Canadian Immigration for Caregivers (Nannies)

Immigration procedures for caregivers (sometimes referred to as nannies) have been improved and streamlined in recent years. It’s therefore important for applicants to fully understand the changes and be readily prepared for their application, depending on the Caregiver Program.

By definition, live-in caregivers are those individuals who are competent and qualified to provide care for children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities. Live-in caregivers are obliged to live in the private home where they work. Employer and employee must follow all the regulations.

Recent Enhancements to Canada’s Caregiver Program

The Government of Canada has made improvements over the past few years, in order to better administer the national Caregiver Program, and provide faster, more streamlined processing for applicants. These improvements will contribute to quicker family reunification requests, better career prospects, and more protection against the possibility of workplace exploitation.

In terms of practical reforms, key concerns have been addressed: reducing the serious backlog of applications for permanent residency; ending the “live-in” condition in certain cases; and striving to improve long range outcomes for caregivers in the labour market. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will admit 30,000 permanent resident caregivers (and family members) in 2015.

Bringing an end to the “live-in” condition

By ending the “live-in” condition for caregivers, individuals can apply for permanent residency in different ways, making for better job prospects and higher wages. In the event that an employer and employee agree to a “live-in” arrangement, this can continue.

Those caregivers who are currently under the Live-in Caregiver Program, may choose to live out, and apply at a later time for permanent residency (under a new pathway). This requires applying for a regular work permit that will replace the specific LCP permit.

Better pathways to permanent residency

Today, there are two newer pathways for caregivers to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Pathway 1 - Caring for Children (in a home or not)
This pathway is designed for those caregivers who have previously provided childcare (in a home or not). Work experience must comprise at least 2 years as a Canadian childcare provider, working with a work permit. There must also be a one-year Canadian post-secondary credit (or equivalent foreign credit) and language requisite of intermediate level. 

Pathway 2 - Caring for People with Medical Needs
This pathway is designed for those who have previously provided care for the elderly; for those with disabilities; or those with chronic disease (in a facility or in a home). Work experience must include at least 2 years as a Registered Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Nurse Aide, Licensed Practical Nurse, or Home Support Worker (with a work permit).

Labor Market Impact Assessment

Personal caregivers (as foreign workers) help employers to meet labour needs when a Canadian citizen or permanent resident isn’t available for the same work. Employers who wish to hire a foreign caregiver must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment, in addition to all of the other supporting documentation required by Employment and Social Development Canada. With the LMIA, employers are confirming the impact of hiring a foreign caregiver in Canada's job market.

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