Many Live-in Caregivers Fail to Meet the 24 Month Requirement

Becoming a permanent resident is what every foreign live-in caregiver strives for. Foreign live-in caregivers need to secure their future and status in Canada by making sure they meet the 24 months of full-time employment as live-in caregiver within 36 months from arrival date. For clarification, the foreign live-in caregiver program (LCP) is still the same. There’s a rumor that newly arrived foreign live in caregivers can no longer apply for permanent resident status, that information is false.

In paper, meeting the 24 month requirement within 36 months from arrival in Canada looks simple and easy but in reality, it is not. The ideal situation is for a caregiver to stay with her sponsoring employer until she obtains her permanent resident status. However, in most cases, caregivers change employers over the period of three years and this is how things get complicated. If a caregiver had more than three employers within three years, there is a higher chance that she would not meet the 24 months of being employed. Having changed employer three times, she had lost months in between employers. Every time a caregiver left an employer she lost 3 to 6 months looking for a new employer and waiting for her new work permit.

In 2008, about 9,000 foreign live in caregivers arrived in Canada and Service Canada issued 30,000 Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for live in caregivers. These caregivers had invested time, money, effort, to come to Canada, they have sacrificed time spent being away from their own families and then when the time came for them to apply for their permanent resident status, some of them were refused because they failed to prove that they worked full-time for 24 months as live in caregivers. The two main reasons for failure to show proof of 24 months of employment are 1) their employers’ refusal or failure to provide supporting documents and 2)the long wait for obtaining a new work permit every time a caregiver changed employers.

Here are some helpful tips so caregivers can secure their status.

(A) Gain knowledge. From day one, a caregiver should gather as much information about the caregiver program. Refer to these government sites : www.hrsdc.gc.ca (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) to learn about the rights and responsibilities of caregiver, the obligations and responsibilities of an employer ; www.jobbank.gc.ca ( Job bank )where employers need to post caregiver job for two weeks) ; www.cic.gc.ca ( Citizenhip and Immigration Canada) to find where to submit extension or renewal of work permit; www.cra.gc.ca (Canada Revenue Agency) to calculate the proper deductions for Canada Pension Plan. Employment Insurance and Income Tax.

(B) Communication. From day one, the employer and caregiver should have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, duties and obligations. The employer should understand that providing documents such as statement or earnings or pay stubs to show salaries are being paid, T4s or Statement of Renumeration Paid and upon termination, a Record Of employment and /or Confirmation of Employment letter , is of utmost importance especially for foreign live in caregivers. Explain to the employer that these documents are what you need to become a permanent resident. In the event that the employer does not provide T4 by February 29 of the following year, you must still file your tax return with a letter of explanation . It is a good idea to seek assistance from an accountant.

If there are concerns or issues, you should first try to discuss it with your employer. Don’t quit right away. If the employer does not know that you have concerns, he/she won’t be able to help you. If you cannot get enough courage to speak up, you may write a letter explaining to the employer your concerns and keep a copy of the letter.

(C) Cheques basis only. Caregivers should request employers to pay them by cheques, not by cash. Caregivers need to deposit the cheques before cash can be taken out. A regular deposit of cheques with the same amount in regular intervals is proof that the caregiver receives salaries from her employer. In the event that the employer denied that you worked for her, the cheques paid to you on regular interval ,deposited to your account can prove who is telling the truth.

(D) Seek professional advice. If in doubt because you are getting conflicting advice from people, call a professional – an accountant if its regarding your pay stubs and T4’s, or an immigration lawyer or certified immigration consultant to get advice about immigration.

(E) Maintain good relationship with all of your employers. Even if you feel that your employer isn’t very nice to you or you have some issues with him/her, try to get along with your employer. Even if you end up leaving an employer, if you have a good relationship, you can at least go back and get supporting documents from him/her if you need to.

(F) Be proactive. Always think of your best interest which is completing your 24 months as soon as possible. Choose employer who treats you right, pays you right, understands, supports and wants to help you secure your permanent resident status by providing you supporting documents. Make a decision to succeed and do the best you can to maintain your caregiver program.

(G) If you are unhappy with your current employer and thinking about leaving your employer, do not leave until you have found a new one. The right time to leave your employer is after you obtain a new work permit with the next employer.

(H) If you have filed an application for Permanent Resident status and your application was refused, try not to panic, there are options for you to stay legally in Canada. Talk to a professional immigration counsel.

(I) If you have lost your status because either you did not file an extension of renewal before the expiry date of your last work permit or you haven’t found a new employer, you have 90 days from the expiry date to restore your status and you need to act fast.

(J) Record keeping. Organize and keep all of your important documents. Make copies of applications filed. When mailing applications or correspondence to CIC, always mail via Xpresspost or Registered Mail or Courier, so you have a receipt of mailing. Make sure your passport still has one to two years validity before you extend or renew your work permit. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada will issue visa within the validity date of your passport.

(K) Employment dates. When enumerating your employment history, the start date for each employer should be within the validity of your work permit. For example, if the work permit is valid from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2011, the start date of employment for that employer should be June 1,2009 or later but not earlier.

Stay focused on your goal of obtaining permanent residence. Make the LCP work for you. Don’t be too choosy when looking for an employer, if there’s a problem or concern, do not quit right away, talk to your employer, make sure your employer provides you with supporting documents – pay stubs, T4’s, confirmation of Employment, accept only cheques.

Update:
Some slight changes: Requirement – 24 months or 3,900 hours,within 48 months from date of arrival in Canada. If a caregiver works overtime on a regular basis, she should count her hours because she can apply for PR using hours worked even if she does not have 24 months yet.

Mila Echevarria, Certified Immigration Consultant
Member of Canadian Society Immigration Consultants
Email address: immigrantpluscanada@gmail.com


Disclaimer: The immigration article posted above does not substitute as a legal advice on immigration issues. If you need to consult a qualified professional about your case, you can visit a qualified immigration professional in your city or country. Use due diligence in doing so.

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16 thoughts on “Many Live-in Caregivers Fail to Meet the 24 Month Requirement

  1. Hi, I know someone who is live in caregiver program. She got fired a week ago. She told me she applied already her open permit and will arrived in october. She is now working part time under the table is this illegal? what will happend to her.

    Thanks,

  2. Hi,I’ve been released by my employer last Dec.31,2010..and I’m only 1 year and 2 months with them..however he didn’t give me my ROE and T4 until now as I’ve been asking from him..I already find another job last Feb.2011..should their any way that Ican secure all these documents from him?I’m so worried about my status because he just ignore me for long time..thanks

  3. hi my empoloyer paying me by cash not by cheak iam here as live and care giver what ican do

  4. I would like to ask I have 17months earn to my first employer she passed away that’s the reason to find a 2nd employer then now I have 2nd employer. he ask me to work overtime.I read that if you complete the 3,900hours of duty as live in caregiver your qualified to apply as landed immigrant including the overtime hours.what if in 4months I complete the 3,900hours of duty to my 2nd employer because I have overtime can I apply now as landed immigrant? I highly appreciate your response. thanks and God Bless.

  5. I am working as a live in caregiver in Canada with a 2 years contract! When can i start to apply my permanent residence? There is a rumor that we need to take a speaking and listening exam! Is it true? How to apply for that? How long do i need to work here before i can have that examination? Pls reply!! Thanks

  6. hello!good day ,sheryl a.reago,filipino,work here in taiwan as a cregiver,i just wanna ask something,cause i have a friend who bought fake diplomas and transcript of records just to use it to apply in canada as a caregiver.is it possible to report it to canadian embassy,because it’s unfair to other who have 72 units.thanks a lot.im looking forward for your reply.

  7. just want to know if live in care giver whos still coming to canada can still apply for a permanent resident pls help

  8. can i still use the old application forms for applying for and open work permit and a permanent resident coz i had filled it up already since may but i was not able to send it yet coz my money is not enough yet i might post it by first week of september pls i need your advice if they will still accept my old forms thanks

  9. hi,
    i want to apply for the extension of my work permit for live in caregiver programme,but me and my employer don’t know how to apply for this,what document do we need to ataach with the application

  10. How many years am i going to wait for permanent visa in canada?? The open permit has been already released on june 5,2012…

  11. Hi! I came in Canada end of June 2010 under the live in caregiver program and released by my employer end of October 2010 due to some reasons then found and employer and start working with them April 2011 and still working with them until now. I’m planning to file for my permanent residency by October 2012 and choosing the option of 3900hours of work for 22months but i don’t have any overtime on my previous and current employer but based on my computation (days and hours of work) I consumed 4008hours of full time employment by the end of October!! Do you think my application will push through or should I just wait and finish 24months before filing?please need your opinion.thank you

  12. Hi Sir/Madam
    My work permit was expired last September 2012 and I renew Last 7th August 2012.I worked with the same employer. My concern is…Is it possible for me to apply open work permit and permanent resident to the immigration? Im looking forward for your advice…thanks a lot!

  13. Hello, please advise me on what to do. I have filed my application for an open work permit and permanent residence recently(January 28,2013), under the Option B, which is 3,900 hours but after i’ve filed my employers told me they dont need me anymore. What am I gonna do? can i apply for another work permit for another employer while waiting for my open work permit? I need a legal job, and I dont wanna work under the table.. Please give me advise. I will be 4 years here in Canada by August 23, 2013, and im not sure if in my case, i will be able to apply for an extension of my stay here in Canada, as my current work permit is gonna expire on November 23, 2013.
    Thanks so much.

  14. Hi im from philippines im 9 month now and canada.im working as caregiver to a lady i get my salary to the clsc ma’am/sir my problem is my open permet its written there nannies or babysitter & par help because they said if ur not live in Caregiver ur not allowed to apply a open permit.icome her march 11,2013 and my working visa is finish on feb 28,2015 maam / sir what im going to do i want to finish my contract and my employer i dont want too renew again to them can i apply open perment even i dont finish my 24 month on feb because my visa experation is on feb 28,2015 can apply a open permit even my visa is finish

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