Thompson: Immigration rules changing for caregivers

Q I am hearing this rumour about the live-in caregiver program, that as of April, newcomers arriving through the caregiver program can no longer apply for permanent resident status after three years of working. My daughter-in-law’s papers are in process to come and work in Canada as a live-in-caregiver. Is this rumour true?
A: First, you should know the rumour is not true, at least not the way you heard it. The live-in caregiver program will continue to allow temporary workers who come here through that program to apply for permanent resident status in Canada after two years of work. The rumour you heard was probably sparked by a few recent regulation changes for temporary workers that did have an impact on live-in caregivers.
In March, the government announced that as of April 1, 2011 and onward, most temporary foreign workers allowed to enter Canada to work will be subject to a cumulative time limit of four years of temporary work. That means that after four years of temporary work, they will have to leave Canada unless they are well into the process of obtaining some kind of permanent status. The rule change was not retroactive, but applied only to new temporary foreign workers who entered Canada after April 1.
So your daughter-in-law would fall into the category of those affected by the new four-year limit. But, live-in-caregivers who complete a total of 24 months of authorized full-time employment as a live-in caregiver (it doesn’t have to be continuous, but could be blocks of time added together) will still be allowed to apply for permanent resident status.
The important thing is that if a live-in caregiver has applied for permanent resident status and has been approved in principle when the four-year deadline comes along, they will be allowed to stay. There was another change in 2010 to the live-in caregiver program.
Effective April 1, 2010, live-in caregivers working in Canada under the program were given two options for calculating their work experience to be eligible to apply for permanent residence:
  Twenty-four months of authorized full-time employment, or
  A total of 3,900 hours (within a minimum of 22 months which may include a maximum of 390 hours of overtime) of authorized full-time employment
Live-in caregivers, including those who were already in Canada when this change came into effect, have a maximum of four years from their date of arrival in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program to complete the employment requirement to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Q: I was born in the United Kingdom (England) and my parents immigrated to Canada in 1948 when I was 2 years old. Can I claim dual citizenship and carry a British passport as well as a Canadian passport?
A: Yes, you almost certainly carry British nationality as well as Canadian. You can apply for a passport through a centre established by Britain in Washington to handle all passport applications in North America. Check the website of the passport centre for further details.
Q: I was interested in your recent response to the inquirer who had asked about how much money one could take into the U.S. without declaring it. The inquirer had heard the limit might be $6,000. You responded by saying that arriving and departing passengers must report to U.S. Customs any money or other monetary instrument exceeding $10,000 (U.S.).
I don’t know whether a credit card is considered to be a monetary instrument but I am wondering whether I would be required to let them know that my credit card has a limit in excess of $10,000, say $13,000 for example?
A: A credit card with a high spending limit (lucky you), is not considered to be a monetary instrument exceeding $10,000 so you don’t have to declare it.
World Citizen appears every other week.

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