Live-in Caregivers

Live-in Caregivers are individuals who are qualified to provide care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes without supervision. Live-in caregivers must live in the private home where they work in Canada.

Both the employer and the employee must follow several steps to meet the requirements of the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) allows applicants to apply for permanent residence from within Canada after being employed full-time as a live-in caregiver for at least 24 months or a total of 3,900 hours in a minimum of 22 months within the four years immediately following their entry into Canada under the LCP.

Eligibility criteria [R112]

Applicants who seek to enter Canada as a live-in caregiver and who apply for a work permit under the LCP must meet the requirements in R112 whether they intend to eventually seek permanent residence in Canada or not.

Education [R112(b)]

Applicants under the LCP must have successfully completed a course of study that is equivalent to the successful completion of Canadian secondary school.

Training or work experience requirement [R112(c)]

Applicants under the LCP must have completed at least:

  • six months of full-time training in a classroom setting in a field or occupation related to the employment for which the work permit is sought; or
  • one year of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer, in such a field or occupation within the three years immediately before the day on which they submit an application for a work permit.

Prospective live-in caregivers must meet either the training or work experience requirement in order to be eligible for a work permit under the LCP.

Training requirement

Training must be offered as part of a formal education program at an educational institution accredited by the appropriate local education authorities. Full-time training must be taken for a continuous period of at least six months. Training must be in a field or occupation related to the employment sought. For example, prospective live-in caregivers may have training in early childhood education, geriatric care, paediatric or geriatric nursing.

Work experience requirement

Work experience must be in a field or occupation related to the employment sought. For example, prospective live-in caregivers may have experience in early childhood education, geriatric care, paediatric or geriatric nursing. Caregiving experience in an institutional setting (day care, crèche, hospital, senior citizens’ home, etc.) should be considered in assessing whether the applicant meets the experience requirement. Experience as a midwife or hospital technician is not acceptable as they do not have caregiving experience related to children, the elderly or people with disabilities.

Caregiving experience in the applicant’s own home would not normally qualify someone for the 
LCP, as the applicant would not have been in a paid employment situation. However, there may be legitimate situations where the applicant was employed as a live-in caregiver by a relative.

Applicants are responsible for satisfying the officer that they were actually paid for the work performed and that their experience was an employment related one.

To claim work experience, prospective live-in caregivers must demonstrate that they have completed at least one year of full-time paid employment related to the job duties of a caregiver.

This work experience must have occurred within the three years immediately preceding the date that the application for a work permit under the LCP is submitted. This work experience must include at least six months of continuous employment with the same employer.

Language ability [R112(d)]

Applicants under the LCP must have a level of fluency in English or French that enables them to communicate effectively and independently in an unsupervised setting. For example, they should be able to:

  • respond to emergency situations by contacting a doctor, ambulance, police or fire department;
  • read the labels on medication;
  • answer the telephone and the door; and
  • communicate with others outside the home, such as schools, stores or other institutions.

Mandatory employment contract [R112(e)]

A prospective employer in Canada interested in hiring a foreign live-in caregiver must first have their job offer approved by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada (HRSDC/Service Canada) and obtain from them a positive or neutral Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The prospective employer is responsible for ensuring that there is a signed, written employment contract with the prospective live-in caregiver. By law, the terms and conditions of the employment contract must be consistent with provincial/territorial employment standards and labour laws.

Information for Employers

Employers who want to hire live-in caregivers must apply to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada for a labour market opinion. A Labour Market Opinion assesses what impact hiring a foreign worker would have on Canada’s labour market.

A foreign live-in caregiver who wants to work in Canada must have received a job offer from a Canadian employer and apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a work permit. The caregiver’s application must include proof that the employer received a positive Labour Market Opinion from Service Canada.

You must agree to the following conditions if you want to hire a live-in caregiver.

The live-in caregiver must:

  • Work for you in a private home
  • Live with you, the employer, or in the household where care is to be provided
  • Have a private, furnished room within your home
  • Be employed on a full-time basis
  • Meet the requirements set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada

You, the employer, must:

  • Pay for the caregiver’s health insurance at no cost to the caregiver until he/she becomes eligible for provincial health insurance.
  • Enrol the live-in caregiver in provincial workplace safety insurance (also known as workers’ compensation) or equivalent insurance if the former is not available.
  • Pay for the services, fees and costs of a recruitment or third party agency if you are using one for recruiting the caregiver. Employers are not permitted to recoup recruitment fees from live-in caregivers.
  • Pay for transportation costs for the caregiver to travel from the caregiver’s country of permanent residence to the location of work in Canada (where caregiving will take place). Or if the caregiver is already in Canada, the employer must pay the transportation costs for the caregiver to travel to the new place of work in Canada.
  • Submit to HRSDC/Service Canada an employment contract with the Labour Market Opinion application to hire a foreign live-in caregiver. The employment contract  must include the duration of the contract, duties of the position, wages, hours of work (including overtime, holidays, and sick leave), accommodation arrangements, as per provincial and municipal standards; transportation costs; health insurance; terms of resignation and termination; and registration for provincial workplace safety insurance.

You the employer must also:

  • Keep records of the number of regular and overtime hours the live-in caregiver has worked for you on a weekly/monthly basis. The caregiver will need this information for their application for permanent residence.
  • Review and adjust the foreign caregiver’s wages to ensure they meet or exceed HRSDC’s requirements (as per HRSDC’s Wages table).
  • Ensure that you are not employing a foreign national other than in a capacity they are authorized to work (you should ask to see, but not keep, their work permit to ensure that you are identified as the authorized employer and to confirm the duration of that authorization). Remember, you are not permitted to take away the work permit from the caregiver or keep it.
  • Ensure that you are not employing a live-in caregiver without a valid work permit identifying you specifically as the employer.

If you, the employer, agree to all the conditions mentioned above, you can apply to Service Canada for a labour market opinion. The opinion will assess the impact hiring the live-in caregiver would have on Canadian jobs.
While authorized to work for a specific employer, a live-in caregiver cannot:

  • Work for more than one employer at a time or for any employer or under any conditions other than that authorized on their work permit; and
  • Work for a health agency or labour contractor, or in day care or foster care.

In addition to the standard requirements to apply for a labour market opinion (LMO) under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada will also evaluate the following criteria starting April 1, 2011:

1. All employers hiring a live-in caregiver must use the new LMO application form specific to the LCP and provide:

  • the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number
  • an explanation of how hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) meets the employment needs of the employer; and
  • a signed statement attesting that the employer will abide by the LCP requirements.

In addition to the above mentioned requirements, the following documentation must now be submitted along with the new LMO application:

  • Proof of age or disability for the person requiring care:
  • Child – long-form birth certificate or official adoption documents or medical doctor’s note confirming the pregnancy and due date of the child. The parents must submit a long form birth certificate after the child’s birth. Failure to do so may result in a refusal by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to issue a work permit. If these are not available, any other official document issued by a government authority demonstrating the child to parent relationship (e.g. original birth certificate for children born abroad translated into English or French).
  • Senior – birth certificate, Old Age Security Identification Card, passport or any other official documents showing the date of birth of the senior requiring care.
  • If disabled, a medical certificate  stating that the disabled person requires care (but not the nature of disability).
  • detailed description of the private accommodations provided to the live-in caregiver.
  • An Option C-printout that any taxpayer can obtain from the CRA by calling 1-800-959-8281. The Option C-printout provides information on declared income from a variety of sources. In exceptional cases where the person is not required to submit taxes in Canada, the employer can submit: paystubs, bank statements, the employer- employee contract or any other official documents proving that the employer has the income necessary to pay the live-in caregiver.

Employers may also be required to provide, if requested by HRSDC/Service Canada, a provincial workers compensation clearance letter or other appropriate provincial documentation.

2. The genuineness of the job offer made to the live-in caregiver will be assessed based on whether the employer:

  • demonstrates a reasonable need for a full-time live-in caregiver to provide child care, elder care or care for a disabled person;
  • can provide adequate, private accommodations to the live-in caregiver;
  • has sufficient financial resources to pay the live-in caregiver.
  • the employer, or the third party representative who recruited the live-in caregiver on behalf of the employer, must be compliant with the relevant federal-provincial/territorial employment and recruitment legislation.

3. All returning employers must demonstrate that they have met the terms and conditions of employment set out in previous LMO confirmation letters and annexes (if applicable). In addition, some employers may be required to submit documentation to support a more detailed employer compliance review, including any or all of the following documents:

  • payroll records;
  • time sheets;
  • job descriptions;
  • copies of the employer-employee contract;
  • receipts for private health insurance (if applicable);
  • provincial workers compensation clearance letter or other appropriate provincial documentation;
  • receipts for transportation costs; and
  • information about accommodations provided by the employer.

If it appears that the employer did not fully uphold the terms and conditions of employment set out in the LMO confirmation letter and annex (if applicable), the employer will have the opportunity to provide a rationale. In this case, HRSDC/Service Canada will work with the employer to implement the appropriate corrective action, which may include providing compensation to the live-in caregiver. Employers may be found non-compliant if they refuse to provide a rationale and/or provide only partial compensation to the live-in caregiver.
If the employer is found to be non-compliant:

  • HRSDC/Service Canada may issue a negative LMO and revoke all positions on confirmed LMOs for which work permits have not yet been issued by CIC
  • CIC may deem the employer ineligible to hire TFWs for two years. The employer’s name, address and period of ineligibility may also be published on a list of ineligible employers posted on CIC Web site.

Quebec-bound applicants

Paragraph 22(b) of the Canada-Quebec Accord states that Quebec’s consent is required in order to admit into the province any temporary foreign worker whose admission is subject to Canada’s requirements relating to the availability of Canadian workers. A Quebec-bound applicant under the LCP must obtain a CAQ prior to submitting a LCP work permit application to CIC. The MICC issues a CAQ following a review of the file based on their selection criteria.

All applicants under the LCP must satisfy a Canadian visa officer that they meet the eligibility criteria in R112. When an applicant has obtained a CAQ but does not meet federal requirements, the federal

Regulations take precedence. Consequently, the issuance of a CAQ does not automatically guarantee a work permit under the LCP.

Our goal is to provide each client with a successful outcome by determining the most appropriate solution. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire.

If you are interested in seeking professional assistance to guide you through the immigration process or if you have any questions, please contact us.