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Bringing a caregiver or nanny to Canada

Region: Ontario Answer # 663

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), people in Canada are allowed to bring foreign workers into the country to work as caregivers through special, separate immigration programs:

  1. Home Child Care Provider Pilot Program & Home Support Worker Pilot Program
  2. The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) (currently closed to new applicants)
  3. In-Home Caregiver Programs (currently closed to new applicants): Caring for Children Program and Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program
  4. Interim Pathway for Caregivers (currently closed to new applicants)

These Programs are run by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To be approved, both the employer and the caregiver must satisfy several criteria, as well as complete the application process.

1. Home Child Care Provider & Home Support Worker Programs

Caregivers currently have access to two, 5-year caregiver immigration pilot programs:

  • Home Child Care Provider Pilot, and
  • Home Support Worker Pilot.

These programs allow caregivers who are offered a job in Canada as a caregiver or who have experience working in Canada as a caregiver to come to Canada together with their families, and if they qualify, apply for permanent residence.

The government puts a cap on the number of applicants for each program every year. To find out if each program is currently open to new applications, and more information, including what qualifies as work experience, visit canada.ca

Application to become a permanent resident

The application process for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot Programs depends on how much qualifying work experience the caregiver has:

  1. No experience: never worked full-time as a caregiver in Canada;
  2. Some but less than 24 months: are working full-time as a caregiver in Canada right now, or recently worked full-time as a caregiver in Canada – but don’t have 24 months of experience yet; and
  3. 24 or more months: In the last 36 months, worked full-time as a caregiver in Canada for a total of 24 months or more.

Visit IRCC for the more information and the application requirements for each situation.

2. The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)

In the past, the caregiver was required to live with the sponsoring family. This is no longer required. Although the Live-in Caregiver Program is currently closed to new applicants, caregivers already in the program can apply for permanent residence if they:

  • have at least 2 years of work experience in the program and:
    • are already working in Canada with an LCP work permit, or
    • were approved for their first LCP work permit based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment submitted by their employer to Employment and Social Development Canada on or before November 30, 2014

Difference between in-home caregiver and live-in caregiver

In-home caregiver: someone who works in a private residence.

Live-in caregiver: someone who lives in the private residence where they provide caregiver services.

3.  In-home Caregiver Programs

Under the previous federal caregiver programs, Canadian families and private household employers had to hire in-home caregivers under one of the following In-Home Caregiver Pilot Programs:

Caring for Children Program: for caregivers for children under 18 years of age (the caregiver may live-in or out-of the home).

Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program: caregivers for people with high medical requirements – for example, people 65 years of age and older, people with disabilities, or people with a chronic or terminal illness.

These two pilot programs expired June 18, 2019, however, applications received by IRCC before this date will continue to be processed in most circumstances. Visit IRCC for more info.

4.  Interim Pathway for Caregivers

The Interim Pathway for Caregivers was a limited time pathway to permanent residence for qualifying in-home caregivers and their families. The Program ended on October 8, 2019, however, IRCC will continue to process applications that were made on or before that date.

Application process to bring a caregiver to Canada

Once the employer has found a suitable caregiver, there are a number of steps that must be completed in order for the caregiver to be allowed to come to Canada and begin their employment:

  1.  There must be a contract between employer and caregiver.
  2.  Employer submits an LMIA application to ESDC.
  3.  A processing fee must be paid.
  4.  Caregiver must obtain work permit.

Temporary changes due to COVID-19

Due to the current pandemic, the Government of Canada has implemented temporary changes to various immigration programs and procedures. For the most up-to-date information, visit canada.ca.

More info

The application process and other requirements to bring a caregiver to Canada may be different depending on the Program. Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for more information including:

  • requirements to become a caregiver;
  • requirements for employers to hire a caregiver; and
  • how to apply for temporary residence through each program.

To find foreign consulates and embassies in your province, click here.

Get help

A criminal record will delay, and can even prevent you from getting your immigration status. To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

For legal advice and representation with your application, contact our preferred Immigration experts, Bright Immigration Consultants .

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