If you’re working in Canada with a work permit, you might need to extend or change it to continue your employment in Canada. If you’re a foreigner in this situation, it’s essential to know that you can only keep working after your permit expires if you applied for an extension or change before your original permit ended.
There are different rules for those who apply for a study permit or visitor record, which we’ll explain later.
Eligibility to Continue Working
Apply Before Your Permit Expires
Your first step to extend or change your Canadian work permit is to apply for the extension or change before your current permit expires. This is crucial because it ensures that you can maintain your legal status and continue working while your application is under review.
Waiting until after your permit has expired can create complications.
When you successfully submit your application for an extension or change, you maintain your legal status in Canada. This authorization allows you to keep working until a decision is made on your application.
If you’re a temporary worker in this situation, you can keep working in Canada as long as you:
It’s important to understand that only those who apply before their current permit expires are eligible to continue working.
Conditions Based on Your Work Permit Type
Closed Work Permit
If your current work permit is employer-specific or closed, you must follow the conditions stated on your existing permit until a decision is reached on your new application.
This means you should continue working for the same employer and under the same job conditions as your original permit.
Open Work Permit (OWP)
This is a significant advantage for those who hold open work permits, as it allows for greater career flexibility.
Restrictions for Study Permit or Visitor Record Applicants
If you are applying for a study permit or visitor record, be aware that you can only work until your original permit or visitor record expires.
During the period while your application is under review, you cannot work or study in Canada. It’s essential to adhere to these restrictions to stay in compliance with Canadian immigration regulations.
Proving Eligibility to Your Employer
If you applied for your work permit extension or change online, you can provide your employer with the Work Permit Extension Letter (WP-EXT) received from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This letter serves as proof of your continued eligibility to work in Canada.
In cases where a final decision on your application is not made by the WP-EXT expiry date, you can prove your eligibility by showing your employer the official IRCC webpage or by contacting IRCC directly.
For those who submitted a paper application, you’ll need to provide your employer with the following documents to prove your eligibility to work in Canada:
- A copy of your work permit extension/change application.
- Proof that you have paid the necessary fees for the application.
- A copy of the postal or courier tracking information related to your application.
Please note that paper applicants do not receive a WP-EXT letter, as IRCC needs to ensure the completeness of your application and that you meet the requirements to work in Canada.
In conclusion, understanding the Canadian work permit extension or change process is vital for maintaining your work authorization in Canada.
By applying before your permit expires, adhering to the conditions based on your work permit type, and providing the necessary documentation to your employer, you can ensure a smooth transition and continue working legally in Canada.