A lot of Filipinos dream of getting a job in Canada and later on, bringing their families with them and building a life in one of the most accommodating countries for Filipinos.
Currently, Filipinos are the third-largest Asian group working and residing in Canada1, next to Indians and Chinese. In fact, Filipinos are the largest group of immigrants in Canada coming from Southeast Asia.
One of the most popular and fastest ways to become a permanent resident in Canada is through caregiver programs. In this guide, you’ll learn how to use the caregiver program as a stepping stone to make your Canadian dream a reality.
Related: How to Get a Job in Canada: A Filipino’s Ultimate Job-Hunting Guide
Table of Contents
- Watch Video: Most In-Demand Jobs in Canada for Filipinos
- What Does a Caregiver in Canada Do?
- How Much Is the Salary of a Filipino Caregiver in Canada?
- Caregiver Programs in Canada for Filipinos: Quick Overview and New Updates
How To Become a Caregiver in Canada: 9 Steps
- 1. Know the Basic Qualifications You Need To Become a Caregiver in Canada
- 2. Enroll in an Accredited Caregiver School
- 3. Get the Necessary Work Experience
- 4. Look and Apply for a Caregiver Job in Canada
- 5. Review the Specific Details of Your Employment
- 6. Apply for a Work Permit
- 7. Prepare for Your Departure
- 8. Gain 2 Years of Caregiver Work Experience
- 9. Apply for Permanent Residency
- Tips and Warnings
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What are the possible visa application problems that Filipino caregivers might face?
- 2. Does getting a job as a caregiver guarantee a permanent residency in Canada?
- 3. What are the kinds of patients that caregivers in Canada usually handle?
- 4. What’s it like to work as a caregiver in Canada?
- 5. Under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs, do I have to complete the 24-month requirement in a row to apply for a permanent residency?
- 6. Do I need Canadian work experience to apply under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs?
- 7. Do I need a college diploma to apply under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs?
- 8. Will informal experience in taking care of children and households count as relevant work experience?
- 9. When should I get a medical exam?
- 10. Is it possible to apply for a work permit without a job offer yet?
Watch Video: Most In-Demand Jobs in Canada for Filipinos
What Does a Caregiver in Canada Do?
The responsibilities of a caregiver in Canada are different according to the job type. Caregivers in Canada are classified according to National Occupation Classification (NOC). These are:
- Home Child Care Providers2 (NOC 4111) are responsible for the well-being and development of children on an ongoing or short-term basis. Their job duties include assisting parents with child care, providing age-specific education and discipline, as well as performing household duties. Filipinos who want to work as home child care providers will most likely be employed by child-care agencies, but can also be hired by private households. Other job titles include nanny, babysitter, and child care live-in caregiver.
- Home Support Workers3 (NOC 4412) provide personal care, companionship and support for seniors, people with disabilities and injured or recovering clients. Filipinos moving to Canada will most likely be employed by home care and support agencies rather than private households. Home support workers can also be classified as housekeepers if they handle home management duties such as cleaning, meal preparation and other related services. They are also called personal care attendants, live-in caregivers, and respite workers, among others.
How Much Is the Salary of a Filipino Caregiver in Canada?
According to Job Bank of Canada, the following are the median salaries (presented here as hourly rates) of Home Child Care Providers, Home Support Workers, Housekeepers, and other similar occupations:
1. Home Child Care Providers
For Home Child Care Providers, the national median is C$15.63. As of November 17, 2021, these are the median salaries per province or territory:
- Newfoundland and Labrador: C$15
- Prince Edward Island: N/A
- Nova Scotia: C$15
- New Brunswick: C$15
- Quebec: C$14.35
- Ontario: C$16.52
- Manitoba: C$16.85
- Saskatchewan: C$14
- Alberta: C$17.50
- British Columbia: C$15.20
- Yukon Territory: N/A
- Northwest Territories: N/A
- Nunavut: N/A
2. Home Support Workers
For Home Support Workers, housekeepers, and other similar occupations, the national median is higher at C$17. As of November 17, 2021, these are the median salaries per province or territory:
- Newfoundland and Labrador: C$16.50
- Prince Edward Island: C$18
- Nova Scotia: C$17.95
- New Brunswick: C$14.80
- Quebec: C$15.06
- Ontario: C$18.04
- Manitoba: C$15
- Saskatchewan: C$18
- Alberta: C$18.50
- British Columbia: C$20
- Yukon Territory: C$23.15
- Northwest Territories: C$20.50
- Nunavut: C$24.66
Although the average salaries vary across the country, caregivers in Canada are generally well-compensated.
Factors that may increase or decrease your take-home pay include your qualifications, taxes/deductions in your payslip, different pays for holidays/overtime hours, the living expenses in the area, and the type of caregiving work you’ll render, among others.
Caregiver Programs in Canada for Filipinos: Quick Overview and New Updates
1. Open Caregiver Programs
a. Home Child Care Provider Pilot & Home Support Worker Pilot
UPDATE: Applications for the Home Child Care Provider pilot are now closed for 2021 and will reopen on January 1, 2022. The Home Support Worker pilot remains open.
In June of 2019, Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen4 announced two new pilot programs for caregivers in Canada: the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker. The application for these 5-year caregiver programs officially opened on June 18, 2019.
Each of the programs will accept a maximum of 2,750 applicants (or a total of 5,500 applicants) per year. Applicants should expect up to 12 months of processing time. Through these programs, qualified caregivers and their immediate families can come to Canada with the goal of becoming permanent residents.
The following benefits are given to caregivers under these programs:
- Occupation-restricted open work permits, which will enable workers to change employers but only under the same occupation
- Elimination of the Labor Market Impact Assessment or LMIA
- Ability to get the work experience they need to apply for permanent residency
- Immediate family members (i.e., spouse and dependent children) can apply for work and study permits as part of the caregiver’s application to the program
The programs have different pathways5 depending on the applicant’s amount of qualifying work experience as a full-time caregiver in Canada. However, for most Filipinos the only path applicable to them is the one where no Canadian caregiver work experience is required6.
To be eligible for either of these programs when you don’t have any Canadian caregiver experience, you need:
- a genuine and valid job offer
- to be able to do the job
- to meet the language level7
- to meet the education requirement8
- to be admissible to Canada9
- to live outside Quebec once you become a permanent resident
If you wish to apply for the Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker Program, you can just follow the standard procedure for getting work permits but specify under which program you’re applying. The only difference is you’ll also be able to apply for work permits for your immediate family members.
Caregivers can apply for permanent residency after gaining 2 years of qualifying Canadian work experience.
If you are convinced that this is the program for you, then you can skip to the ‘How to Become a Caregiver in Canada’ section.
b. Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Applicants who don’t meet the requirements for the caregiver programs (namely, Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker) can still come to Canada, albeit temporarily10.
You may work as a caregiver in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker if you meet at least one of the following qualifications:
- You’re already in Canada and eligible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada
- You’ll be working in Quebec
- You’re not in Canada but your employer already applied for an LMIA (Labor Marketd Impact Assessment) before June 18, 2019. If the LMIA was submitted on or after June 18, 2019 with the intention of bringing you to Canada to work outside Quebec, the Canadian immigration will not be able to issue you a work permit11
Unlike the caregiver programs discussed previously, employers need to obtain a positive LMIA first in order for the caregiver to work in Canada.
Now, if you’re already working in Canada under the TFW program with an employer-specific work permit that is about to expire, you can still continue working and keep your status by applying to extend your permit12. In order for your extension request to be granted, your employer needs to get another positive LMIA.
Once your work permit is extended, you can use it as an opportunity to gain relevant experience that will qualify you to apply for either of the two new caregiver programs.
2. Discontinued Caregiver Programs
a. Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)
The Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)13 was first introduced back in 1992. The following work experience qualifications must be fulfilled in order to be eligible for permanent residency through the Live-In Caregiver Program:
- 24 months of full-time and authorized live-in employment
- 3,900 hours of authorized full-time employment
- Relevant work experience must be acquired within four years from the date of arrival in Canada
As of May 2017, the Live-In Caregiver Program was closed for new applicants. The Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker pilot programs for caregivers were introduced to replace it.
b. Interim Pathway for Caregivers
The Interim Pathway for Caregivers14 program ended on October 8, 2019. Only people who applied before October 8, 2019 will have their applications continued to be processed.
This program only applied to eligible in-home temporary foreign worker caregivers who arrived in Canada after November 30, 2014.
There were no limits to the number of applications that were accepted.
Here’s a list of eligibility requirements for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers:
- A Work Permit (other than the Live-in Caregiver Program Work Permit)
- Submitted a renewal application for a Work Permit (other than an LCP Work Permit)
- Eligible for Restoration of Status
- Must have a language skill of at Least a CLB/NCL 5 in English or French
- Has completed 12 months of full-time work experience as a caregiver in Canada since November 30, 2014
- Must have foreign credentials equivalent to a Canadian High School Diploma or non-Canadian Educational Diploma (must undergo an Educational Credential Assessment or ECA)
How To Become a Caregiver in Canada: 9 Steps
1. Know the Basic Qualifications You Need To Become a Caregiver in Canada
Before applying to caregiver jobs in Canada, you must first check if you possess all the requirements needed to be eligible for a Canadian work permit for caregivers.
These are the main requirements that you should meet in order to be considered for a caregiver job in Canada:
- A valid passport (if it’s expiring in less than 1 year, renew it before submitting your application).
- 1 Year of Canadian post-secondary education credentials or foreign equivalent. Most Filipinos will fall under ‘foreign equivalent’ and must get their credentials assessed by an accredited organization.
- Caregiver course certificate. Most Filipinos will not have Canadian caregiver work experience yet, so you need to provide a caregiver course certificate from a TESDA-accredited caregiver school. You can search TESDA’s database for accredited caregiver schools.
- A genuine and valid written employment contract between you and the employer.
- Ability to understand, speak, and write either English or French (those two are the official languages of Canada) proven by a minimum score of 5 across all 4 abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)15. They accept test results from CELPIP and IELTS for English and TEF Canada and TCF Canada for French. Your test results must not be older than two years.
- While not required, relevant work experience (i.e., child care or household management experience if you’re applying for the Home Child Care Provider pilot OR home management experience if you’re applying for the Home Support Worker pilot) may help you land a caregiving job.
- A positive LMIA or Labor Market Impact Assessment (only under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program)
In case you’re wondering, there’s no age limit requirement for caregivers in Canada. It’s the employer who will decide the age of the caregiver he or she is going to hire although preference will, of course, be given to applicants who still have the capability to do the job.
2. Enroll in an Accredited Caregiver School
If you don’t have the required caregiver diploma yet, there are many caregiver schools in the Philippines that you can enroll in.
There are several things that you should look for in a caregiver school.
First, make sure that it’s accredited by DepEd and/or TESDA by searching TESDA’s database. You can also check how a school performs when it comes to caregiver license exams and TESDA assessment exams. Some schools also offer TESDA scholarships so you can study for free.
Another thing to consider is the duration of the course. As much as possible, choose a caregiver school with a 6-month full-time training in a classroom setting (excluding the duration of OJTs and practicum).
Some of the courses available for caregivers are Caregiving NCII, Caretaker, Care Provision, Household Services NCII, Housekeeping NCII, and Health Care Services NCII.
The duration of these caregiver courses is around 6 months to 1 year. Students will be trained to properly provide care for infants, children, people with special needs, and senior citizens.
These are some of the TESDA-accredited caregiver schools around Metro Manila with their location, available caregiver courses, and duration of the courses:
|TESDA-Accredited Caregiver School||Location||Caregiver Course|
|Adamson University||San Marcelino St., Manila||Caregiving NCII (6 months)|
|AMA Computer College||Sta. Mesa, Manila||Caregiving NCII (6 months), Health Care Services NCII (1 year)|
|Asia Pacific Caregiver & Healthcare Training Center, Inc.||EDSA, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Care Provision (100 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours), Household Services NCII (216 hours)|
|Asia Best Career Training Center||Shaw Blvd., Pasig City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Asian Caregiving and Technology Education Centers Inc.||Cubao, Quezon City & Calaanan East, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours), Housekeeping NCII (436 hours), Household Services NCII (216 hours)|
|Asian College of Science and Technology Foundation, Inc.||Project 3, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
|Carenet Healthcare Institute, Inc.||Brgy. San Antonio, Makati City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Central Colleges of the Philippines, Inc.||Aurora Blvd., Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Health Care Services NCII (1079 hours)|
|Colegio de Sta. Teresa de Avila Foundation Inc.||Novaliches, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Housekeeping NCII (436 hours)|
|College of the Holy Spirit of Manila||Mendiola, Manila||Caregiving NCII (6 months)|
|College of St. Catherine Quezon City Inc.||Novaliches, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Housekeeping NCII (436 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
|De Ocampo Memorial College Inc.||Sta. Mesa, Manila||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Delos Santos-STI College, Inc.||E. Rodriquez, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Housekeeping NCII (436 hours)|
|Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College, Inc.||Tandang Sora, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Housekeeping NCII (356 hours)|
|Fine International Training and Assessment Center, Inc.||Cembo, Makati City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Colleges of Caybiga, Inc.||Caybiga, Caloocan City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
|Manila Tytana Colleges, Inc.||President Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|MCC Peoplecare Training Center||San Lorenzo, Makati City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Metropolitan Medical Center College of Arts, Science, and Technology||Sta. Cruz, Manila||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig||Kapasigan, Pasig City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
|Pasig Catholic College, Inc.||Molino, Pasig City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|Philippine Women’s University||Taft Avenue, Manila||Certificate in Caregiving NCII (6 months)|
|PSAA International Academy, Inc.||Pandacan, Manila||Caregiving NCII (6 months), Caretaker (150 hours)|
|San Juan Manpower and Livelihood Training Center||N. Domingo St., San Juan||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|St. Augustine School of Nursing||Lagro, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|St. Mary’s College||Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City||Health Care Services NCII (1079 hours)|
|St. Paul University, Inc.||Cubao, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours)|
|St. Chamuel Institute of Technology, Inc.||San Nicolas, Pasig City||Caregiving NCII (786 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
|Unciano Colleges and General Hospital||Sta. Mesa, Manila||Caregiving NCII (6 months)|
|World City College, Inc.||Cubao, Quezon City||Caregiving NCII (978 hours), Health Care Services NCII (996 hours)|
When applying to your preferred caregiver school, make sure to prepare the following documents:
- NSO/PSA Birth Certificate
- 1×1 and 2×2 pictures
- Certificate of Good Moral Character
- High School or College Diploma
- Form 137 or Certified True Copy of Transcript of Records
Some schools may also ask for a police clearance and a medical certificate.
Upon completing a caregiving course, you’ll have to take the National Competency Assessment Exam. After passing the exam, you’ll be issued a National Certificate II in Caregiving which you can use when applying for caregiver jobs in Canada.
3. Get the Necessary Work Experience
After completing a caregiver course, you can choose to get relevant work experience while looking for a caregiver job in Canada.
Work experience, while not required, will definitely give you an advantage over other applicants who don’t have one.
Choose a job that will let you perform the duties and responsibilities of a caregiver so you’ll be better equipped when you start working in Canada. Also, make sure to choose a job where you can get an employment certificate.
For the Home Child Care Provider program, experience in child care (aged under 18 years) or household management will help you get hired. Meanwhile, the Home Support Worker pilot, which hires caregivers that will deal with seniors and persons with disabilities, will prefer caregivers who have actual experience in supporting and providing care for these types of people.
4. Look and Apply for a Caregiver Job in Canada
One of the best ways to apply for a caregiver job in Canada is through POEA-accredited agencies. These are employment agencies that list jobs that have been evaluated by POEA to fit the minimum employment standards. Meaning, you can apply with more confidence that you will not be put into an unfavorable situation.
Another option is to apply directly to Canadian employers. For direct-hire caregivers, the best way to find legitimate jobs is through the Job Bank of Canada. However, you would need to find an employer who’s willing to go through the long and tedious process of securing a POEA accreditation and work permit for you. Thus, in general, it’s much easier to apply through POEA-accredited agencies.
When choosing a caregiver job listed by a POEA agency, make sure that you’ll choose an agency that has a valid POEA License. You can check the complete list of POEA-licensed agencies here.
To discover more options, you can check out Facebook groups or online forums of Filipino caregivers living in Canada. You’ll find a lot of helpful information there and even talk online to Filipino workers in Canada. They can give you a lot of tips and effective methods to secure a caregiver job in Canada.
5. Review the Specific Details of Your Employment
Once you successfully find an employer who’s willing to do all the necessary paperwork and processes to hire you, you’re finally one step closer to working in Canada.
Discuss all the necessary details with your employer. For Canadian immigration to consider your job offer as genuine and valid16, it should:
- be made using Offer of Employment IMM 5983
- be full-time, meaning at least 30 hours of paid work each week
- be from a Canadian employer that’s not located in the province of Quebec
- not be from an employer who’s an embassy, high commission or consulate
- be genuine, meaning there must be a real reason to hire you as a caregiver
- fall under the NOC (National Classification Code) of the program you are applying for. Note that Home Child Care Provider is NOC 4411 and Home Support Worker is NOC 4412.
Aside from those requirements, you should also discuss the following with your employer:
- Salary. Do some research and verify if the salary that you’re being offered falls within the required wage for your occupation. The amount of workload and living expenses at your employment location should also be considered.
- Living Conditions. Discuss with your employer if the job requires you to reside at your patient’s home or just living near them would be enough.
- Duties and Responsibilities. This is an important detail to discuss with your employer before starting the visa application process. You should know all the duties and responsibilities that come with your job. Ask for clarifications if there are some things about the job that are somewhat unclear.
- Contract Terms. Once you and your employer reach an agreement, an employment contract will be drafted. You should go over every detail in the contract and discuss further with your employer if there are errors or if something should be changed or reassessed.
While finalizing the employment details with your employer from Canada, you can also take the time to prepare the fee and other documents needed for the work permit.
6. Apply for a Work Permit
There are two ways to submit your application for a work permit in Canada:
- Online – You’ll have to use a computer, printer, scanner, and photo editor in order to send your application online. If you’re skilled when it comes to filling out and sending applications online, then you can choose this method.
- On Paper – This method is easier and more straightforward. You’ll only need to download the application form, print it, and fill it out completely and legibly. Thoroughly read Guide 010417 for the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs before filling out the application form.
The following is a checklist of all the forms that you’ll have to download, fill out, and submit when applying for a work permit in Canada under the Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker programs:
- Document Checklist – Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker (IMM 5981])
- Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
- Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295)
- Additional Dependants/Declaration (IMM 0008DEP)
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
- Schedule 19a – Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker – Education and Language Assessment (IMM 5982)
- Offer of Employment Form (IMM 5983)
- Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
- Supplementary Information – Your Travels (IMM 5562)
- Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409), if applicable
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), only if applicable
The following additional documents will also be requested from you upon application:
- National Certificate II in Caregiving or related course from TESDA
- Certificate of Employment (of relevant work experience) (optional but beneficial)
- Employment References (optional but beneficial)
- Educational Credential Assessment18 (ECA) report as well as copies of your diplomas or transcripts (High School or College)
- Language Test Results
- Labor Market Impact Assessment or LMIA
- Letter to Canadian Family
- Marriage Certificate (if married)
- NBI Certificate (original copy)
- Police Clearance
- NSO/PSA Birth Certificate (original copy)
- Proof of Payment (of the Processing Fees)
- Two Photos (should meet the VISA specifications)
- Valid Passport (original copy)
- Printed Copy of your Passport’s Bio-data Page
You can submit your visa application through VFS Global since it manages the Canada Visa Application Centres in the country. You have the option to submit your visa application either in person or through a courier.
VFS Global has offices in Metro Manila and Cebu. You can submit your application with documents at the following addresses:
1. Metro Manila – VFS Global Visa Application Center Makati
Address: Mezzanine Flr Ecoplaza Bldg., Chino Roces Ave. Ext.
Makati City, Metro Manila 1231
2. Cebu – VFS Global Visa Application Center Cebu
Address: Unit 503 Kepwealth Center, Samar Loop, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Cebu 6000
Under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs, you would need to pay the following fees:
- Processing Fee (C$550)
- Right of Permanent Residence Fee (C$500) which can be paid later but it is recommended to pay in advance
- Work permit fee (C$155) and open permit work holder fee (C$100)
- Biometrics fee (C$85)
If you are including your immediate family in your application, then you would need to pay for their corresponding work, study, processing, and biometrics fees as well. Please note that according to the Canadian government’s website, the processing time for these programs can take as long as 12 months19.
7. Prepare for Your Departure
Once you have received your working visa and you’re all set to start your life in Canada for the next two or more years, these are the things that you must accomplish preferably at least two months before leaving the country:
- Attend the POEA Pre-Employment Online Seminar or PEOS. OFWs are required to attend POEA seminars before leaving the country. PEOS is free of charge and consists of 8 modules that you need to pass before you receive your certificate. You’ll learn about overseas job application procedures, documentary requirements, and avoiding illegal recruitment, among others.
- Attend the OWWA & CFO’s Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar or PDOS. PDOS is a free seminar that all OFWs must attend to learn about government services for OFWS, as well as tips about living and working abroad. Traditionally an in-person seminar, the government is steadily moving this to an online platform. It’s not available for all countries yet, but you can check their website if Canada becomes available soon.
- Buy your plane ticket. Purchase your plane ticket as soon as you know your departure date. You can also talk with your travel agent and ask for all the possible fares and schedules so you’ll have time to think about your options. You can also reserve early through your travel agent and just pay later. Check if you can get discounted fares for first-time immigrants since you’ll be purchasing a one-way ticket to Canada. Such discounted rates won’t be applicable to round-trip tickets.
- Plan your connecting flights. There’s a big chance that you’ll have connecting flights from your port of entry to your employment location. You have to make sure that you’ll have enough time between your flights. It’s ideal to have at least 5 hours between your time of arrival at the port of entry and the time of departure of your connecting flight. First-time immigrants will go through an immigration process, including an interview, so it’s important to have a lot of time allowance.
- Get your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The process of getting your OEC is different when you apply through a POEA-accredited agency or through direct-hire. For most Filipinos, this will be their first time going to Canada to work as a caregiver, so they need to set an appointment with POEA to get their OEC. Take note that your OEC is only valid for 60 days so your flight date should be within that validity period as well. Once you get the OEC, you will be exempt from paying the travel tax and airport terminal fees. Every time you come back to the Philippines, you have to always present your OEC. You can also get OECs from your country of employment.
- Get insurance coverage. Recruitment agencies are required by law to ensure that Filipino workers to be deployed abroad have insurance. You should be insured for the whole duration of your employment abroad. It must be noted that insurance fees should be shouldered by your agency.
- Apply for Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth memberships (Mandatory for OFWs). It’s mandatory for OFWs to apply for Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth memberships. Even if you have previously applied for these memberships, you’ll have to apply again since you’ll be under OFW classification this time. These memberships include a lot of benefits that will help you provide medical and financial support for your family. You can even get multi-purpose loans from these memberships, as well as enjoy multiple PhilHealth benefits. You should prepare at least PHP 2,400 per year for the Philhealth membership fee and a minimum of PHP 100 for the Pag-IBIG membership fee.
- Attend the Canadian Orientation Abroad Seminar or COA. This seminar is regularly conducted by the Canadian government with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It’s usually held at the Citibank Tower in Makati. This seminar is also free of charge and talks mainly about the things that you should and shouldn’t expect when adjusting to work and life in a foreign country.
- Get your LTO license and driving record certified. If you plan on driving in Canada, you have to get an LTO Certification on your driving record and it must be notarized by the Department of Foreign Affairs. If you fail to accomplish this document, it will result in a full year of driving only with a Learner’s Permit or Student Driver Permit. You’ll only be allowed to take a driver’s license exam in Canada after a year of residence.
8. Gain 2 Years of Caregiver Work Experience
Once you have arrived in Canada, the next thing that you have to do is successfully complete at least 24 months of qualifying work experience20 for your permanent residency application for the program of your choice.
- For the Home Child Care Provider program, you need child care plus household management experience. Applicants should have experience providing in-home care to children below the age of 18, whether in their own home or in the employer’s or child’s home. Note that foster parent experience is not considered.
- For the Home Support Worker program, you need to prove that you have experience in providing primarily personal care and support services as your main duty with housekeeping only as incidental work. Pure housekeeping work is not considered qualifying work experience.
Note: You must send proof of your qualifying work experience no later than 36 months after you get your work permit.
Once you have worked for 24 months in total, you’ll be eligible to apply for the permanent residency program. You can also take this time to adjust to life in Canada, apply for a Social Insurance number (SIN)21, hone all of your skills, improve your English or French language skills, form new friendships, and develop a work-life balance.
9. Apply for Permanent Residency
After getting 24 months of work experience in Canada, caregivers under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs can now apply for permanent residency.
In order to be eligible for permanent residence, you must have qualified work experience under the National Occupational Classification for your program. For the Home Child Care Provider program, it is NOC 441122 (excluding foster parents). Meanwhile, for the Home Support Worker program, you must have work experience under NOC 441223 (excluding housekeepers). Applications for permanent residence under either program will have as long as a 12-month processing time.
READ: How to Immigrate to Canada: An Ultimate Guide for Filipinos
Tips and Warnings
1. COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place
As of December 2021, COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place all over Canada for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. To find out if you can travel to Canada, you can check this tool from the Canadian government.
2. Build a good relationship with your employer
It’s important to establish a great working environment not just for you but for your patient, too. You can achieve this by having good relations with your employer. You must maintain a high level of trust and respect between you and your employer. If you can, try not to be a total stranger while still keeping your relationship professional.
3. Before signing contracts, make sure to inspect every detail and ask for clarifications if needed
While filling out forms, signing contracts, and authorizing agreements of any kind, review and double-check everything before finalizing things. If you’re not confident enough, you can ask for help from your trusted friends or fellow workers. Never sign anything without making sure that you won’t be put into any kind of trouble or disadvantage.
4. Prepare for Canada’s weather
Canada’s weather is one of the biggest challenges for Filipino caregivers. It can be extremely hot or cold in that country. During winter, the temperature could go as low as negative 30 degrees Celsius. You have to make sure to prepare all the necessary clothing before winter comes.
5. Prepare for high taxes
Income taxes in Canada24 are very high, although not that much higher than the current taxes in the Philippines. 15-33% of taxes will be deducted from your salary, depending on your income bracket. Similar to VAT in the Philippines, you’ll encounter an additional 5% tax from the Goods and Services Tax (GST)25 which is associated with buying goods and paying for services.
Although the taxes in Canada are high, the benefits are exceptional. Aside from giving out child tax incentives, health care and education are free in Canada.
6. Be patient all the time
Patience is indeed a virtue and you can use this trait to get through hardships you might face while working in Canada as a caregiver. You’ll be taking care of babies, children, senior citizens, or persons with special needs; so being patient can go a long way.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the possible visa application problems that Filipino caregivers might face?
Once you have applied for a working visa/work permit, there are only three possible outcomes: your application will be approved, refused, or returned.
If it’s approved, you’ll be authorized to work in Canada as a caregiver.
If your application is refused, it means that you don’t meet all the visa requirements. Your application can be refused if you haven’t attained the required level of education, years of relevant working experience, or required language skills.
Your application can also be refused due to criminal records or medical reasons. Processing fees won’t be refunded if a visa application is refused.
If your application is returned, it only means that you did not submit all the required documents. It could also mean that the visa program that you have applied for has already reached its quota. A returned visa entitles you to a full refund of all the processing fees that you have paid.
2. Does getting a job as a caregiver guarantee a permanent residency in Canada?
No, getting a job as a caregiver does not automatically guarantee that you’ll also become a permanent resident in Canada. It will just give you a chance to gain work experience and useful skills to prepare you for your application.
You must first meet all the qualifications required by the permanent residency program you’re applying for. It’s a common misconception among Filipinos that becoming a caregiver in Canada is an instant way to become a permanent resident.
However, becoming a caregiver is one of the best and fastest ways to get a permanent residency in Canada. You just have to make sure that you’ll meet the requirements like getting at least 24 months of qualifying work experience and the required language skills, among others.
3. What are the kinds of patients that caregivers in Canada usually handle?
In Canada, caregivers provide services to senior citizens, infants, young children, and persons with special needs. You can also work in nursing homes or shelters. A lot of caregivers also live with their patients, depending on their needs and state of health.
The majority of caregiving patients are senior citizens. Some of them need a lot of support in their daily routines, while some just need a companion so they won’t get lonely or depressed.
4. What’s it like to work as a caregiver in Canada?
A lot of aspiring caregivers wonder what life is like in Canada for Filipino caregivers. Just like with any job, there are positive and negative aspects when it comes to a Filipino caregiver’s working situation in Canada.
The amount of workload varies per job but some of them can be too overwhelming for a single person. Thankfully with an open permit from the Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker program, you can apply to another employer that could potentially have a lesser workload.
Although the job can be too physically demanding and mentally tiring at times, it can also be fulfilling and rewarding when they see that they’re not just providing care, but actually making a difference in the lives of their patients.
5. Under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs, do I have to complete the 24-month requirement in a row to apply for a permanent residency?
No, you only have to complete your 24 months in total and not in a row. However, please note that you shouldn’t procrastinate either as you must have completed 24 months and submitted your permanent residency application no more than 36 months after you received your work permit.
6. Do I need Canadian work experience to apply under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs?
No, there is actually a specific pathway for people with no Canadian caregiver work experience under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs. Most Filipinos will fall under this category.
However, this means you need to show proof of your competency in other ways. These include getting your National Certificate II in Caregiving from TESDA and getting relevant local work experience to make yourself more appealing to potential Canadian employers.
7. Do I need a college diploma to apply under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs?
No, but you need at least the equivalent of 1 year of Canadian post-secondary education credentials. To ensure that you have the right amount of education needed, you must get your credentials assessed by an accredited organization.
8. Will informal experience in taking care of children and households count as relevant work experience?
Unfortunately, no. You need professional experience and your employer must be able to show an employment certificate in order to help make your job application more appealing to Canadian employers.
9. When should I get a medical exam?
A medical exam is required for your application. However, you should not get one unless instructed by representatives from the Canadian government. It takes a long time to process an application under the Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker programs, so you should only undergo a medical exam once instructed.
10. Is it possible to apply for a work permit without a job offer yet?
No, it is one of the basic requirements. Your application will only be rejected and you will be wasting valuable time and money.
Go back to the main article: How to Get a Job in Canada: A Filipino’s Ultimate Job-Hunting Guide
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44 thoughts on “How To Become a Caregiver in Canada: A Definitive Guide for Filipinos”
Wow. This very thorough.
Hi, my name is Rosa Pato and am 42 years old. I am a Midwife nurse. Bachelor in clinical nurse. Am from Papua New Guinea and interested to work in nursing home and willing to work in Canada for 2 years and get citizenship with my children. Will this be possible?
Can I apply as care giver in Canada?
I am in college and wanted to work next year. I am good in English.
Do they require NCII to be able to have that job?
Hello, all the information provided is very helpful especially I am planning to go to Canada for work. I would like to ask some questions to make me clear on how to get a caregiver job if you were in other countries (outside the Philippines). Can still apply for a job in Canada if you are working abroad and planning to do cross country? Thank you for your earnest response. God bless.
I want to work Canada cleaner not to apply for residency but work only
Hi! If It is going to be processed by the agency, can I request for which area I want to be assigned?