An open work permit allows the caregiver to move out of their employer’s home and seek jobs in other fields.
Those who submitted an open work permit application as of December 11th 2011, along with their PR application, with no missing information, are being issued open work permits. Subsequent applications will be similarly handled.
Explaining the change, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said, “Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but must continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed. This is understandably frustrating.”
Until now, live-in caregivers waited for an initial approval on their application for PR before being eligible for an open work permit. This change means live-in caregivers can be issued these open work permits about 18 months sooner than previously.
The LCP allows Canadian families to hire workers from abroad to provide care to a child, an elderly person or an adult with disabilities when there is a demonstrated shortage of Canadians and permanent residents to fill available positions. Caregivers are obliged to work for two years, or 3,900 hours, and then become eligible to apply for PR in Canada.
According to the Toronto Star, this change was at least party prompted by an investigation into the abuse of live-in caregivers, which were tied tightly to their sponsoring employers for an extended period of time, a period of time which is now lessened with this change.