Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Atty. Henry Moyal


Q. There is a rumour that the live in caregiver program will be cancelled? Is this true? I am currently in Canada as aworker under the program. Will I need to go back home?

A. The most important thing to remember is that nothing is official yet. As of the date of this article, no official news has been published stating that the LIC program will end. However, the federal minister has already stated that “changes are on the way” which, in my opinion, could be the elimination of the program. The federal minister apparently has the misconception that the LIC is being abused and that applicants are simply trying to enter Canada when apparently the employers are relatives. The minister is suspicious of the fact when the employer / employee are relatives. If so, is that a reason to overhaul the entire program? If the main concern is possible abuse, why not simply amend the rules prohibiting workers from being employed by a relative? For example, an applicant can qualify for permanent residence after working 24 months but the work experience accumulated cannot be from an employer who is related to the worker. That is my suggestion. To cancel the entire program would be devastating to many Canadian families who rely on live in help especially when both parents are employed and have young children. It would also be devastating to many potential caregivers seeking greener pastures in Canada. It is unknown exactly what the new regulations will be but it is unlikely that those already in Canada under the LIC program will be required to return home if the program is cancelled.

Q. I arrived in Canada as a live in caregiver over three years ago. I am preparing all my documents for the submission of my permanent resident application. I will be filing for an open work permit at the same time. My current employer will be releasing me from my employment. I will no longer be employed by my current employer the day I file for my open work permit. I want to return to the Philippines to visit my husband right after I file my application. Will I have a problem? I know open work permits are issued quickly under new rules but I do not think it will be issued by the time I return. Will I encounter any problems?

A. I strongly suggest that you hold off on your trip. I am assuming you have a re-entry visa – so that is not a big concern. The bigger issue is that when you return you will (a) not have your open work permit and (b) you will be the holder of a work permit for an employer to which you are no longer employed. In my view, it is quite dangerous for you to come back to Canada because the officer at the airport will likely call the employer to verify your employment (to which you have none) and upon discovering same will likely not permit you to enter. In that case, the permanent resident application will be in limbo and the whole case can fall apart. I therefore suggest that you wait until you have your open work permit in hand. It will not take long to get it.

Q. I immigrated to Canada as a physician three years ago under the Federal Skilled Worker category. My application took two years to process. When I first applied I was single with no children. When I obtained my visa I had one child but did not have the time to inform the embassy. When they called me to pick up the visa, I only had one month to enter Canada. It was all rushed and I was too excited to know what to do. What do I do now?

A. On one hand you knew quite well that you had to inform immigration about the child but you decided not to tell them because you were rushed. While I can understand what happened, the embassy may not have such sympathy. You should have returned the visa and/or inform them of the baby. The fact that you did not tell them means you entered Canada on a misrepresentation. If Canada Immigration finds out you run the risk they will call you to court to explain. The best case scenario is that you file an application to sponsor your child now under compassionate grounds. It is possible but not easy.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed Canadian Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Henry Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193