ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletins 025 - January 3, 2007

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Instructions to CIC officers concerning the validity period of Live-in Caregiver work permits as well as family members of Live-in Caregivers

Effective immediately


1. Validity period of Live-in Caregiver Program work permits

Background:

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) brings qualified temporary workers to Canada to provide in-home child care, senior home support or disabled care. The LCP allows applicants to apply for permanent residence from within Canada after being employed as a caregiver for at least two years within the three years immediately following their entry into Canada.

Currently, LCP work permits are issued for a validity period of one year, corresponding to the same duration as the labour market opinion. The average caregiver who remains with the same employer applies for at least two renewals of their work permit. Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) will now issue initial labour market opinions for up to three years and three months to applicants in the LCP.

General policy:

The general policy is for visa officers to issue initial LCP work permits with a validity of up to three years plus three months for applications approved by HRSDC on or after December 15, 2006.

The three-year period corresponds to the amount of time currently allotted to a caregiver to complete the requirements of the LCP in order to apply for permanent residence and the additional three months allow a transition period to apply for permanent residence.

Officers should be aware that on October 16, 2006, the Quebec Regulations respecting the selection of foreign nationals changed. A Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) can now be issued to live-in caregivers with a maximum validity period of 36 months from the previous 14 months. This regulation change allows the issuance of CAQs for those applicants destined for Quebec in National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level less than B, including live-in caregivers. As such, live-in caregivers destined for Quebec may be issued a LCP work permit of up to three years.

The decision on the validity period remains that of the reviewing officer and they are free to depart from the general policy where circumstances warrant (e.g. passport validity, live-in caregivers destined to Quebec).

By issuing an initial work permit with a validity of three years plus an additional three months, it will no longer be necessary for caregivers who remain with the same employer to apply for a work permit on an annual basis. This will significantly decrease the number of work permit renewals processed and reduce costs to live-in caregivers.

Purpose:

The purpose of this change is to facilitate the application processes for live-in caregivers and address the incidence of technical loss of status due to work permit expiry (section 8.5 and Appendix D of OP 14 and sections 5.3 and 8.3 of IP 4 will have to be updated).

Relevant legislation:

The current legislation does not restrict the validity period of work permits.

Transition and new procedures:

New instructions for CIC inland officers assessing change of conditions for LCP work permits applications:

  • For those live-in caregivers who remain with the same employer, the renewal of a LCP work permit may be granted for the balance of the three years coinciding with the live-in caregiver’s qualifying period to complete the requirements of the LCP for permanent residence plus an additional three months to allow for a transition to apply for permanent residence.
  • For those live-in caregivers who change employers once they are in Canada, the new employer must obtain a labour market opinion from HRSDC. The live-in caregiver must apply for a change of conditions to their work permit and obtain a new work permit with the new employer’s name. This LCP work permit may be granted for the balance of the three years coinciding with the live-in caregiver’s qualifying period to complete the requirements of the LCP for permanent residence plus an additional three months to allow for a transition to apply for permanent residence.
  • It is noted that the decision on the appropriate validity period for the LCP work permit in each case remains that of the officer reviewing the application, so they are free to depart from the general policy of issuing LCP work permits for a period of up to three years plus three months on a case-by-case basis, where circumstances warrant (i.e. passport validity).

2. Guidelines for officers concerning family members of live-in caregivers who apply for permanent residence

Non-accompanying family members who wish to become accompanying family members

Background:

Live-in caregivers must declare all family members on their application for permanent residence whether or not they choose to accompany the principal applicant in Canada.

Purpose:

In keeping with the public policy under A25(1) to facilitate processing for members of the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class, clarification of the current text applicable to live-in caregivers is required (section 9.5 of OP 14 and section 9.13 of IP 4).

Relevant legislation:

For the purpose of R114(a), all family members (both accompanying and non-accompanying) must be included in the original application for permanent residence.

Procedures:

  • If during the processing of the live-in caregiver’s application for permanent residence, the applicant wishes to change a family member who was initially listed as non-accompanying, to accompanying, they may do so.
  • A non-accompanying family member may become an accompanying family member only if the principal applicant’s request has been made before permanent residence has been granted.
  • The appropriate fees must be paid at the time the request is made to become an accompanying family member.

Transition:

All pending applications should be processed in this manner. Pending applications are defined as those for which permanent residence (of the principal applicant) has not yet been granted.

3. Family members who wish to accompany the live-in caregiver to Canada

Background:

Family members do not normally accompany live-in caregivers who are coming to Canada on a live-in caregiver work permit. Even when an employer agrees that a family member may reside with the caregiver in the employer’s residence, there are no guarantees that any subsequent employer would agree to the same terms. Furthermore, the income of the caregiver may not be sufficient to care for and support a family member in Canada.

Purpose:

Amend section 5.10 of OP 14 (Family members who wish to accompany) of the Policy Manual to more accurately reflect the current policy.

Relevant legislation:

A39 provides that foreign nationals are inadmissible for financial reasons if they are or will be unable to support themselves or any other person who is dependent on them.

Policy:

Live-in caregivers who wish to bring their family member(s) with them while on a work permit will not be permitted to do so unless they satisfy an officer that they have sufficient funds to care for and support the family member(s) in Canada and the family member(s) are otherwise not inadmissible and they have permission to live in their employer’s home.

OP 14 and IP 4 are in the process of being updated and will incorporate these changes.

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