Apply–Live-in caregivers

Changes to Canada’s Caregiver Program took effect on November 30, 2014. Find out how this might impact you:

  • If you have not worked in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program and your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment application was received by Service Canada after November 30, 2014:
  • If you have not worked in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program and your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment application was received by Service Canada on or before November 30, 2014:
    • you may apply for a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit (see below).
  • If you already have a Live-in Caregiver Program work permit and you want to extend it or change jobs to work with another employer who agrees to a live-in arrangement:
  • If you choose to live out of your employer’s home, you will be leaving the Live-in Caregiver Program:

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.

Follow these steps to apply:

1. Get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your future employer

Your employer had to submit a request and applicable fee for an LMIA to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada (ESDC/SC) before November 30, 2014 to hire you as a live-in caregiver. If all the ESDC/SC LCP requirements are met, your employer will be issued a positive LMIA.

Note: If you are already in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and wish to change jobs while remaining in the LCP, you may do so. Your employer will need to apply for a LMIA that includes the live-in arrangement.

If the employer receives a positive LMIA, you will be able to live in the home of your new employer and be able to apply for permanent residence through the LCP when you have met the work requirement.

The positive LMIA confirms that:

  • there is a need for this job in Canada and the employer can proceed to hire a foreign worker to do it; and
  • the wages and working conditions offered by the employer meet provincial/territorial employment standards and are equivalent to the wages paid to Canadians in the same occupation.

ESDC/SC will advise your employer to send you a copy of the positive LMIA and the employment contract.

2. Sign a written contract with your future employer

You and your employer must sign a written employment contract.

Your employer will send you a copy of the employment contract and the positive LMIA. You must submit the signed contract, together with the positive LMIA issued to your employer, with your work permit application.

This must be the same employment contract submitted to ESDC/SC by your employer, unless you provide an explanation of any changes (for example, a new start date).

The written employment contract will ensure there is a fair working arrangement between you and your employer. The employment contract must demonstrate that the LCP requirements are met by including a description of:

  • mandatory employer-paid benefits, including:
    • transportation to Canada from your 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 your arrival until you are eligible for provincial/territorial health insurance
    • workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of employment
    • all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that otherwise would be charged to you
  • job duties
  • hours of work
  • wages
  • accommodation arrangements (including room and board)
  • holiday and sick leave entitlements
  • termination and resignation terms

A contract template along with a guide is available on the Service Canada website. Your contract does not have to look exactly like this, but it must contain all the information and clauses indicated as mandatory.

The use of an alternative contract format may delay the processing of the LMIA application, because ESDC and SC officers will need to determine if the contract complies with LCP requirements.

Note: The contract template is different for the province of Quebec and is available on the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (Quebec immigration department) website.

3. Apply for a work permit

Apply online

To apply online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. Determine your eligibility and apply online.

Apply on paper

1. Get the application package

You can get help with your paper application at your nearest visa application centre (VAC).

The application package includes the application guide and the forms you need to fill out.

Read the guide carefully before you complete the application form. The fee for processing your form is not refundable, so make sure you are eligible to get a live-in caregiver’s work permit before you apply.

Read the instructions on the application form and be sure to provide the required documents. The application package tells you which documents you need to include. If information or documents are missing, your application may be delayed.

Some of the documents you will need to provide with your application include:

  • Your diplomas, school certificates or transcripts listing the courses you have taken. You could be disqualified from the program if you are not honest about your education, training and experience.
  • Information about your marital status and the number of children you have. This information will not affect the outcome of your application for a work permit.
  • Fee payment in an acceptable format. Verify acceptable methods of payment with the visa office responsible for your area.
  • Read about the other requirements in your application package. The documents required may be different depending on the country you apply from.

2. Pay your application fees

In many countries, you can pay the fee in the local currency. More information about this and the payment methods available to you can be found by visiting the pay your fees tool.

If you decide to submit your application at a visa application centre (VAC), you will have to pay the VAC services fees. These fees are not included in your IRCC application fees.

3. Submit your application

Your live-in caregiver work permit allows you to work in Canada as a live-in caregiver. The work permit may be valid for up to four years and three months. You must renew your work permit before it expires.

There will also be costs for a medical examination and a passport to travel. You are responsible for these costs unless your employer offers to pay them.

All live-in caregivers must pass a medical examination before being approved to enter Canada and receive their work permit.

Note: Families should send their applications in one package to the location where the principal applicant will be processed.

Travel documents

Most countries require you to have a passport before coming to work in Canada as a live-in caregiver. Refer to these document requirements to find out if you need a passport.

Citizens of the United States do not need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa to enter or return to Canada. However, you must carry proper identification.

Citizens of France who are residents of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon do not need an eTA if they seek to enter Canada directly from Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.

Depending on their country of nationality, residents of Greenland will need either an eTA or visa to travel to Canada by air.

If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a temporary resident visa, or an eTA to enter Canada. If you are a citizen of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon or Greenland, you do not need a temporary resident visa or an eTA to enter Canada if you travel to Canada directly from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon or Greenland. However, you must provide proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.

To find out if you need a temporary resident visa or an eTA, see the list of countries whose citizens need a visa to come to Canada. Requirements for travel documents may be different depending on your country. Before travelling, you should check with your country’s government for this information.

If you need a temporary resident visa or an eTA as well as a work permit, the visa officer will issue them at the same time (if your application is approved). Note that this does not apply for work permit extension applications.

Citizens from 29 countries and 1 territory need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply for a visa.

Top questions about live-in caregivers

Where to send your application

Find out where you should send your application
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