These days, Canada has been a popular country for immigrants from all over the world for greater employment possibilities. And it takes a lot more than what meets the eye to get there and get a legitimate working permit. But what happens when this vital document expires?
Most people come to the country to work for a maximum of four years. If you are currently working or plan to work in Canada, you should keep track of the total time you have worked and plan to work in Canada. After you have worked temporarily for four years in Canada, you will not be eligible to work in the country again until another period of four years has passed.
Before you are eligible to work again in Canada, you will need to spend four consecutive years either:
- Outside of Canada; or
- In Canada but not working (i.e. with legal status as a visitor or student). At that point, you can apply for a work permit and you can start another four years of working in Canada.
However, if your work permit expires, you can still stay in Canada, and may be able to keep working, under what’s called implied status. That means the law implies you are a temporary resident. The implied status lasts until Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) decides on your new permit application. However, you must respect the following requirements:
If you applied for another work permit
You must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original work permit. If you applied for a work permit extension before your work permit expired, you can keep working under the same conditions as your existing permit until CIC decides on your application unless you have applied to extend your stay under another category.
If you applied for a different kind of permit
You cannot do any of the activities allowed by the original work permit. For example, you may have come to Canada as a worker and then applied for a study permit. If so, you must stop working once your work permit expires. After that, you cannot work or study until you get a new permit.
But if you applied for an extension before your work permit expires, you can keep working until a decision is made on your application.
You must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original work permit. For instance, if you have an employer-specific work permit, you must still work for the employer named on that permit.
CIC does not provide confirmation that you have implied status in Canada. However, you should keep proof that you submitted the application before your work permit expired. This includes copies of the application, the fee receipt, and something that confirms the date it was sent and delivered.
Finally, if your work permit expires and you did not apply for an extension or did not renew it, you must leave Canada right away. If you do not leave, you could be deported and will need permission from an immigration officer to come back.
To restore your work permit:
- Send an Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Worker to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta,
- On the form, say you are asking for your status to be restored and your work permit extended, and explain why you stayed in Canada longer than allowed, and
- Pay C$200 to for your status to be restored and C$155 for the work permit itself (for a total of C$355).