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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Caregiver under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Caregiver under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Hiring Live in Caregiver to Canada?

Are you a working individual or couple in need of a caregiver for your children or elderly parents? Have you been looking to hire a caregiver with no success? There is help available outside of Canada! You can now apply to hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) as a caregiver for children and elderly through a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment. Before you break a sweat on hiring a caregiver, here are a few steps you need to keep in mind.

Who can hire a Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada?

Eligible employers can hire a temporary foreign worker- (for the purpose of this blog) a caregiver. However, employers have to go through Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada first. Eligibility is very important in the case of hiring foreign workers in Canada because the Canadian government wants to make sure that unemployment rates stay as low as possible and only way this can be done is if Canadian citizens and permanent residents do not lose potential employment to foreigners. Also remember, there are certain types of industries that are exempt from hiring foreign workers. This means that the Canadian government does not allow them to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Regions with low unemployment rates might be able to hire temporary foreign workers in capacities not allowed by regions with high unemployment rates. It’s crucial to skim the exempt industries list before deciding to hire a Temporary foreign worker. There are different steps of determining eligibility when it comes to the TFWP. Another important step in establishing eligibility comes from the fact that there might not be any Canadian citizens, permanent residents or even valid work permit holders available in Canada to carry out employment for you. In most caregiving situations, this is indeed the case. What this means is that you have to be able to establish to the government of Canada that there is a shortage of caregivers despite your tireless efforts to recruit one.

What is the Role of a Labour Market Impact Assessment for hiring Caregivers?

Labour Market Impact Assessment is the avenue through which you can hire or become legally authorized to hire a foreign caregiver. As mentioned previously, you have to be able to proof to the government without a doubt that Canada lacks caregivers and this can be done through an LMIA application. Once all recruitment efforts to hire in Canada have been unsuccessful, an LMIA application can be submitted to Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada for processing and determination. LMIA is a complicated application to submit, there are many things that you have to be mindful of before submitting an LMIA for positive outcome.

Four most crucial steps to Hiring a Caregiver in Canada

There are more than 4 aspects to hiring a caregiver as a temporary foreign worker; however, I will discuss the four most crucial aspects of applying for a positive outcome LMIA below.

Step 1: Recruitment efforts within Canada

The whole purpose of applying for an LMIA through Service Canada and Employment and Social Development is to determine that there truly is a shortage of caregivers or any other occupation/skilled work in Canada. It is therefore essential to this application to prove this lack to the government. How can you do this? By advertising the job to Canadians; now this may seem simple however there are restrictions on this as well. You can only use certain government approved portals to do this online or you can do this by advertising on the newspaper as well. For example, Service Canada has made it a requirement for the job to be posted on Job Bank and if an employer choses to not comply they have to be able to not only furnish a rationale for this but also show evidence of using another government approved portal to advertise. Some of the things that you have to keep in mind before advertising are:

  • Labour rights and human rights of Canada and employment standards of Canada

  • Wages, salaries and benefits

  • Job descriptions – which should not violate any Canadian laws

  • Audience targeted for the job

  • Duration - When can you start and end advertisements

  • How much advertisement is good for an LMIA

  • Do you need a CRA business number before advertising or after

  • Privacy precautions

Keep in mind each province and territory has their own variation of how or what an employer can advertise- the requirements vary largely around Canada. Remember, an LMIA application and recruitment efforts cannot be conducted simultaneously. Advertisements need to be given a satisfactory amount of time before shortage of skilled work can be determined given that interviews have been conducted. You can start your LMIA process when enough time has been passed since advertisements started and you were unsuccessful in finding a caregiver. Submission of an LMIA does not indicate removal of advertisements, they continue until a positive or negative outcome is received from Service Canada and ESDC. Keep in mind, proof of advertisement and recruitment efforts have to be kept by the employer for a certain number of years in case the government requests for it and this also includes LMIA documents.

Step 2: Determination of TFW wages/salaries

Under the Canadian law, all workers in Canada are treated equally, all employers must adhere to the rules and regulations set by employment standards Canada, Human rights and labour laws. When hiring a caregiver, it is very important to find out what the Canadian law prescribes in terms of the wages and salaries for this occupation. Keep in mind wages are not standard across Canada, each province and territory have their own median wages and each occupation has its own criteria that employers are expected to follow. In this regard caregivers are no different. Employers must always check the average wage rate in their province, or territory or area before attempting to hire a TFW. Some of the steps of determining a wage/salary for caregivers are:

  • Is the position part of a union

  • Check job bank to find out the average wage established for caregiver- make sure to check your location specifically

  • Does the employer have any other employees in this position

  • Whether or not there are other employees employed by this employer plays a crucial role in determining the wage of the new caregiver

One of the things you have to be mindful is that a foreign temporary caregiver can not be paid less just because they are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Caregivers must always be either paid the average wage or higher unless otherwise prescribed by the government. Remember all applications are not the same so all requirements will not be applicable to everyone in the same manner.

Step 3: Language and experience requirements of a caregiver

Canada has a strict law on language when it comes to the caregivers- they must either speak English or French. Language has become a part of the LMIA assessment for a positive outcome. Any other language cannot be stated a job requirement unless employers can demonstrate a dire need by providing evidence for a specific language. As far as the experience and education is concerned, each occupation has different requirements and this can also depend on the wages and salaries of these occupations. Because caregivers are in a low stream wage category they are not expected to have a lot of experiences or credentials. This does not mean that they will not be assessed in those regards, they certainly will but the criteria are much different because it is a low paying position. Always remember one thing; the potential foreign applicant’s documents must always match the LMIA submitted in Canada. Discrepancy of any sort will lead to either a revocation of an LMIA or simply a negative assessment from Service Canada and ESDC and you will be forever subject to immigration scrutiny. Meaning this may hurt your future undertakings with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Step 4: Working conditions

Lastly, if and when a temporary foreign worker is granted a work permit to enter Canada. The employer is expected and responsible to maintain a safe working environment, pay all wages on a timely manner, and uphold all labour laws including human rights and employment standards of Canada. It is very important that employees are not forced by any means to do the chores not set out in the advertisements, employment contract or any of the annexes of the LMIA or Work Permit. Violation of contracts, abuse of TFW, misrepresentation etc. may lead to a revocation of your LMIA or even the work permit. These four aspects are the most important parts of the hiring a caregiver as a temporary foreign worker, however, this is not it.

Looking to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker? Then Contact Akrami & Associates

Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients with different immigration matters from temporary to permanent applications. If you need to hire a temporary foreign worker as a caregiver for your children or elderly parents than contact Akrami & Associates for more details at 416-477-2545. Our immigration experts have submitted many successful immigration applications and we can help you achieve your immigration goals as well. Contact us today!

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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