Updates to the Live-in Caregiver Program
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations Amendments – Live-in Caregiver Program
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:
- 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.
- Proof of age or disability for the person requiring care:
- Child – long-form birth certificate or official adoption documents. 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.
- Disabled person – medical certificate stating that the disabled person requires care (but not the nature of disability).
- A 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (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.
Hiring a live-in caregiver – Who can apply
The process of hiring someone from a foreign country takes time. You may want to consider another solution for your caregiving needs during that time. See application processing times to find out how long it might take to complete the process.
Effective April 1, 2010, live-in caregivers working in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program:
- have two options for calculating their work experience to be eligible to apply for permanent residence:
- 24 months of authorized full-time employment, or
- a total of 3,900 hours of authorized full-time employment;
- have four years from their date of arrival to complete the employment requirement to be eligible for permanent residence under the Program; and
- no longer need to undergo the standard mandatory requirement for a second medical exam when applying for permanent residence.
Before you look abroad
You should familiarize yourself with the Live-in Caregiver Program requirements, in particular your responsibilities as an employer under the Program, before spending time or money hiring employees from abroad. You should verify:
- Is there a Canadian or a permanent resident available to do this work?
- Do you need your employee to live in the home of the person receiving care?
- If not, a live-in caregiver may not be the best option for you.
Some countries may have additional requirements for their citizens that do not exist in Canada. For example, some countries have exit requirements whereby their citizens must apply and meet certain requirements to get approval to leave their country. You should ask your prospective caregiver about their country’s requirements to determine if there are additional requirements that may affect you. You can also contact the embassy for that country in Canada.
As an employer, you must meet certain requirements before you can hire a foreign live-in caregiver.
To hire a live-in caregiver, you must:
- have made a sufficient effort to first fill your position with a Canadian, a permanent resident or a foreign worker already in Canada;
- have sufficient income to pay a live-in caregiver;
- provide acceptable accommodation in your home;
- make a job offer that has primary caregiving duties for a child or an elderly or disabled person (a job offer with the primary duties of a housecleaner, for example, is not acceptable under the Live-in Caregiver Program, but could be appropriate under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program); and
- submit an application for a Labour Market Opinion ( LMO ) with the employment contract to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada ( HRSDC / SC ).
It is important that you visit HRSDC ’s website to obtain complete information concerning the hiring of a live-in caregiver.
Caregivers will be carefully screened by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada ( CIC ) visa officer before they enter Canada. They must meet the eligibility requirements of the Live-in Caregiver Program. These include:
- successful completion of the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school
- at least six months of full-time classroom training or at least one year of work experience as a caregiver or in a related field or occupation within the last three years, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer
- the ability to speak, read and understand English or French so that they can function on their own in an unsupervised setting
- passing medical, security and criminal clearances
- a signed written employment contract with an employer in Canada
The written employment contract will ensure there is a fair working arrangement between you and your employee. The employment contract must demonstrate that the Live-in Caregiver Program requirements are met by including a description of:
- mandatory employer-paid benefits, including:
- transportation to Canada from the live-in caregiver’s country of permanent residence or the country of habitual residence to the location of work in Canada
- medical insurance coverage provided from the date of the live-in caregiver’s arrival until he or she is eligible for provincial health insurance
- workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of the employment
- all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that would otherwise have been charged to the live-in caregiver
- job duties
- hours of work
- accommodation arrangements (including room and board)
- holiday and sick leave entitlements
- termination and resignation terms
A contract template is provided below. Your contract does not have to look exactly like this, but it must contain all the information and clauses indicated as mandatory.
The contract template is different for the province of Quebec and is available on the ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (Quebec Immigration) website.
You may be asked to show that you can provide the wages, benefits and working conditions required by provincial or territorial labour laws.
For more information on eligibility requirements for caregivers, see The Live-in Caregiver Program: Who can apply.
Find out more about how to apply to hire a live-in caregiver.
For all Labour Market Opinion applications received by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada on or after April 1, 2010 Live-in Caregiver Program ( LCP ) employers are required to pay for all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that would otherwise have been charged to the live-in caregiver. Employers are restricted from recouping any recruitment fees from foreign live-in caregivers.
A “recruiter” is a person, company, or agency who attempts to find and attract live-in caregivers. These activities are usually initiated at the request of an employer seeking to hire workers in order to fill vacant jobs, but may be in anticipation of a request from an employer or representative of an employer. Recruiters may also subcontract recruitment services to other third parties.
Recruiters charge fees which, under the LCP , must be paid by the employer who has requested the recruitment services. Recruitment services can include, among others, advertising, application filing and collection, processing, pre-screening interviews, testing or analysis of skills or knowledge, arrangement of formal interviews with workers, confirming the worker meets program criteria and negotiating a wage or salary on the employer’s behalf that is in line with the employer's and LCP requirements.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Changes to advertising requirements under the Live-in Caregiver Program.
As per the January 1, 2009, all employers wishing to recruit live-in caregivers are required to advertise on the national Job Bank (or the equivalent in Saskatchewan or the Northwest Territories) and on a secondary advertising source for a minimum of 14 calendar days, a maximum of three months prior applying for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
Advertisement criteria vary slightly in the province of Quebec. For further information, consult Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec.
Effective May 4, 2009
Under the new changes to the processing of live-in caregiver applications, employers are still required to advertise on the national Job Bank for 14 calendar days. A secondary source of advertisement is encouraged but no longer required.
- The "Contact Information" on the national Job Bank and any secondary advertising source can be that of the Third-party representative;
- In the case where an employer of a live-in caregiver wishes to undertake the advertisement himself/herself, the "Contact Information" on the national Job Bank advertisement can be a telephone number, a cell phone number, a fax number, an e-mail or a P.O. Box address;
- Third-party representatives conducting recruitment on behalf of employers or employers who may require more than one live-in caregiver position are required to indicate so on the LMO application and on their Recruitment Report;
- Third-party representatives can only post one advertisement per live-in caregiver position (one single ad for multiple live-in caregiver positions both on the national Job Bank or any secondary advertising source is not permitted);
- All live-in caregiver applications must be accompanied with a Recruitment Report providing proof of advertisement (on the national Job Bank and any other additional source) and detailing the number of respondents to the advertisement and the reasons why such respondents were not considered. The Recruitment Report must be signed by the employer.
As of May 4, 2009, employers will be required to:
- Acquire and provide Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada (SC) with their CRA Business Number on their application for a LMO to hire a live-in caregiver;
- Submit, along with their application, an attestation signed by a guarantor testifying to the identity of the employer;
- In the instance where an employer chooses to use a Third-party representative, the Labour Market Opinion decision will only be sent to the employer. The agent/Third-party will receive a letter notifying them that a LMO decision was issued to the employer.
- Employers are required to submit a new application to HRSDC/SC which clearly indicates that they are requesting a new caregiver to replace a caregiver for which a positive Labour Market Opinion was previously issued (in replacement of the original caregiver who could not start work in Canada). Failure to comply with this program requirement will result in a LMO application being denied.
You must be prepared to demonstrate that you meet the advertising requirements by providing proof of advertisements and the results of your efforts to recruit Canadian’s or permanent residents at the time of application. Recruitment Report;
Please refer to the following websites for further information:
Temporary Foreign Worker Program information
Live-In Caregiver minimum recruitment requirements:
If you have any questions, please contact Service Canada at 1-877-227-4577 or Andrew at Nannies on the Hill at 416-272-1691 or e-mail email@example.com.