Hiring a live-in caregiver from another country
Live-in caregivers are individuals who are qualified to provide care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes without supervision. Live-in caregivers must live in the private home where they work in Canada.
Both the employer and the employee must follow several steps to meet the requirements of the Live-In Caregiver Program. Inforamtion can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration pages of the Govenment of Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/caregiver/apply-who.asp
The process of hiring someone from a foreign country takes time - possibly from several months to over a year. You may want to consider another solution for your caregiving needs during that time. Check into application processing times to find out how long it might take to complete the process.
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. http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca
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 on the HRSDC website . Your contract must contain all the information and clauses indicated as mandatory. The use of an alternative contract format may delay the processing of the LMO application as HRSDC and Service Canada officers will need to determine if the contract complies with LCP requirements.
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.