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March 23, 2023

Renewing your work permit while in Canada

Published on March 13th, 2023 at 09:00am EDT

If you have a work permit that is going to expire or you want to make changes to the conditions of your work permit, you must submit a new application at least 30 days before your work permit expires. You are legally allowed to stay in Canada while Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processes your application.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

The conditions of your work permit change if there are changes to your current job such as a change in pay or new responsibilities, if you are offered a different job or you want to work for a new employer. You are not allowed to start working a new job or work for a different employer you get a new work permit with the new conditions.

If you have an open work permit, you are permitted to extend it as long as you are still eligible to work in Canada with an open work permit.

How to apply

In most cases, you must apply online to extend or change the conditions of your work permit. To apply online, you will need to have electronic copies of your documents and will have to pay processing fees for the application.

Before you upload your forms, you must answer some questions. You will also create an account so that you can submit your application and check your status. If IRCC accepts your application, you will either get an extension of your current work permit or a work permit for the new working conditions.

Can I work with an expired work permit?

If your work permit expires while IRCC is processing your application, you must determine if you are allowed to keep working.

If you applied to extend your work permit and then it expires, you have maintained your status. You are therefore authorized to work without a permit until a decision is made on your application, as long as you are working under the same conditions as your current (or expired) permit.

If you applied for a new work permit to either change your employer, job or work location, and then your current permit expires, you have also maintained your status. You are therefore authorized to continue to work, but only for the employer named on your original work permit until IRCC makes a decision about your application. You cannot start working under the conditions of the new work permit until the application is processed.

Finally, if you applied for a study permit or to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, you may only work until your permit expires. Once it expires, you must stop working. You may also only begin to start studying until IRCC processes your application.

It is important to note that you not permitted to extend your work permit beyond your passports expiry date.

How can I prove to my employer that I can keep working?

After you apply to extend or renew your work permit, IRCC will send you a latter that you can use as proof that you are eligible to keep working under the same conditions as your original work permit. IRCC states that if the application is still being processed, you can even continue to work past the expiry date while on the letter as long as your working conditions remain the same.

What if my permit expires before I apply to renew it?

If your work permit expired before you applied for a new one, you must stop working if you are in Canada. However, you may be able to restore your status as a worker. You can apply to restore your status as a worker if you:

  • Apply within 90 days of losing your status
  • Meet the requirements for your stay (ex. you did not work illegally)
  • Meet all the conditions listed on your expired permit before it expired

IRCC states that there is no guarantee that they will approve your application to restore your status or for a new permit.

If you would like to renew or extend your permit, hiring an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer is recommended. Cohen Immigration Law’s team of lawyers will work with you to understand your situation and help with the application process.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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