Canada Immigration Live-in-Caregiver Category

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The live-in caregiver program permits professional caregivers to seek employment in Canada. It also permits these live-in Caregivers to seek permanent residence in Canada after working as a live-in caregiver under the program for at least two years.

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General Requirements

The term "live-in caregiver" is defined by the Immigration Regulations as a person who provides, without supervision, in a private household in Canada in which the person resides, child care, senior home support care or care of the disabled. Based on this definition, such a person must provide care to children, seniors or the disabled on a live-in basis.


According to the Immigration Regulations, an applicant under the live-in caregiver program must:

  • Successful completion of the equivalent of a Canadian high school education. This requirement will help to ensure that participants who apply for permanent residence after two years will be able to succeed in the general labour market. Studies indicate that the majority of new jobs in Canada require at least a high school education.

  • Six months of full-time training or 12 months of experience in paid employment in a field or occupation related to the job you are seeking as a live-in caregiver. You may have gained your training or experience in early childhood education, geriatric care, pediatric nursing or first aid, to name just a few areas. You may have completed your training as part of your formal education. In order to meet the criteria for experience, you must have completed one year of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer, in that field or occupation. This experience must have been obtained within the three years immediately prior to the day on which you submit an application for an employment authorization to a visa officer.

  • Ability to speak, read and understand either English or French. You must be able to function independently in a home setting. For example, you must be able to contact emergency services if required and to understand labels on medication. You will be unsupervised for most of the day and may be put in a position of having to communicate with someone outside the home. A good knowledge of English or French will also enable you to read and understand for yourself what your rights and obligations are.


The employer initiates the procedure by submitting a request to hire the caregiver to a Canada Employment Centre ("CEC"). The CEC will ensure that no Canadians, permanent residents or other temporary workers already in Canada are qualified and available to take the employer's offer of employment. Once the offer of employment has been validated by the CEC, it is sent to the consulate in the caregiver's home country. The consulate then make a determination regarding the caregiver's eligibility.


If the consulate approves the application, the caregiver has a medical examination. If the medical results are satisfactory and the caregiver is otherwise eligible, an employment authorization is issued.


Because the Province of Quebec controls its own immigration, the live-in caregiver program is administered differently in that province. A discussion of Quebec's program is outside the scope of this article.


Landed Immigrant Status for Live-In Caregivers

The Immigration Act permits certain applicants who have worked in Canada as live-in caregivers to seek permanent residence. The  "member of the live-in caregivers in Canada class" is defined as an immigrant who:

  • is in Canada as a live-in caregiver,

  • has submitted the immigrantís initial application for an employment authorization as a live-in caregiver to a visa office,

  • is in possession of a valid and subsisting employment authorization to work as a live-in caregiver,

  • has completed a total of two years of full-time employment in Canada as a live-in caregiver within three years after being admitted to Canada, and

  • is not, or whose dependants are not, the subject of an inquiry under the Act or of an appeal or application for judicial review following an inquiry under the Act.

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