Live-In Caregiver Program: how to apply

How to apply

The Live-in Caregiver Program is closed to new applicants. You can only hire a caregiver through the program if you have:

  • found a caregiver who already has a work permit in the Live-in Caregiver Program and who is looking for a new employer and
  • been approved for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) that shows the caregiver has agreed to live in your home

If this does not apply to you, you can still hire a foreign caregiver. You and the caregiver can decide if they will live in or out of your home. You will need to get a positive LMIA from Service Canada and the caregiver must apply for a regular work permit.

The instructions on this page are only for employers who want to hire a caregiver with a work permit in the Live-in Caregiver Program.

As an employer, you are responsible for finding a foreign caregiver through:

  • advertisements
  • personal contacts
  • hiring agencies

You must then go through the application process to hire them.

Find a caregiver

You must advertise your position for a caregiver in Canada’s national Job Bank, or similar tools in:

  • Saskatchewan
  • Quebec
  • Northwest Territories

Your local Service Canada Centre may be able to help you with this. Find out the minimum recruitment efforts you must follow.

The caregiver will need to apply for a new work permit that lists you as their employer. They can’t work for you without this permit.

It’s a crime to employ a worker who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has not been authorized to work. You also can’t hire a caregiver on a trial basis to find out if they are suitable.

Write your employment contract

You and the caregiver are legally required to sign a written employment contract. You must submit the signed contract with your application for a LMIA. The written contract will make sure there is a fair working arrangement between you and the caregiver.

The contract must show that you and the caregiver meet the requirements of the LMIA for in-home caregivers. It must include a description of:

  • all benefits you will provide the caregiver, including:
    • transportation from where the caregiver lives to where they will work in Canada
    • medical insurance from the date the caregiver arrives until they are covered by provincial health insurance
    • workplace safety insurance for the length of the contract
    • all recruitment fees, including any amount a third-party recruiter or agents you hire charges the caregiver
  • job duties
  • hours of work
  • pay
  • housing
  • vacation and sick leave benefits
  • details on how the employment can end (if your caregiver quits or if you no longer want to employ them), including:
    • the amount of notice you or the caregiver must give
    • how you will pay the remaining wages
    • what will happen to any vacation time that you owe the caregiver

Service Canada has a contract template you can use to create the employment contract. Your contract does not have to look exactly like the template, but it must contain all the mandatory information and clauses.

Note: If you will work in the province of Quebec, you must use the Quebec contract template.

Get a LMIA

You will need to get a positive LMIA before a live-in caregiver can work for you. The assessment verifies that:

  • there is a need for a foreign worker
  • no Canadians are available to do the job

Service Canada has an LMIA application specifically for hiring temporary workers as in-home caregivers. The LMIA will be valid for 6 months. The caregiver must apply for their work permit within this time. Find out how to apply for an LMIA to hire a caregiver.

If your job offer is approved and you get a positive LMIA, you will receive an LMIA confirmation letter. You must give a copy of this letter to your live-in caregiver. The letter includes information the caregiver needs to complete the work permit application. It will also tell you which documents you must give the caregiver and which they will need for their work permit application.

Make sure the caregiver gets a valid work permit

Once you get a positive LMIA, the caregiver must apply for a new work permit within 6 months. If they are eligible, they will receive a work permit that lists you as their employer. This process may take several months, so plan ahead. The caregiver can’t work for you until they receive this work permit. Keep in contact with them so that you’ll know when they can start working for you.

A live-in caregiver can apply for permanent residence after they have worked in the LCP for 2 years or completed 3,900 hours of work. They must complete the hours of work within 4 years of the day they entered Canada. They can apply for an open work permit at the same time as permanent residence. An open work permit lets them work for any employer in Canada.

Hire a caregiver in Quebec

There may be differences in hiring a caregiver if you live in, and the caregiver will be working in, Quebec. Visit the Service Canada and Ministère de l’Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion websites for more information.

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