A foreign national can be sponsored as a nanny (caregiver) via Canada’s Caregiver Program and must meet both the requirements outlined by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada AND Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Under this program, a caregiver must provide at least 30 hours a week of care to:
- Children (under 18 years of age);
- Elderly (65 or over); or
- Persons with disabilities.
Part of the eligibility criteria for a Canadian Caregiver visa is possessing reasonable English and/or French language skills.
In order to apply for the Caregiver Visa Program, you will need a:
- Written contract with your future employer, signed by you and your employer;
- Successful completion of the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school education;
- Six months’ training or at least one year of full-time paid work experience as a caregiver or in a related field or occupation (including six months with one employer) in the past three years. You will need to provide references and/or recommendations from former employers;
- Work permit before you enter Canada;
- Positive Labour Market Opinion (LMIA).
In order to be hired, your employer needs to apply to HRSDC or Service Canada (SC) to have the job offer reviewed. The purpose for this evaluation is to check that the job offer adheres to the provincial requirements, as well as to make sure there are presently not enough Canadians or permanent residents available to work as caregivers in Canada. Your employer must also receive a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMIA) from HRSDC/SC. You will need a copy of this positive LMIA when you apply for the work permit.
You and your employer are required by law to sign an employment contract. This contract must be the same one that was submitted to the HRSDC/SC. Any contract amendments after submission must be explained (e.g., change of start date).
The contract needs to show that all of the requirements for the program have been met.The contract must also state the mandatory employer-paid benefits, which include: transportation to Canada from your country of residence to the location of your job in Canada; medical insurance coverage provided from the date of your arrival until you are eligible for provincial health insurance; workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of employment; and payment of all recruitment fees, if a recruiter or an agency was used.
Your contract should also specify:
- Job duties;
- Hours of work;
- Accommodation arrangements (including room and board);
- Holiday and sick leave entitlements; and
- Termination and resignation terms.
You need to have worked for at least a year in a caregiving-related occupation; 6 months of this experience needs to be with the same employer. The work experience must have been achieved within 3 years prior to filing the application. If you have training, it must have been done in a classroom setting as a full-time student. Related studies include childhood education, geriatric care, first aid, etc.
You can apply for PR after you complete 2 years of full time employment under the same category in 4 years. You need CLB 5 if caring for Children under 18 years or as home support and CLB 7 if you are Caring for people with high medical needs. Caregiver are eligible for open work permit while PR is being processed.