Immigration Corner: I want to hire a Jamaican
Dear Ms Powell.
I am 68 years old and I used to help my son with his children, but I can't manage anymore as my health has been failing me. I would like to hire someone from Jamaica to assist me and my grandchildren. I have someone in mind, but I am not sure how to get her here. What do I need to do? Also, I'm concerned that after I get her here she could up and leave me and my family. Is there a way to ensure that she is restricted to only working with me or return to Jamaica if she quits?
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can hire a foreign national to provide care for children, individuals with medical needs and the elderly, provided that all the parties are able to satisfy the requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Qualified foreign individuals may apply for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme to become caregivers in Canada. The caregiver will be required to live in or live out of a private residence and provide a minimum of 30 hours per week to the private household.
Caregivers are usually hired to provide care to children under 18 years old, individuals over 65 years old or individuals who have disabilities, chronic or terminal illnesses.
You as the employer, and the prospective employee, will need to satisfy various requirements. The job must be a legitimate one and the main focus must be on caregiving for the children or you as an elderly person and the job cannot be for simple house-cleaning.
Since you have someone in mind for the position, you will need to ensure that the person has the required education and experience before you start the process. To qualify as a caregiver the individual will need to demonstrate that she has the required education and work experience as a babysitter, nanny or parent helper in order to care for children. If her main duties will be to work as a caregiver for you, as an elderly person, the individual will need to show that she qualifies as a home-support worker, nurse aide, practical nurse or registered nurse.
The caregiver must be able to prove that she has at least the following minimum requirements:
1. Completed the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school diploma, (Canadian High schools go up to grade 12.).
2. Have formal training of at least six months in caregiving; OR
3. A minimum of one year work experience as a caregiver or in a related job within the past three years. At least six months of ongoing work must be with one employer.
4. Proof of qualifications as a trained home-support worker, nurse aide, practical nurse or registered nurse is required if the application is submitted for care of anyone over 65 years. So, if training is done in Jamaica, then an Educational Credential Assessment is required to show that the education and training is equivalent to a similar training in Canada.
5. Demonstrate language ability by sitting and passing the General Training Examination.
Once the prospective caregiver has the required qualifications, you the employer will need to prepare a written employment contract that outlines the working arrangements. This job offer must have details about the pay, transportation, duties, hours of work, housing arrangements, medical and workplace insurance, holiday and sick leave. It should also have a termination clause.
The employment contract should be submitted with the application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report.
It is the employer's duty to apply for and pay for the LMIA report. This is a report that verifies that there is a genuine need for a temporary foreign worker, as all efforts to find someone in Canada to fill the position have been futile. You will need to apply to the Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada for the LMIA by submitting the completed forms, the required supporting documents and pay the fee.
Once the LMIA has been granted, the individual will need to submit her application for a work permit before the LMIA expires.
It will be up to the prospective caregiver to submit all the required documents and proof that she is qualified. This includes submitting a police report and doing medical tests.
You should know that even though you will be named as the employer on the application and the work permit, the caregiver has the right to change jobs without your permission. She will be free to work for another employer and you cannot stop the individual from doing so, as long as she has a legitimate job offer and the new employer has a LMIA.
A live-in caregiver can also apply for permanent residence after she has worked under the programme for a minimum of two years or 3,900 hours and within four years of entry into Canada. She will also be able to apply for an open work permit, so that she is not restricted to accepting jobs only as a caregiver.
Although I understand your concern about the time and investment you will need to make to bring in a foreign worker, you must be sure that you choose your employee carefully and treat them right so that they will be inspired to remain loyal.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Ontario, Canada and Jamaican Bar. Submit your questions and comments to email@example.com or call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.4092