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Monday, September 19, 2011

How do I hire a nanny?

I'm writing this as an FAQ because I get this question alot and I figure it will be a good rapid response for someone.  Please note that this is the procedure for Canada only, for hiring in the "Foreign Live-in Caregiver Program".

Even if she is someone already in Ottawa and already holding a work permit with another employer family, she will still require a work permit with you. In order for her to apply for a work permit, you need a positive LMO.

0) Go the CRA website and apply for a Business Number. You need this item first before you can apply for the LMO.

1) Go to the site and search caregiver, there you will find the first link for the application of the LMO (Labour Market Opinion). You will need a "positive" LMO document in your hand in order for your  nanny to apply for the work permit.

2) There is document checklist and the complete procedure on how to do it. There were big
changes since I've done it three years ago, as of April 2011.  You will need the Long Form Birth Certificate for all your children. This was not a requirement previously, so I totally had to scramble and get these for my kids this time around.

3) You must advertise this job on Job at the hourly rate of $10.25 per hour. There are already templates and job descriptions.  This part is easy. Just be prepared to receive applicants from Hong Kong, Peru, Columbia, Africa and pretty much everywhere but Canada LOL. You will get a few from Ottawa but I have a mixed opinion about them (like the Mr. Manager from McDonald's who wanted a nanny job with my kids??  He did have CPR and First Aid and some experience working at kids camp)

4) Previously, I had to prepare a Recruitment Report to accompany the LMO application, but I don't remember seeing that in the checklist this time around, but I wrote one anyway.

5) Later when this is all sorted out, you can use the CRA online payroll calculater to figure out how to deduct taxes biweekly or semi-monthly and how to remit these to CRA.

Apply by mail. DO NOT apply online. I did that before and it was hard for them to merge all the documents that you would send in my mail anyway, together with the file. The agent I dealt with was very nice and she told me to redo the application, print it out and fax it to her. I eventually did the scan/ email thing to send it to her, but she did say it was more complicated than just mailing everything in one go.  So I stress, apply by mail.

Verify the checklist. DO NOT forget anything. If you forget anything your application will be rejected because there is absolutely no way for them to add a document to your file (not impossible but it's not

Keep a signed copie of everything for yourself. The contract, the attestation of identity etc.

I'm a little bit confused if it is possible to get an LMO with or without the nanny's name. I've always had a nanny's name identified.  Previously you could get a blanket LMO and go through your search after the fact.  Presently it appears you have to identify the nanny before you get an  LMO. It's a little bit tricky to meet your nanny, then pick her name and gaurantee her to start at a far future date.... maybe if you go through an  agency? Or if you identified a family in Ottawa and you knew that their nanny would be finished with them for sure in April?

Hint:If you hire directly from the Philipines like I tried, the process takes 18 months+ from the first interview at the Canadian Embassy in Philipines, and that is a long time for someone, they are young they could get married/ have a baby/ change their mind. It's much faster to hire her from Hong Kong; the paperwork would normally take only 4 months!  Other items that the employer must pay for: one way airfare from overseas, three months of health coverage before OHIP kicks in and workers comp (insurance).

I have an update because the worker visa for my prospective nanny is about to be issued. There was a tremendous amount of paperwork I recently completed in the last two months after many months of silence.

Begin February 2011 - LMO and Job Bank Posting

Late Spring 2011 - LMO approved, deadline for her to apply for the work permit by Fall 2011.

September 2012 - She completes forms at the Canadian Embassy in Manilla.

Begin February 2012 - I receive a letter from the Canadian Embassy in Manila that my application for a foreign live-in caregiver nanny is being considered but they need supporting documentation to prove the following:
  • My children's live birth (long form birth certificate. Wow, they didn't even need this to get their own passports)
  • Additional proof that I still have kids (ya know what I mean?) I provided an annual statement for the Universal Child Care benefit that lists their names.
  • Ownership of my house, certificate of title, MPLS property tax assessment, builder floor plan or MLS listing (proves I can provide private accomodations)
  • T4 or CRA Assessment for previous two years of myself and/or spouse (proves I can pay the wages)
  • Description of my work and business hours (proves that I have a job, that I have normal hours so I probably would not make my nanny work too much overtime)
  • Description of children's school schedule and routine
  • Contract with Nanny
  • Description of arrangement with present or previous nanny(s)
  • Copy of one CRA Monthly Remittance Record
Overseas, my prospective employee Vicky had to complete an English proficiency test, a medical fitness test, proof of education (I asked for a nursing graduate) and proof of the certified training in childcare-babysitting, first aid etc.

March 2012 - I was asked to send a final letter to reaffirm that all the conditions remain current

Summer 2012 - perhaps in the next few weeks the visa will be issued and my new nanny will arrive! Time to look for some deals on international air fares.

Fall 2012 - we are a military family, so we accept posting to an air base far from the capital city. We are also expecting a fourth baby! These are both changes in the family situation that I am required to inform the Visa office. However I decide to not change anything to impede the application further for these reasons

1) Vicky is the sister of my first nanny Rose. She has agreed to move with me wherever we go
2) We are moving to a bigger house with more bedrooms, how could the Visa office refuse it?
3) We are having another baby, an even bigger reason to have a nanny.
4) We still own the original property and my mail gets forwarded to me anyway. What's the big deal to anyone anyway?

January 2013 - I send a web form request to the Canadian Embassy in the Philipines for an update, but I get the stock reply, please keep waiting.

Spring 2013 - I am in touch with Vicky weekly, but there is still no indication to either of us when the work permit will be issued if ever...

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