP Ruby Dhalla was withholding her nanny’s passports, among other abuses.

The new rules are extremely necessary to protect live-in caregivers from abuse by their employer. Before the new rules, live-in caregivers would be too afraid to speak up for fear of being fired and having to leave Canada. These instances of nannies leaving families or not showing up for work are rare, but families can protect themselves by asking for references in advance of making hiring decisions.

Trust goes both ways.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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