How Can I Hire A Nanny Who Is A Foreign National?

AdminBlog, Employment Law, Immigration, Knowledge

Everyone would agree that childcare is costly in Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report in December 2016 discussing and comparing the 2016 Child Care Fees in Canada’s biggest cities. While findings showed that actual costs vary from city to city and province to province, the trend is that they are continuing to increase. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable childcare for families with young children especially where both parents are working professionals. A recent trend in child care arrangements is to hire a nanny to care for the children in the comfort of the home, as opposed to enrolling the children in a daycare. This option sometimes works out to be more cost effective for families with more than two children as daycare fees remain on the rise. There is, however, a shortage of Canadian workers available to be live-in caregivers.

Prior to November 30, 2014, individuals were able to hire a caregiver through the Live-In Caregiver Program. If you did not obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) prior to this date, you would not be eligible for this program and will need to apply for a regular work permit. Contact us today to obtain an assessment of your situation.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a program offered by Government, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that was created to mitigate the problem of shortages in available Canadian workers. The program allows a Foreign National to legally work in Canada as a nanny.

Under The TFWP you may apply for a work permit for a caregiver for children and people with medical needs. The Work Permit takes several months to process depending on whether the nanny is already in the country or coming from abroad. If the application is made from abroad, the process may be considerably longer depending on the Country of the foreign worker.

The process of hiring a foreign national as a nanny can be broken into two parts – the Employer’s Role and the Nanny’s Role:

The Employer’s Role

1. The employer will begin by attempting to find a Canadian nanny first. They may be asked to show evidence of the efforts they have made. It is important to post adverts on the Government of Canada Job Bank plus any two additional resources (for example www.care.ca and www.indeed.ca). The employer will need to obtain a business number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in order to advertise in the Job Bank and also to pay the nanny’s wages.
2. Once the employer finds the desired nanny, they will reach an employment agreement and issue an Offer of Employment. The Employment Agreement must contain various terms and conditions to ensure it will be accepted.
3. The employer will then submit a notice of assessment from CRA with their LMIA Application to ESDC along with a $1,000 non-refundable processing fee.
4. To receive a positive LMIA, the employer must submit evidence to prove that:

a. They can pay the nanny the prevailing wage for that occupation in the province.
b. They require the care, for example they would show the birth certificate of the children to prove there are children in need of the nanny.
c. They are able to make an upfront payment of the nanny’s transportation cost
d. They have a private room with a window and door that locks that is to be provided at no extra cost if the nanny will be living in the employer’s home.

The ESDC must be convinced of the genuineness of the job offer to issue a valid LMIA which remains valid for 6 months from the date of issue. The employer will send a copy of the LMIA to the nanny.

The Nanny’s Role

1. The nanny will submit a copy of the signed Employment Contract, Employer’s LMIA as well as all supporting documents for an application for a Work Permit through the IRCC online portal.
2. The documents are carefully screened and must meet the minimum criteria related to education, language proficiency, training, medical, security, and criminal clearance.
3. The Employment Contract must state that the nanny will be providing care full time (at least 30 hours per week). The contract may be for either a live-in or live-out position.

IRCC will then assess the nanny’s work permit application and if the assessment is positive, the nanny will be issued a Temporary Work Permit. This work permit will be a closed work permit for a fixed duration. This means the nanny will only be eligible to work for the employer stated on the permit. Once the employment is terminated, the nanny’s work permit is no longer valid.

The process to hire a foreign national as a nanny can be complicated and the screening process is quite thorough. It is important to contact qualified professionals to help you prepare your documents and evaluate your chances of success in your application. The Immigration Lawyers and Consultants at Higgerty Law are dedicated to providing you with quality service and guiding you every step of the way.

Contact us today to assist you with your immigration matter.

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