Au pairs in Canada

Au pair programs and visa information in Canada:

Canada does not offer an official au pair program, however, youth between 18 and 30 may qualify for a working holiday Visa or student work program from some commonwealth countries.

Canada also has a Live in Caregiver Visa open to caregivers who are age 19 and above. There is no age limit on this visa program. This visa allows foreign employees to enter Canada as a caregiver. Successful applicants receive an employment authorization allowing them to work in Canada as live-in caregivers. After two years of employment, program participants can apply in Canada to become permanent residents; they may be granted permanent resident status provided they meet certain requirements. Note: the two years of employment must be completed within four years of the caregiver's arrival in Canada.

If you are hiring a caregiver who is already in Canada and has a valid work permit, contact the HRSDC/SC Live-in Caregiver Call Centre at 1-877-227-4577 to apply for a new work permit naming you as the employer.

Student / Youth Working Holiday Programs:

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and you are searching for overseas travel opportunities that will allow you the flexibility to work on short term contracts, visit the International Youth Programs page.

Canada has a variety of Student Youth Programs available to most Common Wealth nationals including: Australia, New Zealand, The UK, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, These programs are often run through partners with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Some youth who are Common Wealth citizens may be able to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada directly for a Working Holiday Visa. Please contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

Live in Caregiver Visa:

The Live-in Caregiver Program allows workers to go to Canada for live-in work as caregivers when there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. A "live-in caregiver" is someone who provides unsupervised care of children, the elderly, or the disabled in a private household.

Please check with the Canadian Embassy in your country to determine the processing time for a live in caregiver visa. Expect normal processing times from 6-24 months. Filipino nationals wanting to immigrate to Canada should expect a longer than normal visa processing time. The CIC site has links to find out how long it is currently taking for applications processed in Canada, and applications processed outside of Canada.

You can learn about Canada's Live in Caregiver Visa at:

Effective April 1, 2010, Live-in Caregiver Program have four years from their date of arrival in Canada to complete the employment requirement to be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Program.

There are four main requirements applicants must meet to qualify under the Live-in Caregiver Program:

1. Applicants must have successfully completed the equivalent of a Canadian high school education. This requirement will help to ensure that if you apply for permanent residence after two years as a live-in caregiver, you will be able to succeed in the general labour market. Studies indicate that the majority of new jobs in Canada require at least a high school education.

2. Applicants must have six months of full-time training in a classroom setting or twelve months of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer in a field or occupation related to the job you are seeking as a live-in caregiver. You may have gained your training or experience in areas such as early childhood education, geriatric care, pediatric nursing or first aid. You may also have completed your training as part of your formal education. This experience must have been obtained within the three years immediately prior to the day on which you submit an application for a work permit.

3. Applicants must be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows you to function independently in a home setting. For example, you must be able to contact emergency services if required and to understand labels on medication. You will be unsupervised for most of the day and may be required to communicate with someone outside the home. A good knowledge of English or French will also enable you to read and understand your rights and obligations.

4. Applicants must have a written employment contract between you and your future employer. The contract defines your job duties, hours of work, salary and benefits. The contract also reinforces your employer's legal responsibilities to you. This requirement helps provide a fair working arrangement between the caregiver and the employer and provides both parties with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.