The caregiver program in Canada is aimed at all who would like to go and work in Canada in the caregiver field/occupation. There have been a lot of changes to these programs in recent years, especially with the introduction of two failed pilot programs. This led to dissatisfaction that the old programs offered no path to permanent residence drove the Canadian Liberal government to deliver new changes.

The available programs now allow a high number of people to apply for their permanent residence after 2-3 years of working in Canada. They also more closely reflect the needs of the market, and allow many to join the programs, for as long as they qualify. The caregivers do not receive employer-specific work permits, but rather occupation-specific work permits, which allows them to switch their workplaces in search of a more supportive environment and work conditions suited to them.

When it comes to the programs themselves, they are very popular. They allow all interested prospective immigrants to immigrate to Canada and start looking for a job there. The programs now also allow one to apply for permanent residence and Canadian citizenship, so that they allow the caregivers to be on equal footing with other international immigrants in Canada. This program is very popular also because it now offers a higher degree of control to the potential caregivers and ensures that instances of abusive work environments are not an obstacle to the caregiver’s safety.

How Do the New Caregiver Programs in Canada Operate?

The previous program was not flexible and did not allow any changes to the workplace, which has led to many issues. These changes were a big step forward for this program. The program has now two basic subcategories: 

  • The Home Child Care Provider
  • The Home Support Worker

Both these programs are considered pilot programs, but both allow a high number of people to come to Canada and work here. The pilot programs that are currently available were opened in 2019. They were supposed to replace the old Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs. The two programs were intended to provide a good chance to immigrate but were deemed ineffective.

The new pilots allow these issues to be corrected. However, as with any other pilot program, these programs were slow to start, prompting the creation of a backlog, which has brought about the need to employ more staff on the program and ensure that people do not have to spend years looking for a simple yes/no reply from the federal government. The current programs also allow the families of the caregivers to immigrate as well, and provide them with either open work permits or study permits, depending on their age and their interests in Canada. There are two basic ways to use the programs to get to your permanent residence:

  1. If you are outside of Canada, you will need to submit your application for permanent residence. You will need to have an existing job offer for this. In addition, your family members should make an application for their status: permanent residence, work permit, or study permit. You will all need to be eligible to enter Canada and will need to meet the requirements: the CLB 5 language level and 1 year of Canadian post-secondary education are required/welcome. You then get an occupation-specific work permit and the conditions for the permanent residence application are set: you will need to have at least 2 years of paid, eligible work experience to join the program.
  2. If you are already in Canada, you will simply need to wait until you have 2 years of valid work experience and then apply for the PR (Permanent Residence). Alternatively, you can keep working in Canada and gather the required experience. Then, you can apply for the PR status.

Who Are Eligible for the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program?

When it comes to the eligibility criteria, it is important to note that you have to be a foreign national, as this is, after all, an immigration pathway. You will need to be employed as a caretaker or a nanny for those Canadian family members that may need help – families with children or those who have high medical needs – usually due to old age, medical states and conditions, mental needs or those otherwise seeking help during their daily functions.

To be eligible for the program, you will also need to meet the following education and full-time work experience requirements:

  • Have a valid work permit or have a job offer. You may also have an extension of an existing work permit OR have applied to restore your status as a worker in Canada
  • Have work experience in Canada in the fields of child care provider or home support provider (sometimes also called experience in house management or household management experience)
  • Have at least 1 year of full-time work experience since November 30, 2014. The work experience is cumulative and you cannot count your student work experience toward it.
  • Have been working in a workplace that matches the work duties outlined in the NOC occupational classification of qualifying work experience.
  • Have sufficient language skills. You will need the CLB level 5 for English (in all four skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking), OR NLCL 5 level for French language.
  • You will also need to have a diploma from a Canadian high school or a foreign equivalent to this level of education.

Guidelines for Employees in the LCP

If you match the above guidelines, congratulations, you can join the program. However, if this is not the case, you may want to consider looking for ways to obtain this work experience or an equivalent diploma before applying for the program itself. When it comes to the program, it is important to note that you will need to secure all the paperwork and make sure that all the forms are filled in correctly just for the application. However, this is not all, as your workplace or a job offer will be checked upon as well. There are certain rules that the caregivers working in an LCP (Live-In Caregiver Program Canada) will have to follow:

  • The person working should be available for work for a minimum of 30 hours a week and have enough full-time experience to signal to you that they are reliable for the care procedures that you need. Full-time care is very different from babysitting, so if you are looking for help to avoid placing your loved ones in long-term care facilities, make sure that they have sufficient training in care or enough foreign education to meet your expectations
  • The persons that are taken care of have to be younger than 18 OR be in such a state or a condition that they need access to special care OR be old enough to not be able to do all that they should in a day and be seeking help for this reason. Make sure to check out the previous work experience of the caregiver, and make sure to investigate the quality of education or ask for a foreign education credential. You will also need to consider the overall after all this is you inviting someone to spend a considerable time every day in your home
  • The person applying for the program needs to be able to live with their hosts/employers and provide their services during the hours specified. When it comes to these, you will need to work for a set time, and not be available around the clock. Please understand that the elderly may need care even during night time, and this care should be outlined in the contract itself – you should be fairly compensated in both hours off and wages
  • You will need to meet additional requirements set by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) that relate to your training and language level. Your employer should provide you with at least 6 months of paid training and you should be able to showcase knowing English or French to the extent that would allow you to work in the household independently and to function while in Canada. If going to the nearby store is an unsurpassable challenge, you may need to work on your language skills before moving to Canada.

Application Process for Live-In Caregiver Program

If qualified per the above guidelines, applicants can obtain regular Canadian work permits to join the program. If you would like to do so, you will need to apply for a regular work permit. When it comes to hiring a caregiver through the program, you will need to have:

  • Found a caregiver who has a work permit through this program
  • Found a caregiver who is currently looking for employment
  • Have been approved for the LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)
  • Can prove that the caregiver has agreed to live in your home and help with the house management duties or taking care of your children

Caregiver in Canada: Requirements

Some requirements should be fulfilled to ensure that the person can do the work that you would like them to. Let’s consider these requirements:

  • The principal applicant needs to have a valid full-time job offer from a Canadian employer.
  • They also need to have verifiable experience in the field (at least 12 months).
  • They need to have good language test results (CLB/NLCL language level 5 for English and French, respectively).
  • They also need to have sufficient education, at least a Canadian high school or higher, or an equivalent if the education has been obtained outside of Canada.
  • They need to be admissible to Canada on a health and criminal basis.
  • They must be willing to undergo the application process as the principal applicant.
  • They need to be willing to give their biometrics if asked to provide them.

How To Apply for Live-In Caregiver Permanent Residency

Over time, when you have accumulated enough work experience, you may want to apply for permanent resident status. This status will change your temporary resident to permanent residency and you will have a chance to become a citizen within a reasonable period. This is the pathway that many caregivers choose to take, as this is often the goal of their immigration, besides finding a stable work environment and living in a supportive, developed country, such as Canada.

To apply for permanent residency, you must have worked at least 2 years in an authorized workplace in Canada. You will also need to have worked full-time in live-in conditions. If you worked part-time, the time will be calculated down to its full-time equivalent. You will also need to have worked a total of 3,900 hours, only 10% of which can be over time. All of these hours will need to have been worked in four years since the time of your arrival.

Some things may prevent you from getting your permanent resident status. These include criminal history or medical inadmissibility (they still apply after you come to Canada, for example, DUI may have your work permit revoked). In any case, the same applies to your relatives and family members that you have brought with you to Canada. Another reason that you may not get permanent residency is if you did not supply truthful information to the IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada).

How to Apply To Become a New Caregiver

When looking for ways to immigrate to Canada under this program, you should understand that this program is very similar to all other immigration programs in the sense that there is some paperwork that you should be able to collect and the scrutiny with which all your information will be revised. When it comes to the application process itself, you will need to:

  • Find an employer willing to employ you. Job opportunities can be found on platforms like Job Bank.
  • Arrange the details of the contract with them
  • Have them submit a job offer to you
  • Accept the job offer
  • Apply for a work permit (occupation-specific)
  • Apply for permanent residence (under new programs)
  • Have your family fill out permanent residence applications
  • Send the applications in
  • Wait for the processing time to expire and work on your skills and work experience during this time
  • If you have been elected to go and live in Canada after the 1 year of processing time has elapsed, start with your preparation
  • Go to Canada and have the time of your life

Eligibility Criteria

All the eligibility criteria that have been named before are still valid for this program. You will need to have an education in the equivalent of a Canadian high school or higher. You will also need to have good language skills and be able to communicate freely. You also need to have at least some work experience – 1 year to apply for the program and 2 years to apply for permanent residence. You will need to be willing to move to Canada and work in the occupation stated on your work permit. You will also need to understand that transgressions to the work permit or Canadian laws may lead to your work permit being revoked or its renewal declined.

Caregivers’ Temporary Work Options

Of course, if you do have not enough work experience or otherwise do not qualify for permanent residence, there are other ways to immigrate to Canada and work there. The two solutions outlined below are temporary. If you already have a job in Canada and would like to extend your work permit (and your existing caregiver immigration program has been canceled), you may want to apply for the TFWP – Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program will allow you to extend your stay in Canada and keep working while there.

New Work Permit

If you are applying outside of Canada, are applying through the TFWP program, applying to work outside of Quebec, or applying with the need for LMIA, your application will NOT be processed. So, you will need to apply for an interim work permit as a caregiver through the TFWP only if you are in Canada. You will also need to be eligible to apply for the work permit. Alternatively, if you will be working in Quebec, or if your employer has applied for an LMIA before June 18, 2019, your application will be processed.

Extended Work Permit

Alternatively, if you are in Canada, you may want to consider renewing or extending your existing work permit. This is only possible if you are in Canada already and if you would like to keep working in the same occupation. This is also only possible if your employer has originally applied for their LMIA before June 18th, 2019. Any later LMIA applications will not be considered at this point.

In-home Caregiver vs Live-in Caregiver

Throughout the article, we’ve mentioned that there are in-home caregivers and live-in caregivers. But what is the difference? While the former simply provide their service to a specific home/family/children and live in their own home, the latter live with the family that they provide their services for.

The in-home caregiver program is very popular, and it enabled many more Canadian families to find someone to help with the kids and those who may have additional needs in their everyday lives. Considering that not every family has an additional bedroom or a living space large enough to accommodate one more, the program is more popular than the live-in caregiver program. It is intended to provide caregiver services to more families which would usually be the case with the second program on our list.

The in-home caregiver program allows foreigners to provide these services if no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available. The caregivers can be employed under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. They have to work a minimum of 30 hours a week and they have to meet the requirements set by the ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) and IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to ensure that their rights are respected.

Check Out Canada Immigration Live- in Caregiver Program Success Rate for 5 years (2018 to 2022):

The program has two subcategories: caring for children and caring for people with high medical needs. The first subcategory applies to children and young adults up to 18 years of age. The second subcategory is intended for people over 65 years of age and people with disabilities or medical conditions and states that induce the necessity for daily help around the house and themselves (terminally ill patients, those with chronic medical conditions, Alzheimer’s patients, those with injuries to their limbs, difficulties with mobility, those in need of mental and cognitive support, etc.)

The live-in program used to be a gold standard in the caregiver industry. When it comes to the program, it was somewhat limiting to Canadian families, since not every home has enough space to fit in one more person under the same roof, which was the basic idea of the program itself. When it comes to the program, it is closed for new applicants, although past applications are still being processed.

The program allows one to apply for permanent residence. Of course, it is necessary to have at least 2 years of work experience in the program and be in Canada already. Your stay in Canada has to be legal for you to be eligible for the PR application and you need to work in Canada with an LCP work permit. To apply, you also need to have gotten the work permit based on an LMIA assessment (Labour Market Impact Assessment) and your employer needs to have applied for it on or before November 30, 2014.

Never forget that once you are in Canada, you will still need to find your way around. Finding healthcare, such as OHIP, finding a driving school if you do not have a driver’s license, and finding new friends and places to hang out will take some time. For this, you can rely on your host family to help you out, for as long as this is a reasonable ask considering their daily duties.

Alternatives to Working as a Caregiver in Canada

When it comes to coming to Canada, there are two programs that you can use to immigrate to Canada as a caregiver. These programs have been outlined for the different needs of employers in Canada, as it is clear that the person who may be eligible to provide care to children may not be able to do so for the elderly. With this in mind, here are the two programs:

  • The Home Child Care Provider Pilot
  • The Home Support Worker Provider Pilot

Home Child Care Provider Pilot

The Home Child Care Provider Pilot program allows busy Canadian parents to provide care for their children even when they are not around. The program brings in that profile of immigrants that is supposed to take care of the children. Those working under this program may also be required to help around the house, mostly with tidying up after children or taking care of their living space. The program is open to all who would like to move to Canada using the caregiver program and work as:

  • Babysitters
  • Live-In Child Caregivers
  • Private Home Child Caregivers
  • Nanny
  • Au-Pair
  • Nanny
  • Parent’s Helper
  • Foster Parent
  • Child Caregiver In Public Settings – helping children during their school shopping, following them to their sporting or hobby events, and even around the gym – the needs of Canadian families can be very diverse

This is a 5-year pilot program that allows those who are interested in moving to Canada to come here and bring their families with them. The program itself is intended for those who would like to become Canadian permanent residents and possibly citizens one day. The programs are intended for those who have been offered a job in Canada as a caregiver. If you have this or similar experience (especially in Canada), you should apply for the program. To see if you could work on a position like this, you should check out the 4411 NOC code.

Here are some of the job duties that you will be expected to provide during your stay with the family:

  • Supervising the children
  • Taking care of the children at their residence
  • Preparing the meals for the children and feeding the meals to the children
  • Taking care of the infants: preparing formulas, changing diapers, bathing the infants, dressing them
  • Ensuring children’s emotional well-being and their socialization – helping with the bringing up of the children
  • Maintaining discipline and a healthy routine for the children – this is usually done as instructed by the parents, the line between following their ideals of parenting and bringing up the kids yourself can be a thin one, so make sure you arrange all the details beforehand
  • Providing education to the children, helping with their homework, revisions, following the school work, and ensuring that they get a good start in their life
  • Keeping records of the children’s activities
  • Helping children at an earlier age and later on teaching them how to take care of themselves and their hygiene, their personal space, and how to keep their rooms organized
  • Helping children with their hobbies, their interests
  • Ensuring the safety of children at all times through supervision and making sure they do not injure themselves
  • Any other duties reasonable within the field and within the scope of responsibilities for the workspace and the occupation, as arranged with the family

Home Support Worker Provider Pilot

The Home Support Worker Provider Pilot program, on the other hand, is aimed at all who would like to help senior citizens, as well as people with disabilities, or those who have conditions and are in states that deem them unable to take care of themselves throughout the day. When it comes to these, it is easy to see that this is a demanding job and that you may need to take good care of these people. You should be a professional in the field. When it comes to the pilot program itself, it is open to all who would like to be:

  • At-Home Attendant
  • Family Caregiver
  • Home Support Worker
  • Housekeeper
  • Live-In Caregiver For Seniors
  • Respite Home Support Worker
  • Personal Home Care Attendant
  • Doula
  • Home Visitor For Infant Care
  • Live-In Caregiver For The Seniors
  • Personal Home Support Aide

The Home Support Worker Provider Pilot program is also 5 years long and it enables you to move to Canada with your family if you would be providing care to the elderly. When it comes to this program, it is intended for those who would like to crown their stay in Canada with permanent residency. The program also allows you to use your work experience to get it. To see if this is the type of work that you could do, you should check out the NOC code 4412 and see the job description there.

Here are some of the job duties that you will be expected to provide during your stay with the family:

  • Providing care for the elderly
  • Providing companionship to the elderly
  • Providing special care during their treatments and their recovery (for example after a hip injury and surgery) – you are not expected to be playing a doctor, but rather to provide a supportive environment in which your protegee will be able to recover as quickly as possible
  • Providing and preparing meals for the protegee – following the doctors’ instructions, special dietary needs, and limiting the intake of some foods, especially for Alzheimer patients
  • Performing health routines, and other daily routines prescribed by the doctor or arranged with the family
  • Collecting medications or specimens under the direction of the household, the nurse, the doctor, etc.
  • Doing the laundry
  • Doing the dishes
  • Taking care of the protegee’s space and taking basic care of their home unless otherwise specified
  • General house management roles and duties
  • Paying the bills
  • Grocery shopping
  • Preparing and serving meals
  • Taking care of their children if necessary
  • Taking care of their sleep routine and helping them at night, if the need be
  • Helping prepare them for surgery or other medical treatments (mostly related to limiting or ensuring zero tobacco and alcohol consumption – again you are not expected to be playing a doctor)
  • Any other duties reasonable within the field and within the scope of responsibilities for the workspace and the occupation, as arranged with the family

How To Bring a Caregiver to Canada?

If you are not trying to immigrate to Canada, but are rather looking for a person to bring into Canada, here are simple steps that you can take to start looking for people to bring into your own country to help you with bringing up your children, or take care of the elderly members of your household. When it comes to these steps, and especially the paperwork that needs to be gathered, please bear in mind that these depend, among other factors, on the original country of citizenship or country of residence of the potential caregiver. Here are the steps that you should undertake to find a foreign caregiver in Canada:

  1. Understand your need for one. Being able to clearly define the areas of your parenting/caregiving is important: having two infants is different from having two teenagers and having a single elderly person in the home, and is likely to influence your decision on what you need to do to secure the best help for them
  2. Find a caregiver – you can either find a person residing in Canada already or a foreigner who is willing to come to Canada and do what they can to help you out. Many online resources and agencies can help you with these decisions
  3. Check the caregiver eligibility – make sure that they fulfill the requirements of the program before moving on: the eligibility here includes work experience, education, language levels, and maybe more
  4. If you have found the best person for the job, offer them employment. Negotiate the salary, their job responsibilities, and their work hours and days and evenings off. When it comes to all these, you should be able to negotiate, do not simply set your conditions unless your offer is out-of-this-world
  5. Once all the details have been arranged, the potential employee/caregiver should apply for their work permit or a PR status, if they are already in Canada and have more than two years of work experience in Canada. The application processing time is around 12 months long and the work permit that is awarded is usually valid for 3 years. Depending on the age of your children, this permit may even be shorter: having a sixteen-year-old in the house (a single child) may provide a work permit that is two years long in some cases (until the child turns 18)

Changes in the Canadian Caregiver Program

As we have stated before, the caregiver programs underwent a lot of changes in Canada. All of these were supposed to correct some of the previous issues with the program, and they were also supposed to allow the caregivers more freedom, more flexibility, and the ability to change their workplaces if it turned out that the families they worked for did not suit their expectations or vice versa.

Some of the changes that were introduced related to the cancellation of some of the programs. However, this does not mean that you will need to submit another application for a new caregiver immigration stream. The current policies say that the caregiver immigration applications will remain in the pool of candidates and keep being processed. This being said the programs that you can apply for now are the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot.

Check Out New Canada Immigration Program:

More changes include the closing of a very popular caregiver immigration pathway: the Interim Pathway for Caregivers. The program was closed for new applications in 2019. The program allowed those who had been in Canada before to reapply for the new program and get their permanent residence.

The programs that are currently offered allow many to apply, but the total number of applications is capped off. Canada can only accept 5,500 caregivers a year, plus their families. The applications have a standard processing time (or the average processing time) of around 12 months. As this is not a short period, we highly recommend that you be careful with your application and the documents that you gather – you will need to submit all the documents and complete forms at once to avoid any delays to the program. When it comes to the programs themselves, you will need to understand that the 12-month period is a standard processing period and that any lost, misplaced, or incomplete documents will slow the process down.


Is a Caregiver Considered a Healthcare Worker?

A caregiver is generally not considered a healthcare worker. This is because the basic notion of a caregiver does not include any type of medical services that would be provided by a doctor or medical staff. However, sometimes, the scope of services can also include administering drugs and injections to terminal patients or to those who have chronic conditions. In this case, you may need someone with a medical background in nursing, or you may want to hire a caregiver and pay for a separate person (a medical worker) to administer drugs.

Can I Hire My Sister as a Nanny in Canada?

There is nothing in the caregiver program itself that would prevent you from trying to hire your sister or other relatives as caregivers in Canada. However, it has been noticed that these applications are more likely to be rejected. Keep in mind that the program is seeking those ELIGIBLE to provide the services that you are looking for, rather than just about anyone to help with the kids and the house. So, can I hire my sister as a caregiver in Canada? Yes, you can under specific circumstances. But, can I sponsor my sister as a nanny in Canada? Yes, you can sponsor her first, and then offer employment as a nanny to her.

Are Caregivers in Demand in Canada?

Yes, caregivers are in high demand in Canada. The caregiver programs are still in their pilot phase because of high demand: each new generation of caregiver pilots is looking to correct the shortcomings of the previous programs. So, if you would like to provide help to a private household and have the educational credential that is required (secondary school), have finished caregiver courses, or are otherwise an experienced and qualified caregiver, there is no reason for you not to apply for this type of Canadian work experience, once the programs are back online.

Who Can Sponsor Me to Work in Canada?

Regarding sponsorship in Canada, it is important to note that this is a separate group of programs compared to the caregiver pilot programs. Sponsorship programs for caregivers do not exist, although the family that would like you to work for them (for as long as you fulfill the caregiver in Canada requirements ) can help you out and make sure that you have the logistic support during your application. Besides this, it is your closest family that can sponsor you (siblings, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren).

Is There an Online Application for Caregivers in Canada?

Currently, the online application for caregivers in Canada is closed for new applications. However, you can still hire or be hired through the program if you have found a caregiver who is already employed throughout the program or has been employed. You will also need to have been a full-time caregiver who was brought to Canada using an LMIA applied for on or before November 30, 2014. Additionally, you can apply for a TFWP – Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and come to Canada this way.

Is IELTS Required for Caregivers In Canada?

Yes, IELTS or another type of language proficiency test in an official language in Canada is required for caregivers in Canada. This type of caregiver pathway means that you have to be able to communicate with those you provide help and services to. It also means that the personal caregivers will need to be able to function outside of their families as well: on their trip to bring kids to school, in a supermarket, etc. The Canadian experience can help you improve your language skills, but you will still need to be able to score at least CLB 5 in all language skills for English and NLCL band score 5 in all language skills for the French language.

What Is the IELTS Score for Caregiver?

As a potential caregiver for Canadian children and adults, you will need to pass a language exam. Workers with experience can help you to prepare for the test itself, and you should know what kind of test results are acceptable before taking the test. To be a caregiver, you will need to score at least a band score of 5 in all language skills. The IELTS equivalents follow:

  • Listening IELTS score: 5.0 minimum
  • Reading IELTS score: 4.0 minimum
  • Writing IELTS score: 5.0 minimum
  • Speaking IELTS score: 5.0 minimum

What Is the Age Limit for Caregivers in Canada

Currently, there is no age limit for those who would like to work in Canada as caregivers. You will need to have appropriate education and/or sufficient work experience and you will also need to satisfy all other eligibility requirements. However, the age at which you can work (take care of children or take care of infants, for example) is not capped off. If you are younger than 16, it is useful to note that you will need your parent’s permission to be able to work in Canada.

What Should I Do I Am a Lab Scientist Living in Nigeria Looking for A Job or A Caregiving Job in Canada?

If you live abroad (such as in Nigeria), you may want to consider your option to work in Canada as a caregiver. Firstly, you should explore the TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program). You may also want to consider contacting a care agency and see what requirements adult and childcare workers need to fulfill to be able to join a live-in care program or another similar program. When it comes to options to travel to Canada and work there, there are multiple ways to achieve this, but it is important to note that every program has its requirements and that you will need to work hard to get there. The same options are available to others, so a Filipino caregiver will undertake the same immigration pathway.

Final Thoughts

The Canadian caregiver programs are very popular. However, they currently do not accept any new applications. If you are already in Canada, you can use the existing programs to renew your work permit and turn your full-time work experience into a permanent residence, for as long as you have followed through on program requirements and prerequisites. In any case, you can use our guide to get informed on the programs and to see what your options are.