How to become an au pair in Canada?

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Canada has 39 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

step by step to get to Canada

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Care Giver

find family / au pair, sign contract

Follow our tips on how to find the perfect au pair / the perfect host family with connectAuPair.

The au pair and host family are legally required to sign a written employment contract. The au pair must submit the signed contract with the work permit application. This must be the same employment contract submitted to ESDC/SC by the host family, unless the au pair provides an explanation of any changes (for example, a new start date).

The written employment contract will ensure that there is a fair working arrangement between the au pair and host family.

The employment contract must demonstrate that the Live-in Caregiver Program requirements are met, by including a description of:

  • mandatory employer-paid benefits, including:
    • transportation to Canada from the country of permanent residence or the country of habitual residence to the location of work in Canada
    • medical insurance coverage provided from the date of the au pair's arrival until he/she is eligible for provincial health insurance
    • workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of the employment
    • all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that would otherwise have been charged to the au pair
  • job duties
  • hours of work
  • wages
  • accommodation arrangements (including room and board)
  • holiday and sick leave entitlements
  • termination and resignation terms

A contract template (PDF, 600 KB) is available on the Service Canada website. The contract does not have to look exactly like this, but it must contain all the information and clauses indicated as mandatory.

The use of an alternative contract format may delay the processing of the LMIA application as ESDC and Service Canada officers will need to determine if the contract complies with LCP requirements.

Note: The contract template is different for the province of Quebec and is available on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (Quebec immigration department).

invitation letter

If the au pair is invited to apply to the IEC program, he or she will have 10 days to decide if he / she will accept the invitation. The deadline will be in the invitation. From the day he/she accepts the invitation, he/she will have 20 days to apply online for a work permit.

To accept the invitation,

  1. go to the section called “Continue my profile / application, not yet submitted” in MyCIC
  2. find the application called “Work permit” and
  3. click “Start application.”

If the au pair does not respond by the deadline shown in the invitation, the invitation will expire. If it expires, he/she will have to submit a new IEC profile and be accepted to the pool again before he/she can be considered for future invitations.

The au pair must wait at least one business day before submitting a new profile to the pool.

Once the au pair accepts his/her invitation, he/she will then need to apply for a work permit.  

A letter of invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued. 


Health-care insurance (which covers medical care, hospitalization and repatriation) should be taken out for the entire duration of the au pair's stay in Canada. The cost of this insurance should be covered by the au pair. Please contact the Canadian embassy in your country and ask if they can recommend an insurance company that offers adequate health-care insurance.


To be eligible for the Working Holiday category, the au pair must:

  • be a British citizen from the following territories: the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey,
  • have a valid UK passport with British citizenship or a valid Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey) passport for the duration of your stay in Canada—your work permit in Canada will not be longer than the validity of your passport,
  • be between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive),
  • have the equivalent of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada,
  • be able to take out health insurance for the duration of your stay—you may have to present evidence of this insurance when you enter Canada,
  • be admissible to Canada,
  • have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or demonstrate that you will have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorized stay in Canada,
  • not be accompanied by dependents, and
  • pay the fees.

Learn how to complete your IEC profile online.

Refer to the link below to determine if an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a visitor visa is required:

Determine here whether an ETA or visitor visa is required

Separate and apart from the work permit, the au pair needs a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if you are a national of one of the following countries. You must apply for a TRV at the Canadian visa office responsible for his/her country of citizenship or the country to which the au pair has been lawfully admitted.

The au pair must provide two photographs of him/herself and valid passport with the application

Factors that can facilitate processing

There are certain things the au pair can do to help ensure that his/her application is processed as fast as possible:

  • ensure that all the documentation and information requested are provided with the application
    • clear photocopies of documents
    • documents accompanied by a certified English or French translation
    • verification of information and documents are provided
  • advise the visa office of a change to the contact information. This includes:
    • mailing address
    • telephone number(s)
    • facsimile number (fax)
    • e-mail address


 Find closest Visa application center

Before hiring the au pair, the host family must have:

ESDC/SC will assess the host family's job offer and the employment contract to be sure that it meets the requirements for wages and working conditions and the provincial/territorial labour and employment standards. If ESDC/SC finds the job offer acceptable, they will issue a positive LMIA to the host family.

The au pair will need to submit a copy of the positive LMIA when applying for a work permit


further documents

To work in child care, the au pair will need to undergo a medical examination

  •  contact a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Centre for medical examination forms and further instructions. 
  • Once they have received the examination results, the CIC will modify the work permit and remove occupational restrictions.
  • In most cases, the au pair will need to obtain police certificates.

    If you are not able to get a police certificate before the deadline to submit your application, you may upload a copy of the receipt proving you have requested one. The au pair must have the police certificate ready to submit to CIC when an officer later requests it.

organize trip

The trip will normally be organized by the au pair, of course in accordance with the host family.

Even when everything is clear and all questions are asked, it's good to stay in touch until the journey starts - it's important that also the children get to know that a new au pair is coming and communicating from time to time through Skype is a good way to get used to each other.

Bringing goods to Canada: what is allowed

start journey

What to take with you as au pair? In our community you can find tips from other au pairs!

Please note: Border authorities may examine whether the prerequisites for entry continue to apply. This examination is international practice. The au pair might be refused entry even though (s)he is in the possession of a valid visa, if the prerequisites for entry no longer apply.

Therefore the au pair should carry with him/her documents giving evidence to the purpose of the stay - in particular proof of sufficient funds (au pair contract) and health insurance.

step by step once you're in Canada

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Care Giver


Although it's not mandatory, it should be out of the question that the host family picks up the au pair from the airport or train station (or organizes a pick-up).

The first days should then be reserved for getting to know each other and introducing the au pair to the family's daily routines.

Prepare for arrival (Live-in Care givers)

residence registration

No regulation found, but once the au pair enters Canada he/she needs to state on the customs form the known intended residence address while in Canada.

work permit

The au pair can only work for the host family whose name is on the work permit. His/her work permit could be cancelled if he/she works for anyone other than the person named on his/her work permit. The au pair cannot even work for someone else just to try things out.

bank account

If the au pair has already transferred money to Canada; proof of a Canadian bank account in his/her name will be required for the visa. 

Opening an account is necessary for the host family to transfer money and for the au pair's convenience as debit card use is very common for payment practically everywhere.

 2 pieces of I.D are required

  • Social Insurance Number/Card
  • Passport  

advice and information for newcomers to Canada opening a bank account

driving a car

As an au pair, one may be allowed to drive in Canada with his/her own driving license for a few months. However, after a certain period of time, you will most likely have to take a driving test in Canada to continue driving in your host country. Should you need to drive in Canada, please contact the corresponding motor vehicle licensing agencies in the province where your host family lives for further information. 

Detailed info for driving in Canada also defined by province;

Should you be driving your host family's car, both au pair and host family should clarify issues of insurance and liability beforehand. You should also discuss who is to bear the costs for material damage in the event of a car accident.

elongate visa / apply for residence permit

All information to extend stay in Canada can be found below:

Application to Remain in Canada as a Temporary Resident Permit Holder

Apply to extend stay in Canada

social welfare system

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required to work legally in Canada. Applicants must apply in person via Service Canada

Host families are obligated to follow all provincial laws and regulations. The host family must pay Workplace Safety Insurance, Employment Insurance and make contributions to the Canada Pension Plan for the au pair. Maximum room and board deductions are calculated according to the regulations of each province. Please refer to CIC website for Employment Standards by province

As host families deduct tax from the au pair's pocket money during their stay, the au pair will be required to lodge a tax declaration at the end of the financial year to receive a tax refund. Further information about this can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website. 

step by step to change family in Canada

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Care Giver

find new family

Have a look at our tips, how to change family!

If the au pair is already in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and wishes to change jobs while remaining in the LCP, you may do so. The Host Family will need to apply for an LMIA that includes the live-in arrangement.

If the employer receives a positive LMIA, you will be able to live in the home of your new employer and be able to apply for permanent residence through the LCP when you have met the work requirement.


The au pair should notify his/her insurance providers of any change of address to be able to have immediate access to the benefits in case coverage is needed.

residence registration

not relevant


work permit / residence permit

Unless the au pair has an open work permit, he/she will also have to apply for a new work permit. Make sure to ask the host family for a copy of the positive LMO letter and annex. Once you receive these documents, you may then apply to Citizen and immigration Canada (CIC) for a new work permit.

Before the au pair begins working for someone else, he/she must apply for a new work permit at least 30 days before the expiry date of his/her work permit.

Do not allow the work permit to expire before applying for a new one. The au pair may not remain in Canada after his/her work permit expires unless he/she has applied for a new work permit or have been approved to stay in Canada through another immigration process.

social welfare system

The au pair can change jobs for personal or other reasons. he/she will not be deported for looking for another place to work.

step by step to leave Canada

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Care Giver

de-register residence

When leaving Canada, the au pair needs to fill a form (found on the link below) and submit to the Revenue agency of Canada:

Official form for leaving Canada


If you stayed in Canada for 183 days or more (the 183-day rule) in the tax year, do not have significant residential ties with Canada, and are not considered a resident of another country under the terms of a tax treaty between Canada and that country, you may be considered a deemed resident of Canada.

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Hi, my name is Julien Baldini

and I’m responsible for this country information

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