As the population of Canada grows older and lives longer, there has been a dramatic uptick in the need for in-home or live-in caregivers. Such caregivers also provide support and assistance to children and people with disabilities who live in private homes that don’t have professional supervision.
Given the vital and growing role such caregivers play in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors, the Canadian government has established a work permit program specifically for foreign nationals who are providing live-in care. Those that then complete a necessary period of employment in the program are then eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Eligibility to Participate in the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)
The Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) has very specific criteria for eligibility and steps that need to be taken by both the caregiver as well as their employer. In order to participate in the program as a caregiver, the fundamental thing you need is a qualifying job offer that provides for living in the same home as the person needing the care. Specifically, participating in the LCP requires the following:
- A positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The employer must have the job offer reviewed by Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada (ESDC/SC) who must then issue a positive LMO.
- A written and signed employment contract. This agreement needs to provide the details of the working arrangement (e.g., benefits, duties, hours, wages) and be the same contract submitted to ESDC/SC and in the work permit application.
- Completion of the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school education
- At least six months’ training or at least one year of full-time paid work experience as a caregiver or in a related field or occupation (including six months with one employer) in the past three years.
- Functional knowledge of English or French such that you can adequately function in the employers’ home and attend to their needs.
If those criteria are met, and there aren’t other reasons that the caregiver would be deemed inadmissible such as criminal history, security, or health reasons, a caregiver can apply for a work permit, which will need to be issued before they enter Canada.
Application and Extensions
As part of the application process, the caregiver will be invited to an interview to ensure that they meet the criteria and to arrange for medical tests and security checks. Once the permit has been issued, and assuming the caregiver has any required additional documentation like a passport or temporary resident visa.
Like any other work permits, they can be extended if certain criteria are met, and if circumstances change, such as losing the job or working for another employer, a new permit will need to be applied for and obtained.
What are the employment requirements?
You must have completed the required length of authorized full-time employment within four years from the date you entered Canada as a live-in caregiver to be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Live-in Caregiver Program.
There are two options for determining whether you meet the employment requirements of the Program;
- Having completed 24 months of authorized full-time employment as a live-in caregiver within four years from the date you entered Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program, OR
- Having completed a total of 3,900 hours (within a minimum of 22 months which may include a maximum of 390 hours of overtime) of authorized full-time employment as a live-in caregiver within four years from the date you entered Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program.
There are other requirements as well that must be considered before submitting such an application.
Toronto Immigration Lawyer Larry Butkowsky Can Help
If you are a caregiver or are looking to retain one from another country and want to know whether you are eligible to participate in the Live-In Caregiver Program or need assistance with the application process, Toronto immigration lawyer Larry Butkowsky can help. His legal practice focuses solely on immigration law and he can assist you with the Live-In Caregiver Program or any other issues you may be facing in making Canada your new home.
The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.