Caregivers still vulnerable under new immigration rules, advocates warn

Migrant workers employed in Canada as caregivers are confused by new changes to immigration programs aimed at them.

Many are concerned the changes could mean barriers to obtaining permanent residency.

Last month, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced two new five-year experiments on caregiver immigration, which have been billed as a way to allow caregivers to come to Canada with their families and offering them greater opportunity to become permanent residents.

Advocate groups that represent and work with migrant workers say they welcome many of the announced changes, but questions remain about whether restrictive requirements to achieve permanent residency will remain.

Temporary foreign workers are vulnerable to employer abuse and can lose their legal status and be deported due to language and resource barriers in trying to navigate Canada's immigration system.

Janet Dench with the Canadian Council for Refugees says some of the changes to the caregivers program are positive, but says migrant workers remain among the most vulnerable populations in Canada and they should be offered the same rights and status as other newcomers.