Can We Extend Work Permit In Canada

The best part about having a work permit is that you’re not just authorized, but actually allowed to work in Canada. That said, it doesn’t mean that your initial work permit application was granted for life. If you plan on staying in Canada past the expiry date on your document and want to stay longer, the obvious solution is to get an extension and continue working. While this sounds easy enough, the reality couldn’t be further from it: the Canadian immigration authorities don’t make it easy at all!

Can We Extend Work Permit In Canada

Work permit in Canada is mandatory for the foreign nationals to get employed in the country. It permits an individual to seek employment through a Canadian employer. There are various Canadian work visa with an authorized duration. The most prevalent ones include:

Most international students in Canada are on a study permit. This can be frustrating if you want to stay and work in Canada, but is this option open to you?

Table of Contents

About the process

If you have a work permit that’s about to expire or that you need to change, you must apply to extend it or change the conditions on it.

You should apply to extend your work permit at least 30 days before your current permit expires.

Maintain your status

If you apply to extend or change the conditions of your work permit before it expires, you’re legally allowed to stay in Canada while we process your application.

If your work permit expires while we process your application, find out if you can keep working.

Date and time we receive your application

To maintain your status, we must receive your application before your work permit expires. We determine the date and time an application is received 2 ways:

  1. If you apply online: You must submit your application before midnight UTC on the day your work permit expires.
    • Our online application system uses coordinated universal time (UTC).
    • Make sure you know the difference between your local time and UTC.
  2. If you apply on paper: We stamp paper applications the day we receive them at the case processing centre.
    • If we receive an application after your work permit expires, we’ll count back 7 days and use that as the date received.

Check the expiry date on your passport

You can’t extend your work permit beyond the expiry date of your passport. Make sure your passport won’t expire before the requested end date of your permit.

If you don’t have a work permit

If you want to work in Canada temporarily, find out what you need to do.

If you want to stay in Canada permanently

You must qualify under one of the permanent resident categories.

Express Entry will reopen this summer

In early July, international students will once again be able to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry, which comprises immigration streams such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. The government expects that “the vast majority of new applications will be processed within the 6-month service standard.”

According to the official press release,

  • Applicants will no longer be required to remain in Canada while their application is being processed.
  • Applicants who apply for an open work permit while waiting for their permanent residence application to be finalised will be able to get work permits valid until the end of 2024. This will ensure that all permanent residence applications will be finalised before applicants will need to apply to extend their temporary status again.
  • To support family reunification, immediate family members who are outside Canada and who were included in a principal applicant’s permanent residence application will be eligible for their own open work permit.

18-month PGWP extension for some

Also this summer, international students who have graduated from Canadian institutions and have work permits that expire between January and December 2022 will qualify for a new open work permit of 18 months. The intention here is to give those students more opportunities to gain work experience, which, in turn, will give them a better chance at qualifying for permanent residence. This is because work experience gained while being on the PGWP counts on students’ Express Entry applications to immigrate to Canada.

The process through which students can obtain their extension will be announced in the coming weeks.

The government says that roughly 95,000 post-graduation work permits expire between 31 January and 31 December 2022, and that while thousands of students with expiring work permits have already obtained permanent residence, thousands of others have not. They anticipate “as many as 50,000 applicants could benefit from this temporary measure.” Without the permit extension, those students would have had to leave the country.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said in an official statement,

“With the economy growing faster than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and labour needed to fuel our growth. Immigration will be crucial to easing our labour shortage, and these measures aim to address pressing needs in all sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for recent graduates and other applicants to build their lives in Canada and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.”

Many think more could be done

While many students will be relieved at the news that they can stay on for longer in Canada after graduation to gain work experience, there are others who will be left out of the extension. Migrant Students United, a part of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change – a Canadian advocacy group supporting migrant workers – notes that the work permits of thousands of recent international graduates expired between 27 November 2021 and 31 January 2022 and that these students will not be helped by the recent announcement by the Canadian government.

Migrant Students United coordinator, Sarom Rho, said, “We need a permanently renewable post-graduate work permit, not a one-off programme, and the current announcement needs to include those left out.”

Leave a Comment