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Corruptions in Manila with the Live-in Caregiver program?

The live-in caregiver program has played a big role in my life. My wife sponsored me and my 7 year old son back in 1995 through the program. It was the biggest source of newcomers to Canada back in the days when the Temporary Foreign Program was not in place yet. This is the reason why you would seldom see a middle age or young Filipino men in Canada who are single since most of them have been sponsored by their wives who eventually became permanent resident after finishing the required 24 months full time employment as live in caregivers.

My wife’s journey started sometime between 1991 and 1992 when her mom found a prospective employer who would later hire her as a live-in caregiver in Edmonton. Neither I nor my wife knew where Edmonton was in Alberta. All we heard of was Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto whenever people would talk about Canada. A few months passed and the medical was requested by the CIC and later on an interview with an immigration officer. With her experience as a mom and some reference letters and employment certificates from past employers the immigration officer let her have her work visa for Canada. Anyways, we all became happy learning the news that a visa would be issued to my wife. And also the same year, she flew to Edmonton, leaving me and my four-year old son at that time. I had to quit my job too in Manila so I could take care of my son in our hometown south of Manila.

My point is that, some were really lucky to have their visas issued by the CIC in one try. And for some, it was like passing through the eye of a before one can be approved a Canadian work permit and visa to work in Canada as a live-in caregiver. My younger sister Grace who just had her Canadian Citizenship oath taking at a CIC office in Toronto was herself a foreign–live in caregiver. My uncle who owns a dental clinic in Peterborough, Ontario hired her as a live-in caregiver for her three young daughters back in the early 2000. She is not one of those applicants who got the approval on the first try. She suffered from defeat and disappointment after an immigration officer denied her application on the grounds of not having enough education in the field of caregiving or nursing. She was advised to re-apply, but this time with at least a six- month caregiver training at an accredited caregiver’s school in Manila. She had to do it but she knew that there was no guarantee that the immigration officer who would handle her case would approve her application the next time she applies.

The scenario now in Manila is that postings of caregiver’s training schools are all over the place; you see them in newspaper advertisements, TV and hear them even in radio. And it is a common knowledge now in the Philippines that not all these schools are favoured by the CIC or by some of its staff. Could there be people within the CIC in Manila taking money from these schools so they could select graduates from these schools and then make a good refutation for the school. Positive testimonies from successful applicants could be a powerful marketing tool for the schools, I believe. And the funny thing is that the CIC in Manila also requires applicants to have a post secondary education on top of the six -month caregiver training. My question is how come they don’t require much of the training and post secondary education, if you put in an application for the Foreign Live-in Caregiver program to CIC in Buffalo or CIC in Seattle? I may be wrong or judgmental, but I think there is something going there.

Greg Lopez
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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