Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I’m a Canadian senior citizen. My previous caregiver recently became a permanent resident and I am having a difficult time finding someone to replace her. I have called several agencies and many have said “ we don’t do that anymore”. I have heard that the laws are more strict but why is it so hard to find a good caregiver nowadays?

A. You are not the first person to experience the shortage of qualified caregivers in the city. Once upon a time, caregivers would arrive via a sponsor with no problem. Under current rules, the employers MUST pay for all transportation costs, medical costs and agency costs. Employers are discouraged (and perhaps rightfully so) to sponsor caregivers from abroad and pay all fees because what if the caregiver leaves their employment after let’s say one week, the employer has paid everything for the caregiver. In turn, nanny agencies are feeling the pinch and many have closed. The best route is to seek a caregiver currently in Canada on a work permit or even a visitor’s visa.

Q. I just arrived in Canada last month. I was given six months to stay. I have been looking for a job but I am aware that I cannot work without a work permit. My cousin’s employer is willing to hire me as a live in caregiver but I do not have much training in that field. Can I obtain the training in Canada? If yes, can I convert my visitor visa to a work permit?

A. You cannot obtain the training in Canada unless you obtain a study permit. The study permit must be issued from outside the country (ie. USA or Philippines). If you do not have a USA visa, then you will need to obtain one if they schedule an interview. Do not make the mistake (as some do) of obtaining the training or paying a school in Canada for a PSW course without the study permit. You may indeed get a certificate but that training will not be credited to you once you file for a work permit under the live in caregiver program. If you have the requisite six month training before arriving to Canada you may be eligible to obtain a work permit under the live in caregiver program once the employer’s job offer is approved. Once approved, you can change your status from visitor to worker. However, it must be remembered that initial work permits can only be issued from outside the country. You cannot obtain your first work permit from inside Canada, despite the fact that you are physically in Canada as a visitor.

Q. I am writing from Vancouver. I entered Canada as a live in caregiver about one year ago. I never worked as a caregiver because my employer passed away shortly after I arrived. Last week, I married a Canadian Citizen and we are living together. My work permit as a caregiver is going to expire soon. I do not know if I should renew it or not. I am afraid to have my husband sponsor me because I never told immigration that my employer died.

A. I do not see any reason why you should be afraid. You have done nothing wrong and there is no obligation upon you to tell immigration if the employer dies. However, if you are going to renew that work permit that is a different story. I do not see why you would want to renew it under the deceased person’s name since you are only authorized to work for her anyway. Renewing it now for a deceased person would amount to misrepresentation in my opinion. My suggestion is to file for the spousal sponsorship as soon as you can and once pre-approved, you will be eligible for an open work permit. The pre-approval will be issued in about 6 months after submitting the sponsorship application. Therefore, it may be a good idea to change your work permit to that of a visitor in the interim. Obtain professional advice before doing so because by doing so you are taking yourself out of the live in caregiver program.

Q. I obtained permanent residence a few months ago and landed in Canada with my family. All my family members received their PR card except for me. I could not wait any longer as I had to return to UAE to complete some work. I left Canada but yesterday my wife received a letter from the local immigration office stating that I had to go there in person to take new photos. How can I get into Canada if I do not have the PR card?

A. While I understand that you were in a hurry to leave, I always advise clients not to leave Canada after landing until you have that PR card in your hand. The reason for me insisting, is exactly due to what has happened to you. It is rare but there was a problem with your photos and now you need to take new ones. That can only be done inside Canada. So how do you get back? You need to go to the nearest Canadian Embassy (ie. Abu Dhabi) and apply for a one time travel document to return to Canada.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by phone 416 733 3193 or email