For Punjabis dreaming of better opportunities abroad, a caregiver visa is now one of the best white-collar ways to get into Canada. Going to Canada as caregiver is a relatively new trend. According to a news that was published in The Indian Express on Dec’17, “the liberal government in Canada recently tabled an immigration strategy under which it proposes to take in nearly one million immigrants over the next three years — 3.1 lakh economic immigrants, family reunifications and refugees in 2018; 3.3 lakh in 2019, and 3.4 lakh in 2020. Around 58 per cent of the immigrants would be economic migrants, including professionals. Caregivers are a part of this”.
Earlier, people hailing from Punjab used to migrate to Canada to work as drivers, store operators, plumbers, carpenters, electricians and welders. “Now, moving to Canada and work as a caregiver in the highly-paid healthcare industry is gaining momentum. After an initial boom, there was a downturn in 2009 when the processing time took much longer due to the increasing number of aspirants. Since last year, there is again a boom as rules were changed. Now a caregiver need not live with the family round-the-clock, but for a minimum eight hours in a day,” said Gursharan Sodhi, who runs the Chandigarh-based Cali Healthcare Resources (CHR).
In tricity region, there are about 10 institutes that offers the “nanny course” and students pay Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000 as fee of the entire program. An ideal class intake of potential caregivers varies between 10 and 30. The minimum qualification required is 10+2. The duration of the training is six-month, which is the minimum requirement for a Canadian caregiver work permit, provided the candidate has an offer of employment from Canada, usually from a Punjabi family. The training includes education in Anatomy and Physiology, Pediatric Nursing, Geriatric Nursing, and Care of Disabled. The students are trained in real-time virtual scenarios to practice first aid, dressing & bandage, caring a sick child, cardiac massage techniques, artificial respiration, and more. Besides, the institute also imparts lessons in personality development and English, as proficiency in English is a requirement. Everything is clubbed in packages that includes the “nanny” course, immigration formalities and a job offer from Canada.
Once they arrive in Canada with a training certificate and a signed agreement of employment, candidates can apply for a two-year work permit and work as caregivers. Post that, applying for a permanent residency in Canada is a freewill for them. Not all will continue to work as caregivers once in Canada, and might switch to other jobs after becoming permanent residents.
Here’s what few aspirants has to say about this opportunity –
An electrical engineer Sukhjeet Singh from Hoshiarpur and the son of a Punjab Police inspector said – “There is no money in engineering jobs. I worked as an engineer for three years. I was getting about Rs 20,000 as salary. As a nanny in Canada, I hope to easily make more than Rs 1 lakh.”
“First aid, taking care of children and elderly, prescription reading is what I will be doing in Canada. I will get a good salary and better environment” – says Jatinder Kaur, an economics graduate from Kapurthala.