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Live-in caregivers play a long waiting game

posted Jul 8, 2012, 4:49 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Jul 8, 2012, 4:50 PM ]
Backlog in permanent residence applications means workers can wait years to win sought-after status and reunite with families
By Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun June 2, 2012
Waiting times for open work permits, which used to be up to two years, have been reduced to a few months thanks to changes introduced by the federal government in December. But permanent residence application processing times have increased in recent years, said Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Caroline Hickton in a statement.

Figures provided by the department suggest the time it takes to process permanent residence applications for live-in caregivers in Canada increased to 24 months from 21 months between 2010 and 2011, and to 29 months from 24 months for applications processed overseas. This is mainly due to a surge in the number of live-in caregivers who entered Canada between 2007 and 2009, Hickton said, adding the government is cutting the number of caregivers it allows in each year in an effort to deal with the backlog.

But the permanent residence pro-cess is taking considerably longer than that, said Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies, whose riding is home to many of the mainly Filipina women who come to Vancouver as live-in caregivers. Most are separated from their families for an average of seven years, he said.