In November 2014, the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) was retired and the new Caregiver Program (CP) came into effect. There are many significant differences between these two programs. For those who have entered Canada under the LCP before November 30th 2014, and have remained within this program, the regulations of the LCP still apply. Below is a basic description of each program.

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) was established in 1992, replacing the Foreign Domestics Movement (FDM). It was a federal immigration program designed to bring domestic workers into Canada, under a temporary work visa for a period of 4 years. In order to be eligible to apply for permanent residency, a caregiver has to fulfill a number criteria including:

  • Working under an employer-specific work permit,
  • Completing 2 years of full-time care-work in Canada during their 4 year visa (also known as the “24/48 months” requirement), and
  • Living in the home of their employer for the duration of this work.

Under the Caregiver Program (CP), domestic workers are no longer required to reside with their employers, and instead have the option to “live-out” in a home of their choosing. The CP now also has two streams of eligibility for permanent residency:

  1. Caring for Children: This stream is for caregivers, nannies, or yayas, who want to work for families with children under the age of 18. This category is considered to be for “lower-skilled” workers.

Permanent Residency eligibility requirements under this stream:

  • 2 years (minimum) working in Canada with a valid work permit as a home childcare provider
  • Either 1 year of studies at a Canadian Post-secondary institution, or at a foreign equivalent, and
  • Initial intermediate English or French
  1. Caring for People with High Needs: Caregivers under this stream will assist persons 65 years and older, or people with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Under this stream “higher-skilled” workers, such as registered nurses or registered psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses, however these workers are required to obtain a Canadian license or equivalency certification, in order to be eligible for High-Wage positions.

This stream can also be applied to domestic workers seeking Low-Wage employment, such as home support workers or nurse aides.

Permanent Residency eligibility requirements under this stream:

  • 2 years (minimum) working in Canada with a valid work permit and a Canadian license to practice
  • Either 1 year of studies at a Canadian Post-secondary institution, or at a foreign equivalent, and
  • A level of English or French proficient enough to work in healthcare services

Additionally, under the new CP, there is now a cap on how many eligible applicants will be given permanent residency status each year. Only 2750 applicants will be accepted for permanent residency every year, under each stream (either Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Needs), for a maximum annual total of 5500 caregivers, plus their families. These applications are promised to be processed with a “six-month service standard.”

For more information, please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada websites:  

Live-in Caregiver Program: http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGlish/work/caregiver/index.asp

Caregiver program: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/caregiver/improvements.asp

The information provided on this page is current as of November 6, 2015.