FAQ – Live-in Caregivers
In this article, I will address a few popular questions and answers for Live-in Caregivers in Canada and some important information to consider if you are applying under this program for permanent residency in Canada. The live-in caregiver program was created by the Canadian government and was intended to provide eldercare, special needs and childcare service from experienced foreign nationals. If you feel as though you would be eligible to apply for under this program, I suggest you watch our video on “How to Hire a Live-in Caregiver” before reading this question and answer article. The intention of this article is meant to clarify any misunderstanding or confusion with regards to Live-in Caregivers in Canada.
Q: If I’m currently employed in Canada as a live-in caregiver, am I allowed to return to my home country for vacation?
A: This is a very common question. Fortunately, yes, you can return to your home country for vacation. Specifically, your vacation time period should be clearly indicated in your employment contract between you and your employer. Keep in mind, if you stay longer than what is indicated on your employment contract, without written consent from your employer, then you may lose your employment in Canada. Another important factor to consider is that if you leave Canada prior to receiving an approval for your permanent residency, and you do not have proper authorization to return to Canada, such as a work permit or a visitor visa, then you may not be allowed back into Canada. Therefore, it is advisable to obtain permanent residency in Canada prior to travelling back to your home country for vacation.
Q: Am I able to study in Canada while I work as a live-in caregiver?
A: Technically, yes, you can study in Canada while you work as a live-in caregiver. However, it is important to note that your full-time job is as a live-in caregiver; therefore, that is your primary responsibility. Additionally, if you decide to study for more than six months, then you will require a study permit to continue studying. For more eligibility requirements with regards to a study permit, please refer to our article on study permits.
Q: Is it possible to change employers if I am a live-in caregiver?
A: It is definitely possible to change employers if you are a live-in caregiver. Keep in mind, you will have to obtain a new employment contract from your new employer. The reason for this is so that your new employer may obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Conclusively, once your new employer receives a positive LMIA, then you may proceed to apply for a new work permit. There are many steps to obtaining a new employer, therefore, it is best to confirm and check with your new employer to make sure the process is done correctly.
Q: If I am currently a live-in caregiver, is it possible to get an open-work permit? And if so, when?
A: Luckily, as a live-in caregiver, it is possible to obtain an open-work permit in Canada. You may apply for an open-work permit when you are applying for your permanent residency in Canada. Of course, you must ensure you are eligible for an open-work permit prior to submitting your application. Additionally, you must submit your open-work permit application prior to your current work permit expiring.
Q: Do I have any legal rights as a live-in caregiver under labour or employment laws?
A: This is a very important question to ask when you work as a live-in caregiver. As a live-in caregiver you do have legal rights. These legal rights entail fair working conditions and fair treatment which are supported by labour laws. Please note that nothing in your employment contract can violate these legal rights and it will help protect these rights as well. For instance, labour laws cover legal rights in these areas:
- Maximum charges for room & boarding
- Minimum wage
- Overtime pay
- Paid public holidays
- Paid vacation time
- Days off each week
Q: I currently work as a live-in caregiver but would like to move out into my own residence. Is this allowed?
A: This is allowed; however, you would no longer be classified as a live-in caregiver. This would change to a caregiver on a live-out basis. As a result, your employer must apply and submit a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Subsequently, you will also need to apply for a new work permit based on that new LMIA. Also, there will be changes to how to can obtain your permanent residency. For instance, you would have to apply through the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs, instead of through the Live-in Caregiver Program. Therefore, with knowing this information, you may want to see if this change would be beneficial for your particular circumstance or if you would like to proceed with being a live-in caregiver. These options are available for you.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply as a live-in caregiver, it is important to talk about any questions you may have and discuss your concerns. By talking to immigration professionals about your concerns, this will ease your worries and assist with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain permanent residency through Live-in Caregiver program. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!