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Caregivers who are relatives of employers have obtained work permits

Jamaica Observer 2017-12-06 10:54:24

Dear Mr Brown,

My sister in Canada would like to hire me as a live-in caregiver. Would it be a problem if my relative is hiring me as a caregiver? Also, I understand that I can eventually apply for permanent residence. However, I heard that it takes a very long time for processing. Please give me your thoughts.

— EM


Dear EM:

A live-in caregiver is a person who provides childcare, senior home support care or care of the disabled, in a private household in Canada in which the person resides, without supervision.

The Live-In Caregiver Programme (LCP) deals with the care of:

• Children under the age of 18;

• Elderly people 65 and older; or

• A person with a disability.

Live-in caregivers who enter Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Programme (LCP) were eligible to apply for permanent residence after they have worked full-time as a live-in caregiver for at least 24 months or a total of 3,900 hours in a minimum of 22 months within the four years immediately following their entry into Canada under the LCP. The programme was suspended. However, it does not preclude one from obtaining the work permit.

Caregivers contribute significantly to the Canadian labour market as they allow for the possibility of double-income households in many cases, as both parents may earn an income while the caregiver may look after young children. However, the LCP suffered from a severe backlog over the years.

At one point, the backlog was so large it could take as long as 10 years for a caregiver to bring over relatives, a situation that put a strain on many families, particularly mothers who had left children at home.

According to the Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen, the backlog for the LCP has been largely reduced and will be eliminated by the end of next year. Additional resources were invested for processing application and the surge will allow 20,000 new permanent residents in the caregiver category in total this year.

Further developments are expected soon on a proposal to eliminate the $1,000 fee for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (permission granted by the Government of Canada for an employer to hire a foreign worker which would not negatively affect the Canadian labour market) for Canadian families. This would apply to the provision of care to a person with high medical needs and for Canadian families with an income less than $150,000 per year seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide childcare.

In response to your question, I have seen caregivers who are relatives of employers obtain work permits and permanent residence. I do not know about your work history or training. However, in order to obtain a visa under this programme, there will be consideration given to whether the offer for employment is legitimate and genuine, such as the prospective employer made reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the position. In addition, the qualifications and experience of the applicant will be scrutinised. Moreover, it will be determined whether the wages and working conditions offered are sufficient to attract and retain employment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

The employer must do the following:

1. Submit a Foreign Live-In Caregiver Application form;

2. Submit the employment contract, signed by the employer and live-in caregiver;

3. Offer prevailing wage rates and acceptable working conditions;

4. Show proof of adequate recruiting efforts in Canada before making a job offer, unless exempted, and obtain a Labour Market Opinion;

5. Provide the live-in caregiver with suitable accommodation in a private home at the same location as the person cared for, including a private and furnished room; and

6. Employ the live-in caregiver on a full-time basis.

In assessing the offer of employment, consideration is given to such factors as:

• The need for live-in care;

• Whether the job offer is genuine;

• The employer is offering wages and working conditions that meet provincial/territorial employment standards and labour laws;

• The job duties are that of a full-time live-in caregiver (minimum of 30 hours per week); and

• A reasonable search has been carried out to identify qualified and available Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents and unemployed foreign caregivers already in Canada.


Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, The Study & Work programme, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM-a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to