Live-in caregivers, who are qualified to provide care for children, the elderly or people with disabilities in private homes without supervision, must meet certain requirements to be eligible for the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) in Canada. These requirements include:
Before an employer can hire a caregiver he or she must:
Apply to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada (ESDC/SC) to have his or her suggested job offer reviewed; and
Receive a positive Labour Market Assessment (LMIA) from the ESDC/SC
The ESDC/SC will assess the employer’s job offer and the employment contract to be sure that it meets certain requirements. This includes an assessment of wages, working conditions, provincial labor, and employment standards. The assessment must prove that there are not enough Canadians or permanent residents currently available to work as live-in caregivers in Canada. If the ESDC/SC finds the job offer acceptable, they will issue a positive LMIA to the employer.
The employee and the employer are both legally required to sign a written employment contract. The employee must submit the signed contract with a work permit application, which is the same employment contract submitted to the ESDC/SC by the employer. The only time they can be different is if there is a good reason, for example, a new start date.
The employee (caregiver) must have successfully completed the equivalence of Canadian High School education (secondary school). Because of the vast difference in schooling systems across Canada, it is not possible to give a precise number of years needed. However, in most provinces in Canada, it takes twelve years of schooling to obtain a Canadian high school diploma. The immigration officer assessing your application will let you know what is needed.
You are required to have at least six months of training or at least one year of full-time paid work experience as a caregiver or role in a related field or occupation. Six months of your work experience must be continuous employment with one employer. This experience must also have been acquired within the three years before the day on which the caregiver makes an application for the work permit as a caregiver.
The caregiver must be able to speak, read and understand either English or French so that they can function on their own in the employers’ home. For example, the caregiver must be able to call emergency services if they are needed and understand labels on medications because the caregiver will be unsupervised for most of the day.
To be a live-in caregiver visa, you must make an application for an initial live-in caregiver work permit at a visa office outside of Canada. If the application is successful, you will receive a letter of introduction from the Canadian visa office responsible for the area in which you live. You will need to present this letter to the Border Services Officer upon arrival in Canada in order to obtain your work permit.
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