Families Hiring In-home Caregivers

Families can hire a foreign caregiver to provide care, in a private residence, to children, seniors or persons with certified medical needs, when Canadians and permanent residents are not available.

Description

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), families can hire foreign caregivers. However, the caregivers must:

  • provide care on a full-time basis (minimum 30 hours per week);
  • work in the private household where the care is being provided; and
  • meet the requirements set by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

These families or private household employers will be able to hire foreign workers, on a live-in or live out basis, for 2 categories of in-home workers, which include:

  1. Caregivers for children
    • Children under 18 years of age

    This category could include positions such as:

  2. Caregivers for people with high medical needs

Note:

Foreign Caregivers working in Canada MAY be eligible for permanent residency, provided they meet CIC requirements. For more information on the pathways to permanent residence for caregivers, and the specific occupations that are eligible, visit CIC.

Employers must meet the program requirements for the Streams for Higher-skilled or Lower-skilled Occupations including paying the prevailing wage for the occupation in the location where the work will be performed, and conducting the necessary recruitment and advertisement requirements for the stream.

Requirements

Processing Fee

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested (e.g. $1,000 x number of positions = total payment) to cover the cost of processing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.

  • The processing fee payment (in Canadian dollars) can be made by:
    • certified cheque (payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • money order (postal or bank)
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
  • There will be no refund in the event of a negative LMIA, or if the application is withdrawn or cancelled by the employer since the fee covers the assessment process and not the outcome.
  • Employers requesting to have their LMIA application reconsidered, as a result of a negative LMIA, must submit a new application and processing fee for each position.
  • Refunds will only be available if a fee was collected in error (e.g. an incorrect fee amount was processed).

Employers must be aware that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), has a policy that prohibits employers and third-party representatives from recovering the LMIA processing fee from TFWs.


Language Restriction

A distinct language assessment factor has been introduced as subsection 203 (1.01) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). As a result, English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement both in LMIA applications and in job advertisements by employers, unless they can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.


Language Proficiency

Employers must ensure that the caregiver being hired speaks, reads and understands at least one of Canada's official languages (English or French). Caregivers must have a level of fluency that enables them to communicate effectively and independently in an unsupervised setting.


Education, Training or Experience

Requirements are those for the Streams for Higher-skilled Occupations and for Lower-skilled Occupations depending on the position. Some occupations may require the foreign worker to be licensed by a professional body in order to perform the job (e.g. registered nurses).

Employers must ensure that the caregivers meet the requirements for the position they are being hired to perform.

Note:

CIC has established 2 pathways to permanent residency for caregivers, which are:

  • Caring for Children; and
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs.

Each pathway has its own language and education requirements. For detailed information on these requirements, visit CIC.


Multiple Employers

Private household employers can partner with another employer (maximum of 2 official employers), to share the responsibilities of hiring an in-home caregiver. For example, 2 adult children may act as employers of a caregiver for an incapacitated parent. In situations that involve multiple employers, only 1 application is required; however both employers must meet all of the program requirements and sign all documents (e.g. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application, employment contract, bedroom description form (mandatory in the case of a live-in caregiver).


Canada Revenue Agency Business Number

Individuals hiring a foreign caregiver are considered employers and must obtain a business number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to:

  • meet the initial registration requirements for advertising on the national Job Bank website or its provincial/territorial counterpart;
  • apply for a TFW;
  • pay the worker's wage (including vacation pay);
  • make deductions from the worker's wage as prescribed by the law and the TFWP; and
  • issue pay stubs, statements, remuneration paid (T4) or Records of Employment (ROE).

To Obtain a Business Number

A BN is a 9-digit business identifier that CRA assigns to an employer located in Canada for tax purposes.

Employers can register for a BN by:

Note:
  • Employers cannot use any existing company BN, should they have one, to hire a foreign caregiver. They must obtain a separate BN for the specific purpose of hiring a caregiver.
  • In instances of multiple employers applying to hire a foreign caregiver, only 1 BN is required.

Businesses outside Canada

  • Employers in the United States can contact the International Tax Service Office at:
    1-800-267-5177 ext. 9144 (toll-free)
  • Employers from outside Canada and the United States can call collect at:
    1-613-954-9681

Record of Employment

Under the provisions of the Employment Insurance Act, all employers are required to provide a Record of Employment (ROE) when an interruption of earnings occurs for an employee. This requirement applies whether the employee is a Canadian or a foreign worker. The ROE, which indicates the wages paid and the number of weeks the TFW worked, is required by the foreign worker as proof to qualify and apply for permanent residency. TFWs also need the ROE to apply for Employment Insurance benefits.


Proof of Individual Requiring Care

Employers must provide proof that they or a dependant is in need of care. The documentation that must be submitted along with the application form includes proof of one of the following:

  • age and parentage for each child under the age of 18 (provide one of the documents listed):
    • long form birth certificate
    • adoption order
    • official guardianship, or
    • medical doctor's note confirming the pregnancy and the due date
  • age for each senior, 65 years or older (provide one of the documents listed):
    • birth certificate
    • passport, or
    • Old Age Security identification card
  • disability, chronic or terminal illness for each disabled, chronically or terminally ill person (provide one of the documents listed):

Financial Ability

Employers must submit a copy of their Notice of Assessment from the CRA showing their financial ability to pay the caregiver’s wages. In exceptional cases where the employer is not required to pay income tax in Canada, copies of paystubs, bank statements, personal work contract or other official documents can be submitted as proof of income.

Note:

In cases of multiple employers where the income of 1 employer is not sufficient to meet the financial ability to hire a caregiver, the income of both employers can be combined to meet this requirement. However, the 2 employers must submit copies of their individual Notice of Assessment from CRA.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada will assess the employer's financial ability by using the Low Income Cut-offs (LICO) produced by Statistics Canada. Employers can perform their own calculations before submitting their application by using the Financial Ability Calculator.


Transportation

Employers of lower-skilled in-home caregivers must always pay for the transportation costs (e.g. plane, train, boat, car, bus) of the caregiver to the work location in Canada. These costs must be paid up-front to ensure that they are not part of any negotiations related to the employment contract, if applicable. This process helps protect temporary foreign workers, who may be tempted to accept alternative travel arrangements in return for a job offer.

Employers may have a financial agreement with any member of their family to pay for the transportation costs.

Transportation costs may include:

  • transportation from the caregiver's country of current residence to the work location in Canada;
  • transportation from the caregiver's current residence in Canada to the new work location;
  • gas expenses when the caregiver drives a personal car to the new work location. The cost of gas should be paid to the caregiver before leaving for the work location, by direct deposit, cheque or other means. To calculate the cost of gas:
    • Cost = number of km x price of gas
  • return transportation from the caregiver’s current residence in Canada to his or her original country of residence.
Note:
  • The mode of transportation selected must reduce the travel time, expenses and inconvenience to the caregiver.
  • Under no circumstances, can an employer recover the transportation costs from the TFW.

Transportation costs paid by the employer do NOT include:

  • hotels, meals and miscellaneous expenses during the caregiver's travel to the work location;
  • transportation or other expenses for vacations or emergency trips.

Employers must keep records (e.g. invoices, receipts, copies of flight itineraries, tickets, boarding passes) of all transportation costs paid, for a minimum of 6 years. This information may be required as proof if employers re-apply for a subsequent LMIA or if they are selected for an inspection.

Note:

This requirement DOES NOT apply to employers of higher-skilled in-home caregivers.


Housing

Employers cannot under any circumstance require a caregiver (either lower-skilled or higher-skilled) to live in their home. However, if an employer and foreign caregiver decide that a live-in arrangement is the most suitable, for the needs of the person requiring care or to assist the TFW, there are certain criteria that must be met. Specifically, employers must ensure the:

  • accommodation is being provided in the home of the person receiving care;
  • accommodation is private and furnished bedroom;
  • bedroom door has a lock and safety bolt on the inside;
  • bedroom meets the municipal building requirements and the provincial/territorial health standards; and
  • foreign caregiver is NOT charged room and board for the accommodations, as per the policy, under the TFWP.

Employers must submit the completed in-home Employer Supplied Bedroom Description form (EMP5599) with the application.

Employers of lower-skilled in-home caregivers, who are not providing live-in accommodations, must ensure that suitable and affordable accommodation is available to the TFW. In addition, these employers should be prepared to provide proof (e.g. newspaper ads) that affordable housing is available in the community where the TFW will be employed. Meanwhile, employers of higher-skilled in-home caregivers do not have to meet this requirement.


Health and Workplace Safety

Health Insurance

Employers of lower-skilled in-home caregivers must always pay for the TFW's private health insurance. Coverage must begin from the time the TFW arrives in Canada until the worker is covered by the appropriate provincial/territorial health insurance plan. The waiting period to be eligible for the provincial/territorial health insurance is available on the Ministry of Health Web sites for each province or territory. The private insurance coverage provided to the TFW must be similar to the provincial/territorial health insurance plan.

Note:

Under no circumstances, can an employer recover the health insurance costs from the TFW.

Workplace Safety

Employers of lower-skilled in-home caregivers must arrange and pay for workplace safety insurance coverage from provincial/territorial workplace safety insurance providers also known as the Workers' Compensation Board. Any coverage obtained by the employer must correspond to the TFWs arrival date in Canada.

If requested by ESDC/Service Canada, employers must provide a provincial/territorial workers' compensation clearance letter or other appropriate provincial/territorial documentation.

Note:

The requirement for Health Insurance and Workplace Safety DOES NOT apply to employers of higher-skilled in-home caregivers.


Employment Contract

ALL employers of in-home caregivers must prepare and sign an employment contract. Although employers are not required to use the contract template provided, they must ensure that the contract used, contains all of the mandatory information and clauses.

In the event that differences arise between the employer and the TFW, the contract will guide the resolution of disputes. In cases where the dispute cannot be resolved between the two parties, the employer or the TFW may contact the Ministry of Labour in the province/territory where the work is being performed.

ESDC/Service Canada has no authority to intervene in the employer-employee relationship or to enforce the terms and conditions of the contract.


Third-party Representatives and Recruiters

Employers do not need to use the services of a third-party representative or recruiter to apply for a foreign worker. However, employers who choose to use the services of one of these individuals or organizations must pay for all of the fees associated with the service and meet all of the applicable requirements.

Representatives assist employers by providing services, such as:

  • explaining and providing advice on the TFWP;
  • completing and submitting the application form and all required documents;
  • communicating with ESDC/Service Canada on the employer’s behalf; and
  • representing the employer during the application process.

Employers who wish to use the services of a representative, paid or unpaid, must complete and submit Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative. Employers must identify their representative and not simply the firm/organization employing this person.

Paid Representatives

Individuals representing or assisting employers in exchange for compensation (e.g. money, goods or services) must be authorized under section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which means they have to be a member in good standing with:

  • a Canadian provincial/territorial law society, or a student-at-law under its supervision;
  • the Chambre des notaires du Québec;
  • the Province of Ontario’s law society as a paralegal; or
  • the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

Employers should visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to verify that a specific representative is authorized to represent them or provide immigration advice.

Unpaid Representatives

Individuals representing employers for free (e.g. do not collect fees or other forms of compensation) are not subject to any restrictions under the IRPA. These individuals are usually family members, non-for-profit or religious organizations that assist employers who may not be able to complete the application process on their own.

Recruiters

Recruiters can assist employers by providing services such as:

  • placing job advertisements for the recruitment of foreign workers;
  • screening potential employees;
  • making travel arrangements; and
  • negotiating wages/salaries on behalf of the employer.

Employers, using the services of a paid recruiter to represent them during the LMO application process, must complete the Third-party, Recruiter or Employer Agency Information section of the application form as well as the separate Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative. The paid recruiter representing the employer must be a member of one of the groups authorized under section 91 of the IRPA.

If a paid representative is not authorized under the IRPA, ESDC/Service Canada will continue to process the application, but will communicate with the employer directly. However, a copy of a signed letter stating that the employer is no longer using the services of the original representative will be required before the employer can:

  • hire another paid authorized representative; or
  • work with an unpaid representative.

Employers who wish to appoint another representative must also submit a new Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative.

Note:
ESDC/Service Canada:
  • reserves the right to contact employers directly when further information or documentation is required.
  • will not mediate a dispute between an employer and a third-party representative nor communicate complaints to a regulatory body on an employer’s behalf. Employers who wish to file a formal complaint against their representative should contact the appropriate regulatory body (e.g. the provincial law society, the Chambre des notaires du Québec or the ICCR). For additional information on how to file a complaint, visit CIC.

Valid Power of Attorney

In instances where a person is clearly incapacitated, for example, due to mental illness and has appointed an individual, whether a family member or not, who has a Power of Attorney, then this individual is considered to be the employer of record. This person will be responsible for making all the necessary decisions, including submitting the LMIA application, hiring a caregiver and paying the worker's wage.

A copy of the valid Power of Attorney must be included with the LMIA application.

Wages, Working Conditions and Occupation

Employers applying for a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) must pay the TFW at a minimum, the posted prevailing wage for the occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed.

Employers must refer to the median wage published on Job Bank to determine the prevailing wage.


Process to determine the prevailing wage of the position:

Use the job title of the available position and conduct a search on Job Bank to determine the median wage for the occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed.

  • If the median wage is available on Job Bank, employers must pay the worker a wage that is equal or above that median wage for the economic region where the work will be located.
  • If the median wage is listed as “N/A” for the local area (economic region) where the work is located, employers should consult the provincial/territorial level wage. If this wage is not available, employers should consult the national wage.

Prevailing Wage:

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the prevailing wage rate is identified as the median hourly wage (or annual salary as published on Job Bank) or higher for the particular occupation and work location. Employers must also ensure that they include the wage being paid for the position, as part of their advertisement of the available position.

Employers must review and adjust (if necessary) the TFW’s wage after 12 months of employment to ensure the worker continues to receive the prevailing wage rate of the occupation and work location where the TFW is employed.

In addition, employers must ensure the wage offered to the TFW is not below any:

  • Applicable federal or provincial/territorial minimum wage rates; or
  • Wage schedules set by provincial/territorial legislation (e.g. Manitoba Construction Industry Wages Act).

Employers offering a wage that is below the prevailing wage rate will be considered as not meeting the labour market factor for the assessment of wages and therefore, will be issued a negative LMIA.


Working Conditions

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including TFWs. The exploitation of a TFW is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employers must:

  • pay workers for all work (including overtime, where required by law);
  • make sure that the workplace is safe; and
  • allow for proper break time and days off.

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial/territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as: hours of work, working conditions and termination of employment. In fact, every province/territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.

Alberta
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 time employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 1 day/week
  • 2 consecutive days for every 2-week period
  • 3 consecutive days for every 3-week period
  • 4 consecutive days for every:
    • 4-week period, or
    • 24 consecutive working days
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year or
  • 3 weeks/year after 5 consecutive years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% of wages after 5 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Alberta Employment Standards Code
British Columbia
Maximum Hours 40 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 8 hours/day, or
  • After 40 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage, or
  • 2 times employee's regular wage (after 12 hours of work in a day)
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 consecutive hours between each shift except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1, or
  • 32 hours/week (or pay the employee at the overtime rate for time worked during rest period)
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours
  • counted as time worked if the employee is required or available to work during a meal break
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year or
  • 3 weeks/year after 5 consecutive years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% of wages after 5 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province of British Columbia Employment Standards Act
Manitoba
Maximum Hours 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 8 hours/day, or
  • After 40 hours/week

Overtime rate:

  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 36 consecutive hours/week

If the employee works during a rest period, the employer must either:

  • increase one of the employee's weekly rest period in the following 8 weeks (equivalent to the number of hours worked), or
  • pay the employee at the overtime rate
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year, or
  • 3 weeks/year after 5 consecutive years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% of wages after 5 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Manitoba Employment Standards
New Brunswick
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 consecutive hours/day except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1, or
  • 24 hours/week
Meal breaks:
  • one 60-minute break (employer and employee may contract out of this requirement)
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • the greater of one day/month worked, or
  • 2 weeks/year
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of gross earnings
For more information, visit Province of New Brunswick Employment Standards
Newfoundland and Labrador
Maximum Hours 16 hours/day
Paid Overtime
  • After 40 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • $15/hour
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 consecutive hours/day (unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract), or
  • 24 hours/week
Meal breaks:
  • one 60-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours (unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract)
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year, or
  • 3 weeks/year after 15 consecutive years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% of wages after 15 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Newfoundland and Labrador Employment Standards
Nova Scotia
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 24 consecutive hours/7-day period
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours, or
  • one additional 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 10 hours
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year, or
  • 3 weeks/year after 8 years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% of wages after 8 years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code
Ontario
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods Daily rest period:
  • 11 hours, or
  • 8 hours between shifts unless:
    • successive shifts total no more than 13 hours, or
    • otherwise stipulated in the employment contract
Weekly rest period:
  • 24 consecutive hours, or
  • 48 consecutive hours/2 consecutive work weeks
Meal breaks:
  • 30 minutes if work shift exceeds 5 hours (break may be split in 2)
Minimum rest periods and limits on hours of work do not apply in specified emergency Footnote 1 situations.
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year
For more information, visit Province of Ontario Ministry of Labour, Employment Standards
Prince Edward Island
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 48 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 24 consecutive hours/7-day period
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year, or
  • 3 weeks/year after 8 consecutive years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% after 8 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province Prince Edward Island Department of Community Services, Seniors and Labour
Quebec
Maximum Hours 40 hours/week (refer to MIDI contract)
Paid Overtime
  • After 40 hours/week
Overtime rate:
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 32 consecutive hours/week (subject to the provisions on the staggering of working hours on a basis other than a weekly basis)
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break if work shift exceeds 5 hours
  • must be paid if the employee is not authorized to leave the work location during the meal break
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 1 day/month (up to 2 weeks) for an employee with less than 1 year of employment, or
  • 2 weeks/year, or
  • 3 weeks/year after 5 consecutive years of employment
An additional week of unpaid vacation leave can be taken by an employee entitled to less than 3 weeks of vacation.

Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year, or
  • 6% after 5 consecutive years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Quebec Commission des normes du travail
Saskatchewan
Maximum Hours 44 hours per week
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
The employee has the right to refuse to work after 44 hours/week (except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1).
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 consecutive hours/day except in case of an emergency Footnote 1, or
  • 2 consecutive days/7-day period
Meal breaks:
  • one 30-minute break for every 5 consecutive hours of work if work shift exceeds 6 hours/day.
  • must be paid if the employee is required or permitted to work or to be at the disposal of the employer during a meal break
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 3 weeks/year, or
  • 4 weeks/year after 10 years of employment
Vacation pay:
  • 3/52 of wages/year, or
  • 4/52 of wages after 10 years of employment
For more information, visit Province of Saskatchewan Labour Standards
Northwest Territories
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 hours/day except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1, or
  • 24 hours/week
Meal breaks:
  • one 60-minute break if shift exceeds 5 hours (unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract)
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 consecutive weeks/year
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of gross earnings/year
For more information, visit Northwest Territories Employment Standards Act
Nunavut
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 hours/day except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1, or
  • 24 hours/week
Meal breaks:
  • One 60-minute break if shift exceeds 5 hours (unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract)
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP.
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of gross earnings/year
For more information, visit Nunavut Consolidation of Labour Standards Act
Yukon
Maximum Hours 48 hours/week (or more if there is an employer/employee agreement indicating that the employee will work a specified number of hours in excess of the daily limit)
Paid Overtime
  • After 44 hours/week
Overtime rate:
  • 1.5 times employee's regular wage
Minimum Rest Periods
  • 8 hours/day except in case of an emergencyFootnote 1, or
  • 24 hours/week
Meal breaks:
  • One 60-minute break if shift exceeds 5 hours (unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract)
Maximum Deductions Room and Board When room and board is provided by the employer, it must be at no cost to the foreign caregiver, as per the policy under the TFWP
Vacation Leave and Pay Requirements Vacation leave:
  • 2 weeks/year
Vacation pay:
  • 4% of wages/year
For more information, visit Yukon Employment Standards Act

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Emergency circumstances means any sudden or unusual occurrence or condition that could not, by the exercise of reasonable judgment, have been foreseen by the employer.

Return to footnote 1 referrer


Occupations

Employers cannot force any TFWs to perform duties for which they were not hired or trained (e.g. if an employer submits an application to hire a TFW as a caregiver, the duties given to the worker must correspond to that occupation and not those associated with a cleaner).

Recruitment and Advertisement

Employers must meet the recruitment and advertisement requirement for the stream based on the position for which they are hiring a caregiver: Employers will need to follow the:

  • Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations, if the position requires education or formal training such as:
    • university education
    • college education
    • vocational education
    • apprenticeship training
  • Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations, if the position requires education or formal training such as:
    • secondary school education
    • training courses
    • on-the-job training,
    • specific work experience

Note:

Employers cannot under any circumstance require a caregiver (either lower-skilled or higher-skilled) to live in their home. As a result, employers can only advertise the position with the option of the caregiver living in their home and it MUST be, at no cost to the worker.

How to Apply

Employers who want to hire a temporary foreign worker (TFW) must submit the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application along with all the required supporting documentation to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada.

In essence, employers are applying for an opinion on the impact that hiring a TFW would have on Canada's job market. As a result, it is important that employers follow all the necessary steps and submit all of the required documentation.


Provincial/territorial variations to the application process

If the job is located in the province of:


Step-by-step – Checklist

Employers must follow the step-by-step checklist to ensure that all the documents required are submitted.

Complete, sign (where applicable) and submit the following documents:

  1. LMIA Application form
  2. Schedule A - Appointment of a Third Party Representative (EMP5575) (if applicable).
  3. Schedule G – In-home Caregivers (EMP5601)
  4. In-home Caregiver Employment Contract (EMP5604)
  5. In-home Employer Supplied Bedroom Description form (EMP5599)
  6. Copy of Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment.
  7. Copies of advertisements (applicable in most cases)
  8. Documentation that provides proof of one of the following:
    • age and parentage for each child under 18 years old (provide one of the documents listed):
      • copy of long form birth certificate
      • adoption certificate
      • official guardianship, or
      • medical doctor's note confirming the pregnancy and due date
    • age for each senior, 65 years or older (provide one of the documents listed):
      • copy of birth certificate
      • passport, or
      • old age security card
    • disability for each disabled person (provide one of the documents listed):
  9. Valid Power of Attorney (if applicable).

Send all documentation:
For positions located anywhere in Canada (including Quebec) – mail or fax applications to:

Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Service Canada - Centre of Specialization
PO Box 6500
Station Don Mills
Toronto  ON  M3C 0L4

Fax:
416-954-3107
1-866-720-6094 (toll-free)

For assistance - phone:
Within Canada and the United States: 1-800-367-5693 (toll-free)
Outside Canada and the United States: 506-546-7569

Note:

A complete application means that employers have:

  • filled out all of the fields in all of the necessary forms;
  • included all of the required documentation;
  • signed the forms where required; and
  • submitted the fee payment with the application.

If an application is submitted and it is not complete, Service Canada staff will inform the employer that the application will not be processed. Incomplete applications and supporting documents submitted with the application will not be retained or returned to the employer. As a result, employers are advised to submit copies, not original documents.

Next Steps

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada will assess the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application submitted by the employer to determine what impact hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) would have on Canada's job market. Based on the application and the documents received, the Department will issue a positive or negative LMIA.


Labour Market Impact Assessment – Process

All LMIA applications go through a systematic assessment process to:

  1. Verify if the employer is:
    1. eligible to participate in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The list of ineligible employers appears on Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) website; and
    2. using an authorized third-party representative, if applicable.
  2. Verify the consistency of the job offer with federal/provincial/territorial agreements.
  3. Assess the genuineness of the job offer. The assessment is based on whether the:
    • Employer is actively engaged in the business related to the job offer;
    • job offered to the TFW is consistent with the employment needs of the employer;
    • employer can fulfil the terms and conditions of the job offer;
    • employer and the third-party representative is compliant with the relevant federal-provincial-territorial employment and recruitment legislation;
  4. Assess the language requirement of the job offer, to ensure that English and French are the only languages identified as a job requirement, unless employers can demonstrate that another language is a bona fide requirement for the job.
  5. Assess:
    • the impact of hiring a TFW on the labour market including:
      1. wages and working conditions offered;
      2. occupation in which the TFW will be employed;
      3. employer's recruitment and advertisement efforts;
      4. benefits to the labour market;
    • previous job offers that an employer has made to a TFW
      • Did the employer employ a TFW in the last 2 years, prior to December 31, 2013?
        • This is to determine whether the employer provided all TFWs employed by the company with wages, working conditions and employment in an occupation that was substantially the same as those that were described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes?
      • Did the employer apply for and receive a positive LMIA on or after December 31, 2013 and employ a TFW in that position?
        • This is to determine whether the employer provided all TFWs employed on LMIAs received on or after December 31, 2013, with employment in the same occupation as described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes) and with substantially the same wages and working conditions - but not less favourable than - those set out in that offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes)?

ESDC/Service Canada will ensure that the employer has met all the Program Requirements. Once the assessment is complete, the employer will be notified in writing of the final decision.


Positive LMIA

The employer will receive a letter confirming the approval of the LMIA application. This positive LMIA is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. For privacy reasons, the letter will not include the names of the TFWs. However, it provides specific details about the job offer, such as the wages, working conditions and occupations as well as a system file number. The names of the workers will appear in Annex B which is intended for the employer's records only, and is NOT to be shared with the TFW as it is not required for the purposes of applying for a work permit.

Once the positive LMIA letter is received, it is the employer's responsibility to:

  • send a copy of this letter to the TFW;
  • ask the TFW to apply to CIC for a work permit. The TFW must include with the work permit application a copy of the positive LMIA letter signed by both the employer and the worker.

Provincial/territorial Variations

If the job is located in the province of:

Quebec - Employers must:

  • send to the TFW a copy of the:
    • positive LMIA letter issued jointly by ESDC/Service Canada and the MIDI;
    • Quebec CAQ issued by MIDI; and
    • employment contract signed by the employer.
  • ask the TFW to submit this documentation along with the work permit application to CIC. Visit CIC's Web site to find a Canadian Visa Office.

British Columbia - If the employers have not submitted part 2 of the registration form, they must do so within 30 days from the date of hiring the live-in caregiver (applicable only if the caregiver is living in the employers' home).

Work Permit

CIC will then assess the TFW's work permit application. If the assessment is positive, the TFW will receive a work permit to be able to work for a specific employer, under established working conditions, and for a particular duration in Canada.

Note:
  • Some countries may require that their citizens meet certain conditions if they want to work in Canada. Employers should:
    • ask the TFW to verify if additional conditions apply,
    • contact the consulate of the foreign worker's country in Canada; or
    • visit the consulate's Web site.

Once the TFW arrives in Canada, the employer must:

  • ensure that the worker is authorized to work and check the duration of the work permit;
  • verify that the TFW's work permit issued by CIC indicates the name of the individual hiring the worker as the authorized employer; and
  • keep records of the number of regular and overtime hours the TFW has worked on a weekly/monthly basis.
Note:

Employers are not allowed to take away the TFW's identification documents such as passport, work permit or other identification.

Employers must apply for a new LMIA when they anticipate that their need for TFWs will continue beyond the period covered by the work permit. The new LMIA application should be sent at least 4 months prior to the expiry of the work permit, to ensure ESDC/Service Canada has sufficient time to process the application and for CIC to process the work permit extension. However, applications received more than 6 months in advance of the job start date will not be accepted.

Maximum Cumulative Duration of Work in Canada

On April 1, 2011, CIC introduced a regulatory amendment that establishes a 4-year cumulative duration limit a TFW can work in Canada. As a result, employers wishing to make a job offer to a TFW who has previously worked in Canada should be aware that TFWs reaching or close to reaching the 4-year limit may not be granted a new work permit, or an extension to their current work permit or they may have its duration limited. In addition, once the 4-year limit has been reached, the TFW will have to wait 4 years before being eligible to work in Canada again. The 4-year cumulative duration limit will only be counted starting from April 1, 2011 which means that as a result of this regulation, refusals of work permits will potentially begin April 1st, 2015.


Revocation of an LMIA

The revocation of an LMIA means overturning the decision based on new information, which changes the opinion from positive to negative.

An LMIA may be revoked if it has not yet expired, work permits or permanent residence visas have not been issued by CIC, and if one or more of the following circumstances apply:

  • The employer has provided materially false or misleading information.
  • New facts or information are brought forward after a positive LMIA has been issued, that would have changed the assessment of the application, resulting in a negative LMIA.
  • The opinion was based on an unintentional error as to some material fact.

The revocation of an LMIA is based on reliable and documented evidence that confirms that the new information or altered circumstances would have had an impact on the assessment of the factors listed under section 203 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).


Negative LMIA

ESDC/Service Canada will issue a negative LMIA letter if the employer does not meet all the Program Requirements.


Employer Compliance

ESDC/Service Canada takes the integrity of the TFWP very seriously. Employers hiring TFWs are expected to be compliant with the TFWP, by upholding the terms and conditions of employment as stated in the original job offer and set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes.

Employers must also follow all federal/provincial/territorial employment regulations and laws, as all workers in Canada, have the same labour and human rights and social protections.

In accordance with the IRPR (Section 203(1)(e)), employers who have hired a TFW within the past 2 years, prior to December 31, 2013, may be subject to an employer compliance review after submitting a new LMIA application.

This review, often known as an STS (substantially the same) assessment, requires employers to demonstrate that the TFWs were provided with substantially the same:

  • wages;
  • working conditions; and
  • occupation, as set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes.

Employers who applied for and have received a positive LMIA, on or after December 31, 2013, and employed a TFW in that position, must demonstrate they provided the TFW with:

  • employment in the same occupation as described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes); and
  • substantially the same wages and working conditions - but not less favourable than - those set out in that offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes).

More information is available in the Employer Compliance section.