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What happens if my work permit expires in Canada?

A work permit is a special document that allows a foreign national to work in Canada on a temporary basis. There are different types of work permits, and each of these types of work permits may have a different length of validity. All of these work permits expire. 

When your work permit expires, you are expected to leave Canada as you will no longer have a valid visa that allows you to live and work in Canada. However, you also have a multitude of options. Keep in mind that the majority of these options must be dealt with BEFORE your work permit expires.

1. Did your job get extended or change? You will need to make an application to change the conditions of your work permit or extend it before your work permit expires.

2. Were you offered a completely different job in Canada? You will need to apply for a new work permit before you can start this job.

3. Is your work permit about to expire, but you want to remain in Canada permanently? You must determine if you qualify for immigration to Canada as a permanent resident under certain immigration categories, such as the Canadian Experience Class or skilled worker stream.

4. Did you leave Canada and want to come back? When you return to Canada you must have a valid passport and a valid work permit or other visa that will allow you into Canada.

Please note that you must make decisions on the above options before your Canadian work permit expires. If your work permit has already expired and you are still in Canada, please contact one of our licensed immigration lawyers as soon as possible. Overstaying your visa or work permit can be a very serious matter, and in most cases you may have to leave Canada to apply for another work visa or other visa to come back into Canada.

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

48 thoughts on “What happens if my work permit expires in Canada?

  1. tony Jones

    Hello, I got my 3 years post grad work permit in 2011 and it is about to expire in November. I am in the express entry pool but havent gotten an invite and also havent gotten any company to do the LMIA. I am currently working in the bank. Would I be able to extend my work for at least a year to get some more time to work and get more experiece for the express entry? or do I have to leave canada.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Tony. You cannot extend a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Depending on the type of work that you are doing, you may be able to apply some of your work experience towards your Express Entry profile. That would increase the chances that you get selected. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to look at all the details of your situation and plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  2. Bee

    Hi, It was a helpful information.
    I have a question I finished my contract last May 27,2016 at one of the fastfood in Camrose. They did not extend me but i want to look for a job to stay longer for at least two years in anywhere. I have been told that i can stay two months if i apply for another job but until now i have no work permit or visa. I am currently in calgary because my agent told me to stay my old employer sent me a return ticket back but i did not use it to go home. Am i overstaying already? what will be the consequences that will happen to me since until now i have no work permit or visa. please i need your advice. thanks

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Bee. Overstaying on an expired visa is very serious. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  3. Abdi

    Hi I applied another work permit, after my previous work permit was refused, as soon I know my work permit was refused I stop working,
    I applied the New work permit, my work still available.
    My question. Can I go back to my work or I have to wait until the decision was made?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Abdi. You cannot work in Canada unless you have a valid working status.
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  4. rafcal

    Hi my work permit will expire in 16 days, I didn’t apply for the extension of work permit because as from the cic agent that we spoke before he said that no need to extend my work permit as a Live in caregiver. can I still apply for a work permit extension? even though it will expire on 20th? I need advice and answers. thank you.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Rafcal. Please check again with the CIC agent. You may need to apply for an extention to your work visa.
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  5. Val

    Hello,
    Thank you for the original post. I am an Australian (so I have visa-free visitor status for 6 months) who’s planning to apply for a Fellowship (like an internship) next year in Canada that’s funded via a stipend to me by the Australian government. The host organisation in Canada that I am looking to do the placement in is researching the type of work permit that would be applicable.
    The Fellowship would be for four months and then I’d like to travel for 1 month before leaving Canada. After the work permit expires would I need to do anything about the extra month, e.g. apply to change status to visitor?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Val. Thank you for writing to us. You must always remain in status. It is a rule that should never be broken. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  6. Messi

    HI,
    I finished my 2 years diploma in 2013 and i am currently on my post-graduation permit which is about to expire on June 25, 2016. I applied for a tourist visa on may 17, 2016 and and for student visa on may 20, 2016. The only reason i applied for tourist visa was i didn’t want to leave Canada before getting my study permit result. Unfortunately, i didn’t get my temporary resident visa (visit visa). I had little idea about implied status, and i believe i did not have to apply for temporary resident visa in the first place. So, my question is can i still legally stay in Canada while my study permit application is still in process even though my work permit expires? I really want to stay in this country to further my studies.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Messi. Immigration rules can be very complex. In order to give you sound advice we would need to look at all the circumstances of your situation. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  7. Ann-Ann

    Hi, im ann, my trv was expired last January 2016 and i don’t apply for new one,and soon my work permit is going to expires on june 29,2016 but i submitted my application for work permit. Now im worried about my status, what im going to do?Did the immigration will send me back home?

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Ann-Ann. If you go out of status you will have to leave the country until your status is renewed. There may be some things that we can do but we will only know once we know all the details of your situation. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  8. Fina

    Hi!

    I have an expired visa since March 7, but I have extended my stay as a worker but refused on May 9. Also my passport was expired since June 13. I have tried to submit my application for TRV in Apex Immigration but they said they can’t submit it to CIC because of my passport. Is my case will make me ineligible for restoration?

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Fina. You have a serious situation with an overstay and an expired passport. In order to give you the best advice possible, we will need to look at all the facts in your case. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  9. Ys

    Hi unsure if my last post worked

    Im an Australian who overstayed my work permit do to stupidity lack of time.and not being organised. I wish to go back to Canada on a work permit and work again as the end goal is PR as I have family there that are PR. What are my chances of getting another work permit to go back so I can find sponsershop for PR. I k ow they question you on the application process. I left the country on my own free will and wasn’t asked to leave. My overstay was over a year. What are my options ?

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello. Do you have a new job offerÉ
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
      1. Ys

        Hi.

        No I don’t have a job offer at this stage. I know I will find work quickly and have people asking about if I’m coming back.

        Reply
        1. Muga Rajbhandari

          Hello. You need a job offer to be able to apply for a work permit. I am going to suggest that if you want to look at other Canadian immigration options that you should book an appointment with one of our licensed immigration professional. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
          Regards, Muga

          Reply
          1. Ys

            Is that including going through IEC. I was more wondering if my overstayed will effect going for another work visa, as it asked about overstayed visa

            Reply
            1. Muga Rajbhandari

              You really need to let us look at all your details to be able to accurately evaluate your situation. Immigration can be very complex.
              Regards, Muga

              Reply
  10. Ys

    Hi
    Im an Australian and I overstayed my work visa (through stupidity of taking to long getting a second one, time got away from me and not having money to return home) and now wish to return to Canada. It was the better part of a year. I didn’t get a removel order to leave. Left on my own free will. Was wondering am i still able to get a work visa for Canada as I meet the requirments. I know they ask about over stay. The long term goal to to get PR as I have family there.

    Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello. Thank you for writing to us. Overstaying on a visa is a serious matter, and may affect the immigration that you do in the future.
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  11. Kate

    Hello,

    My IEC open work permit expires on 13/04. We are due to move to the UK on 03/05. I’m concerned that if I apply online to change my status to a visitor I won’t get my passport back in time for our departure. If I go to the border on 14/04 will they let me re-enter as a tourist for those 2 weeks? I have a valid Australian passport and proof of our planned move to the UK. The only reason I am staying til the end of the month is because my partner’s IEC work permit does not expire until then.

    I’ve been looking online regarding my situation and the info I’ve found is vague at best.

    Thanks,
    Kate

    Reply
    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Kate. Thank you for writing to us. There is a restoration period of 90 days after a work visa expires. In that time you must either find another job and a visa, or you have to leave the country. There is no need to apply to try to change your status. You will not be out of status the day that your work visa expires.
      Regards, Vahe

      Reply
      1. Kate

        Hi Vahe,

        I don’t think this covers my situation. My IEC work permit clearly states I have to leave the country by the 16/04. If I stay and do nothing to change my status won’t this cause an issue with immigration if I ever try to return? Everything else I’ve read indicates I need to have some kind of legal status in Canada after my permit expires.

        Thanks,
        Kate

        Reply
        1. Vahe Mirzoyan

          Hello Kate. You must absolutely stop working on the last day that your work visa is valid for. CIC understands that it is unreasonable to expect that people will leave the country on the last day that they are working, that is why there is a restoration period; but they will not be understanding if you should work even one extra day.
          Regards, Vahe

          Reply
          1. Kate

            Hi Vahe,

            My particular visa, which expires on 13/04 very clearly says I must leave the country by 16/04, three days later. My visa is not a typical work visa, it was issued under IEC and is not renewable. I contacted the CIC and was given the impression that I needed to change my status to visitor status to be allowed to remain in the country. Does the restoration period apply to a non-renewable work permit issued under IEC? If I do need to change my status to visitor status can this be done by going to the border and flagpoling?

            Thanks,
            Kate.

            Reply
            1. Vahe Mirzoyan

              Hi Kate. I understand the concern that you have. The simple solution is leave when your visa is finished and wait for your partner while you are in the UK. You can however Flagpolling is not a good strategy because you run the risk of not being able to get back into Canada. You may apply for a Visitor Visa but it will take 3-4 months to get the approval. In reality, a couple of weeks will not have an adverse effect on your ability to come to Canada in the future, but you will be questioned, and you will have to prove that you were not working at all during that period. The totally worry free solution is to leave and wait in the UK.
              Regards, Vahe

              Reply
  12. sharon

    Hi, my work permit expires next month. Also here in canada from 2006, applied for sponsorship within Canada, still waiting for PR. how do I go about doing this. had the IMM 1249 form ,not sure if still applicable.

    Reply
    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Sharon. Thank you for writing to us. You need to get an extension of your work permit so that you do not go out of status. If you need help with your applications to make sure that you are not making any mistakes, and so that you will have a legal team taking care of all the matters that may arise, then please contact us to book a consultation with one of our immigration professionals. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Vahe

      Reply
  13. Shauna

    I am on a study permit which will expire in September 2016. I also have a 10 year TRV which goes well beyond the study permit. I would like to remain in Canada for a bit after my study permit expires. Can I remain on my TRV after my study permit expires? If yes, for how long?

    Reply
    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Shauna. Your TRV gives you the flexibility to stay in Canada after your study permit expires but you MUST apply for a Change of Condition Status with IRCC (CIC). Your TRV will give you the ability to initially stay for six months with an extension for up to two years before having to exit Canada. If you need help with your Change of Status applications to make sure that you are not making any mistakes, and you will have a legal team taking care of all the matters, then please contact us to book a consultation with one of our immigration professionals. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Vahe

      Reply
  14. cindy

    My work permit has expired 3 weeks ago however I had applied to cic for restoration but now I changed my mind I want to go home should I cancel the application and will it be a problem going back to Jamaica and what if I want to apply for a us visa will that be a issue for me?

    Reply
    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hi Cindy. Yes, you should contact CIC and cancel your application. If Jamaica is your country of origin it will not be a problem for you to go back home. Your future US Visa application will not be effected by your cancelled Canadian application. Someone from our office will be contacting you shortly to see if you need any help with your situation.
      Regards,
      Vahe

      Reply
  15. Kevin MacFarlane

    Work permit expires 13th July and my contact finishes then.

    I am a UK citizen but my partner is Canadian & has a house here.

    Do i have to leave Canada then come back as a visitor to spend a month there before new contact begins elsewhere in world?

    Reply
    1. Mira Freiwat

      Hello Kevin,

      Thank you for your post. You can apply to extend or change your status from within Canada and not have to exit and reenter. If you would like assistance in doing this correctly, without risking losing your status here and having to exit, email us directly at [email protected] and we will be happy to help! MF

      Reply
  16. Mira Freiwat

    Hello Tricia,

    Thank you for your post. In order to do the best that we can to restore his status we would need to act quickly so that it would not have any detrimental effects on any future applications he submits. To see if he is even eligible to proceed with this, I would require some more information. Kindly complete this form http://www.visaplace.com/immigration-assessment/ and as soon as I review it I will contact you. MF

    Reply
  17. Mark

    Hello,

    I was a foreign student in Canada since 2002, in 2011 I applied and qualified for 4-year work permit. But during that 4-year period I was married to a Canadian and I left Canada after my work permit expired.

    Now, I want to come back to Canada and live with my spouse. What should I do other than having my spouse sponsor me? Can I still get another work permit?

    Thanks,
    Mark

    Reply
    1. Mira Freiwat

      Hello Mark,

      Thank you for your post. You can definitely find an employer who is hiring and if they give you a job offer you can either apply for a Temporary Work Permit or to Express Entry to gain Permanent Residency that way. If you would like my assistance to determine your eligibility, please complete this form http://www.visaplace.com/immigration-assessment/ and I will contact you after I have reviewed the results. MF

      Reply
  18. allan

    hello just want to ask CIC refused my work permit application and my work permit is expired last november 18 2014, can i go back to my country (philippines) and come back to canada and can i apply work permit at the canada airport. thank you

    Reply
    1. owen

      Hello Allan,

      At this point you should probably go back to the Philippines, as you may not have legal status in Canada. This could have negative consequences for your future life in Canada, so please get in touch with us as soon as possible, and we would be happy to help.

      Regards,
      Owen

      Reply
  19. saj

    Hi,
    My work permit will be expire in May 2015 and I already applied for PR.
    I want to go back my country(Iran) in Febraury but I do not have a visa to come back to canada.

    If my PR does not come until May and I receive it after May, is it possible to come back to canada after May when I am in Iran?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. owen

      Hello Saj,

      If you receive PR status, then you will be able to re-enter Canada after visiting abroad temporarily.

      Regards,
      Owen

      Reply
  20. Anonymus

    Thanks for the info.
    I would like to ask a question,
    What if your work permit expires and you are out of the country in that moment (vacations for example) and you just want to come back to the country to stay a couple of weeks because your girlfriend lives there or you just wanna come back and pack everything to leave the country in a few days?
    Can you get into the country as a tourist?

    I’d like to have a soon answer,

    Thank you,

    Reply
    1. owen

      Hello,

      Thanks for the question. If your work permit expires, then you must get a new visa in order to come back into Canada (such as a TRV for example). We would be glad to help you obtain a TRV, which is something that we have done for many clients in the past. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

      Regards,
      Owen

      Reply
      1. Tricia

        Good day, my husband had a work permit that expired in March however he had change his job before it expired and the new company had applied for a LMO. After it expired and he was enquiring he was told that the LMO was not approved. It is now June and he is still in Canada. What can be done at this time?

        Reply

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