Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Immigration Corner | How do I get my helper to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I am 83 years old and I usually spend summers in Jamaica. I have a helper who works with me when I am there. The doctors do not recommend that I go on any extended trip and I'm in need of some help here in Canada. I do not want to be in a nursing home. I would like my helper in Jamaica to come to Canada to work for me. How can I get my helper here? My neighbour said she sponsored her helper some years ago, but that the rules have changed a bit since then. Is there a way to get my Jamaican helper to come to work for me in Canada?

- L.M.

Dear L.M.,

A Canadian permanent resident or citizen can hire an international worker to assist them in their home in Canada, provided that both the Canadian employer and the international employee can satisfy certain requirements.

Before you can make a job offer, you will first need to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Canadian government. The LMIA will be your authority to hire an international employee. You can get this document from the Employment and Social Development Canada Services. If you qualify, this report will allow you to hire your helper under the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP).

Once obtained, you should send a copy of the LMIA, along with a contract of employment, to your helper so that she can apply for a work permit under the TFWP.

Your helper/potential international employee will need to apply for an employer-specific work permit from the Visa Application Centre (VAC) nearest to her in Jamaica. She should submit the required application forms, proof of her education, work experience and other documents to show that she meets the requirement of the job that you are offering her.




She should also be careful to show her ties to Jamaica and that she intends to return to Jamaica at the end of her employment contract or on the expiry of her work visa. Examples of documents that she can submit are: proof that she is in a committed relationship; that she has children; tangible assets such as a house, car, bank statements, and any other information to show that she has strong reasons to return to Jamaica when her contract expires.

She will also need to submit her biometrics data, so her fingerprints will be taken at the VAC. She must also pay the required processing fee when submitting the application.

This is essentially a two-step process, so you should consider contacting an immigration lawyer to ensure that both you and your employee do a pre-assessment of your eligibility before even submitting an application to the Canadian immigration authorities. That way, you will be fully aware of all the requirements beforehand and ensure that you can both meet them. This could save you both a lot of time, and money and prevent undue stress.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Send your questions and comments to or call 613-695-8777 or 876-922-4092