Live-in Caregiver Program

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Live-in Caregiver Program


The Live-in Caregiver Program is a special program whose objective is to bring workers to Canada to work as live-in caregivers when there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. A live-in caregiver is an individual who is qualified to care for children, the elderly or people who have disabilities independently in a private household.
Successful applicants receive a work permit allowing them to work in Canada as live-in caregivers. After two years of employment, which must be completed within three years of the caregiver's arrival in Canada, program participants can apply in Canada to become permanent residents. They may be granted permanent resident status provided they meet certain requirements.
There are three main requirements applicants have to meet to qualify under the Live-in Caregiver Program:

  1. Successful completion of the equivalent of a Canadian high school education. This requirement will help to ensure that participants who apply for permanent residence after two years will be able to succeed in the general labour market. Studies indicate that the majority of new jobs in Canada require at least a high school education.
  2. Six months of full-time training or 12 months of experience in paid employment in a field or occupation related to the job the applicant is seeking as a live-in caregiver. An applicant may have gained his/her training or experience in early childhood education, geriatric care, pediatric nursing or first aid, to name just a few areas. An individual may also have completed training as part of a formal education. In order to meet the criteria for experience, applicants must have completed one year of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer, in that field or occupation. This experience must have been obtained within the three years immediately prior to the day on which an application for a work permit is submitted to a visa officer.
  3. An ability to speak read and understand either English or French. Applicants must be able to function independently in a home setting. For example, one must be able to contact emergency services if required and to understand labels on medication. Successful applicants will be unsupervised for most of the day and may be put in a position of having to communicate with someone outside the home. A good knowledge of English or French will also enable the applicant to read and understand for themselves what their rights and obligations are.

Live-in Criteria

An important requirement of the Program is that employees must live in the employer's home. The Live-in Caregiver Program exists only because there is a shortage of Canadians to fill the need for live-in care work. There is no shortage of Canadian workers available for care giving positions where there is no live-in requirement.
Live-in caregivers are issued with work permits valid for up to three years and three months for new work permits, and for the remainder of the three year period since arriving in Canada for those seeking extensions of their work permits.
Live-in caregivers may have their family members accompany them to Canada, if the following criteria are met:

  1. the live-in caregiver satisfies an officer that they have sufficient funds to care for and support the family member(s) in Canada;
  2. the family member(s) are otherwise not inadmissible; and
  3. they have permission to live in their employer’s home.

Toll Free Caregiver Hotline 

The government has set up a Toll-Free Caregiver Hotline to help caregivers know their rights and assist them with their concerns. This Hotline can be accessed by calling: 1-866-372-3247.

The hotline is supported by a specially trained team to assist caregivers in filing claims, understanding their rights at work and how to file a complaint.

In addition to implementing this help line, the Ministry of Labour has also prepared a fact sheet which provides some useful information about the live-in caregiver program.