Jenny Kwan, MP

Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

NDP MP Jenny Kwan demands immediate government action to eliminate injustices faced by live-in caregivers in Canada

TORONTO – MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East), NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, is calling on the federal government to take immediate action to end the injustice and hardships experienced by 40,000 live-in caregivers due to backlogs, processing delays, and separation from their family for long periods of time. 

Currently, live-in caregivers must work for two years in Canada before they can apply for permanent residence. In addition to the 2-year work requirement, the average wait time to process live-in caregiver applications is another roughly 4.5 years. 

“Just imagine what life would be like for you if you had to be separated from your own children for more than 6.5 years while caring for the children of another family, in a different country. The stories of live-in caregivers are heartbreaking and really highlight the devastating impact of these immigration policies on families,” said Kwan. “If Canadians knew of the injustices and hardships live-in caregivers have to endure, I don't believe they would find this acceptable,” added Kwan.

“I suffer the heartache silently for my children. I have been separated from them for 13 years. I have missed their birthdays, graduations, and communions. I have missed everything as a mother. I can’t even be by their side when they are sick. My marriage has ended and all I ever wanted was for my children to have better opportunities,” exclaimed Ms. Godoy. 

“It’s morally reprehensible for live-in caregivers to be treated this way. No one should be subject to the pain and suffering that live-in caregivers have to endure. It is morally reprehensible and inhumane,” said Kwan.

The NDP has long supported the principle that if you are good enough to work, you are good enough to stay. We are calling on the government to:

  1. Immediately establish a special measure to process the lengthy backlogs in the live-in caregivers stream
  2. Ensure that the processing standard not exceed 12 months
  3. Require only one medical exam for the live-in caregiver, their spouse, and their children, to be done prior to entry to Canada
  4. Remove the previous Conservative government’s cap on the number of permanent resident visas issued every year to the new streams of caregiver programs (now 5500 total) and remove the requirement, for permanent residency, of one year of post-secondary education 
  5. Going forward, implement the principle that if you are good enough to work, you are good enough to stay by expanding our immigration system to include live-in caregivers so that they come to Canada as permanent residents, from the outset