Understanding the Live in Caregiver Program - Immigration Blog about US & Canadian Immigration matters.

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Understanding the Live in Caregiver Program

What is the Live-In Caregiver Program?

The program was created address the shortage of caregivers in Canada. Over the period, new criteria for education and skills have been introduced in the live-in caregiver program. The program applies only to the care of children aged under the age of 18, elderly aged 65 or older, or persons with disability. The program applies only to caregivers who live in the home of the person for whom they are caring, even if the home is not the employers’ residence. The employer must employ the live-in caregiver on a full-time basis and provide a furnished room for the exclusive use of the caregiver.

Eligibility Criteria for Employers

To hire a caregiver under the live-in caregiver program the employer must:

  • make an effort to fill the position with a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a foreign worker already in Canada;

  • be able to pay them;

  • give them acceptable living space in his home;

  • make a job offer for caregiving duties for

  • a child,

  • an elderly person, or

  • a person with a disability

  • have applied for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada before November 30, 2014, including the employment contract

A caregiver who is already a part of the live-in caregiver program and wants to continue working on live-in basis can be hired for caregiving. To do so, the employer needs to get a positive LMIA and the caregiver needs to get a work permit. The live-in arrangement must be mentioned in the LMIA application.

Eligibility criteria for the Applicant

To qualify as a caregiver under the live-in caregiver program, the caregiver must:

  • have completed an education equal to that of a Canadian secondary school diploma

  • have at least six months of full-time classroom training in caregiving or one year of work experience as a caregiver or in a related job within the last three years (including at least six months of ongoing work with one employer)

  • have the ability to speak, read and understand English or French, so that they can work on their own without being supervised

  • get medical, security and criminal clearances

  • have a signed written employment contract

Responsibilities of an employer

Under the live-in Caregiver Program, the employer is responsible for

  • Working conditions

  • Health Insurance

  • Workers’ Compensation

  • Record of Employment

  • Deductions

  • Room and board

  • Helping your employee adjust

  • Ending the contract with an employee

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide acceptable working conditions, reasonable duties and fair wage rate, along with private accommodation with free access. It is also the duty of the employer to legislative benefits under the Employment Standards like salary meeting minimum wages, extra pay for extra time, weekly day off and statutory holidays.

The employer is required to pay the health insurance and taxes for the caregiver and cannot deduct it from the wages of the caregiver.

The employer is required to register as an employer so as to be able to give the caregiver a Record of Employment (ROE) upon severance of employment. The employer also has also to provide T4 slips for the previous years of employment.

Employer is required to deduct income tax, employment insurance premium and Canadian pension plan contribution.

Periodicity and mode of deduction of room charges would differ depending on the provincial standards of employment. Food charges cannot be deducted when the caregiver has not eaten. The caregiver is free to go out on day offs. Also, the employer has to help the caregiver to adjust to the Canadian life style. When the caregiver is unable or unwilling to continue the employment, the employer has to terminate the contract of employment and give intimation thereof to HRSDC/ Service Canada.

Steps in hiring a Live-in Caregiver

  • Finding a caregiver

  • Applying for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMAI) Application

  • Work Permit

  • Written Employment Contract

Finding a Caregiver:

The employer must advertise the position for the live in caregiver position in Canada’s national job bank or the equivalent in Saskatchewan, Quebec or the Northwest Territories. The employer has to show that reasonable efforts were made to hire a Canadian, permanent resident or a foreign worker already in Canada as a live-in caregiver. The employer may use a hiring agency.

Applying for LMIA:

The job offer must first be assessed and approved by Service Canada in the form of a LMIA before a caregiver can begin working for you. The LMIA is the first step to hiring a foreign worker. The employer has to show that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada is qualified and available to take the live-in caregiver job and that the employment offer meets all the necessary legislative and program requirements. A copy of the signed written employment contract between the employer and the caregiver has to be a part of the LMIA application. The certificate of Acceptance of the LMIA is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance.

Work Permit:

Caregivers found to be eligible and who meet all other requirements will be issued a work permit. This process can take several months. Even if your job offer is approved and you receive an LMIA from service Canada, the caregiver cannot work in Canada until he or she receives the work permit naming you as the employer.

Live-in caregivers have the right to change jobs without the employers’’ permission and work for another employer as a live-in caregiver. However, live-in caregivers cannot start working for someone new until the new employer has obtained an LMIA and the caregiver has a new work permit naming the new employer.

After a live-in caregiver has worked under the Program for two years, or 3,900 hours, within four years of their date of entry into Canada, they can apply for permanent residency. They may also wish to apply for an open work permit, which would allow them to work in Canada in any occupation.

Written Employment Contract:

The employer and the caregiver are legally required to sign a written employment contract. The written contract will ensure there is a fair working arrangement between them. 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
  • wages
  • accommodation arrangements (including room and board)
  • holiday and sick leave entitlements
  • termination and resignation terms

Your caregiver must submit the signed contract with the work permit application.


The live-in caregiver Program is for facilitating immigration of caregiver on the basis of a work permit. However, this work permit is issued only when the employer has shown that at the employer has made sufficient efforts to hire a Canadian, permanent resident or foreign workers already in Canada. The basis for getting this work permit is the employment contract between the employer and the caregiver.

What Akrami & Associates can do!!

Documentation is very crucial for immigration under the Live-in Caregiver Program. The work permit for under the program depends heavily on the contents of the employment contract. This program also entails a lot responsibility on the employer and the caregiver. We have helped hundreds of clients through this program. We can help you too. Whether you have a question, or are looking to book a consultation in person or over the phone with one of our representatives, feel free to give us a call today at 416-477-2545 or toll free at 1-877-820-7121.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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