Caregivers are Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada. However, unlike most other foreign nationals in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, there are federal immigration programs available to caregivers, providing them with a direct pathway to permanent residence.

Up until 2014, the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) was a popular pathway to permanent residence for foreign nationals on a LCP work permit. However, in 2014, the program underwent significant changes. In particular, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched two new caregiver immigration programs, in addition to the regular Live-in Caregiver Program:

  1. Caring for Children Program
  2. Caring for People With High Medical Needs Program

These new prioritized programs have estimated processing times within six months. However, they also have additional eligibility requirements. While only caregivers on a LCP work permit who live with their employers are eligible for the regular Live-in Caregiver Program, the two new programs are available to caregivers on regular work permits, and there is no live-in requirement.

The IRCC also stopped issuing LCP work permits in 2014. Foreign nationals with a job offer as a caregiver and a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment to support their position must apply for a regular work permit. The work experience they gain as a caregiver on a regular work permit may make them eligible for the Caring for Children Program or the Caring for People With High Medical Needs Program.

Foreign nationals already in Canada on a LCP work permit are also no longer required to live with their employer. However, if caregivers choose to move out, they are required to get a new, regular work permit (instead of a LCP work permit) supported by a new Labour Market Impact Assessment. If they move out, they are also no longer considered to be under the regular Live-in Caregiver Program. However, if they choose to transition to permanent residence, they may still be eligible for the Caring for Children Program or the Caring for People With High Medical Needs Program.

REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A CAREGIVER

Families in Canada can hire a foreign caregiver under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to provide care to children, seniors, or persons with medical needs.

The first step to become a caregiver is to receive a valid job offer from a Canadian family. Once you receive a job offer, your employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC/Services Canada. If they receive a positive LMIA, they must provide you with a copy of it, as well as a job offer letter or contract. You can then apply for a work permit to come to Canada as a caregiver.

There are two categories of caregivers Canadian families can hire, on a live-in or live-out basis:

  1. Caregivers for children
    • Children under 18 years of age
  2. Caregivers for people with high medical needs
    • Elderly persons, 65 years of age or over; or
    • People with disabilities, a chronic or terminal illness

APPLYING FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE

Your Canadian immigration options will depend on your particular profile. Depending on your level of education, age, years of work experience, and language proficiency, you may be eligible for any number of immigration programs at either the federal or provincial level. The best way to discover all of your options is to consult an expert. Our free online assessment will help you determine which options may be available to you.

That said, as a caregiver, there are three federal economic immigration programs that you may be eligible for.

Note: This program is only available to caregivers on a specific Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) work permit. IRCC stopped issuing new LCP work permits in 2014. See above for more information.

You may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Live-in Caregiver Program if you meet the following requirements:

WORK EXPERIENCE

  1. 24 months of authorized full-time live-in employment in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program, or
  2. 3,900 hours of authorized full-time live-in employment (within a minimum of 22 months including up to 390 hours of overtime) in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program; and
  3. The work experience must be acquired within four years of your date of arrival.

You may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Caring for Children Program if you meet the following requirements:

WORK EXPERIENCE

  1. At least 24 months of full-time (30 hours/week) work experience in Canada
  2. As a home child care provider (National Occupational Classification (NOC) 4411)
  3. In the four years before you apply

LANGUAGE ABILITY

  1. Score at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in an approved language test
  2. Within the two years before you apply

EDUCATION

  1. A Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma, or certificate of at least one year, or
  2. A foreign degree, diploma, or certificate and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) demonstrating it is equal to a Canadian one-year post-secondary degree

You may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Program if you meet the following requirements:

WORK EXPERIENCE

  1. At least 24 months of full-time (30 hours/week) work experience in Canada
  2. In one of the following occupations:
    • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
    • Licensed practical nurses (NOC 3233)
    • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associated (NOC 3413)
    • Home support workers and related occupations (NOC 4412)
      • Only Home support workers are eligible under 4412. Housekeepers are not eligible.
  3. In the four years before you apply

LANGUAGE ABILITY

  1. If your work experience is NOC 3012, score at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in an approved language test
  2. If your work experience is NOC 3233, NOC 3413, or NOC 4412, score at least CLB 5 in an approved language test
  3. Within the two years before you apply

EDUCATION

  1. A Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma, or certificate of at least one year, or
  2. A foreign degree, diploma, or certificate and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) demonstrating it is equal to a Canadian one-year post-secondary degree

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