What is the Live-In Caregiver Program?
Essentially, the live-in caregiver program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to hire a foreign national to provide “live-in care.” All this is, is full-time in home care. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you require full-time, round the clock care, then you may be eligible to apply to hire a foreign national to provide this care for you. Though, it is required that you have made a good attempt to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, before you will be permitted to hire a foreign national to do this job. Nonetheless, this is a unique opportunity for a Canadian to benefit from helping a foreign national find work and/ or achieve permanent residency in Canada. Not to mention, the foreign national even has the benefit of having their living situation already all sorted out! This relieves much of the stress about moving to a new country for sure. So, if you think you might be eligible to be a live-in caregiver, or this program is of interest to you, or, if you think you might need to hire a live-in caregiver from overseas… keep reading this article to learn all about how to get involved with this program!
What is a Live-In Caregiver?
A live in caregiver is qualified person that can work without supervision in a private household. He or she is supposed to provide care for the elderly, children and or the disabled. It was once a requirement that the caregiver actually reside with the employer/ patient, though this is no longer the case. Nonetheless, the employer is still responsible for arranging room and board for the caregiver. The Canadian federal government came up with the Live-in caregiver program in order to counter the limited number of live-in caregivers in the country. To begin, the live-in caregiver will enter Canada as a temporary foreign worker.
To be Eligible as a Live-In Caregiver Employer
You must have:
- already made an effort to fill your position with a Canadian, a permanent resident or a foreign worker already in Canada,
- have enough income to pay them, and register as a business to be allowed to employ them legally
- be able to give them an acceptable living space in your home, or provide suitable living arrangements
- have a dependent child,
- be an elderly person or
- be a person with a disability,
If You Want to Hire a Live-in Caregiver
If you have already tried to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be your live-in caregiver, but have had no luck with this process, so you’re now thinking about hiring a foreign national, you must search for a temporary foreign worker and apply for a labor market impact assessment (LMIA) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Once you receive a positive LMIA, then, you must submit your application for the live-in caregiver program with all the necessary documentation from both the employer and the potential caregiver. A positive LMIA indicates there is in fact no Canadian available to do the job, allowing you to move forward and search for a foreign national. Please note, there are specific things the employer of the live-in caregiver must do, to comply with the requirements set out in the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA) regarding live-in caregivers. These are as follows, and must be included in the employer’s application:
- Description of working conditions of the live-in caregiver
- Agree on contract to pay wages similar to that which a Canadian would be paid
- Detailed and described occupation requirements in the caregiver’s contract
- Advertise/ make an effort to recruit a Canadian before going to search for a foreign worker
- Provide a bedroom description for the live-in caregiver on contract
- Because you are now an employer, you must actually register as a business and provide a Canada revenue agency's notice of assessment copy
- Also agree on contract to employer paid benefits specific to live-in caregivers, this includes:
- transportation to Canada from your country of permanent residence,
- medical insurance coverage provided from the date of your arrival until you are eligible for provincial health insurance as a permanent resident,
- workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of the employment.
The employer should provide proof that the dependent is in need of care which includes the documents proving:
- Age for a child under 18 years
- Ex. Birth certificate, or adoption certificate, or official guardianship or medical doctor's note that confirms the pregnancy.
- Age of senior
- Ex. Birth certificate, passport, old age security identification card
- Disability for disabled person-
- Ex. Completed medical disability certificate, physician note proving that the patient has disability
If You Want to Be a Live-In Caregiver
Applicants are subject to many requirements to be eligible for the live-in caregiver program. First an applicant must have completed an equivalent of Canadian high school education successfully. Additionally, they must have gone through a minimum of six months in class training or have twelve months of full time experience. Applicants must be able to speak, read and understand French or English at a level which allows them to work or function independently in the private home setting. You must pass a medical examination test, as with many individuals who enter Canada temporarily, because temporary visitors do not have access to public medical care, as this would place excessive strain on Canadian social services. On top of this, you will have to provide a police clearance from your country of origin indicating you have no criminal history. This is incredibly important for this type of application. Misrepresentation and criminal histories will not be taken lightly due to the sensitive nature of the caregiver – employer relationship. Finally, you'll need a work permit before you can enter and start working in Canada. If your application is successful and you are permitted to join the live-in caregiver program, you will be granted a closed work permit, and can begin working for your new employer in Canada! Remember, there is the opportunity to become a permanent resident, though; there are minimum work experience/ time in Canada requirements. So, once you begin working in Canada as a temporary foreign worker, you move that much closer to becoming a permanent resident one day!
Moving From a Temporary Foreign Worker under the Live-In Caregiver Program to a Permanent Resident!
To begin, you will enter into the live-in caregiver program on a work permit, as a temporary foreign worker. Once you have received a positive LMIA and submitted your application to become a live-in caregiver for your specific employer stated on the application, if your application is successful, you will be granted an employer specific work permit, and be permitted to enter Canada to work for a specific period of time. This does not mean you will necessarily only be permitted to work in Canada for that specific period of time, it just means you will have to either apply for an extension on your work permit, or, apply for permanent residency as a live-in caregiver. Under the live-in caregiver category, there are some specific requirements regarding the length of time an individual must have been in Canada as a live-in caregiver, to be eligible for permanent residency. These are as follows:
· You must have 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
· You must have 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.
Submitting the Application for Permanent Residence
There are a variety of other things which must be included in an individual’s application for permanent residence under the live-in caregiver program. Immigration officers will necessarily consider things such as your initial application for the live-in caregiver program. They will ensure you entered Canada on completely truthful grounds. At the same time, any partner or dependents an individual has will be assessed to ensure no one is criminally inadmissible or has a serious medical problem. Please understand, when an immigration officer is assessing your truthfulness on your original application for a live-in caregiver work permit, they will be expecting that you declared any dependents or family members on the initial application. If you fail to do this, you will likely be accused of misrepresentation in your application for permanent residence, and this will complicate things immensely.
Contact Akrami and Associates
We have dealt with hundreds of Live in Caregiver Application cases. We have helped our clients in their difficult situations and have guided them to draft a more effective application. We can help you draft your application and arrange the required documents. A well-planned and complete application will increase your likelihood of acceptance and will save your from hassle. If you think you may want to hire a live-in caregiver, or apply to be a live-in caregiver, contact Akrami and Associates today! Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain permanent residency in Canada though the live-in caregiver program, or come to Canada on a live-in caregiver work permit. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!