What Happens to My Canadian Work Permit If I Lose My Job?

Canadian Work Permit

Every year, a large number of temporary foreign workers come to Canada as holders of work visas and enter the Canadian Labour Market.

Work Permits may be of two broad types Open Work Permits– which allow the worker to work for almost any employment, or Employer-Specific Work Permits, which allow the worker to work for the specific employer, at the specific job, at the specific location, for the specific duration, as mentioned in the permit.

Holders of Open Work Permits do not have any restriction on when they want to change employments. The permit is valid until the validity of the Work Permit. Some types of Open Work Permit are:

• Postgraduate Work Permit
• Spouse of a student Open Work Permit (C42)
• Spouse of a Skilled Worker Open Work Permit (C41)
• IEC (International Experience Canada)
• Bridging Open Work Permits

On the other hand, Employer- specific work permits a.k.a. Closed work permits are much more specific. Any variation to the specific requirements mentioned above in this kind of work permit would require the foreign worker to inform and apply for the change in conditions. For example- the change in position (NOC code change), or change in location, or in case the employer is acquired by another company, etc- all such changes in circumstances need to be informed.

Most common among the employer-specific work permits are:
• LMIA based Work Permit
• Intra-company transfer (ICT) Work Permit
• Global Talent Stream
• and many more.

Now the big question is,

What happens to the Work Permit holder’s status if they lose their job?

If you lose your job, and you hold a valid closed work permit, you will not be able to work for the same employer or work for a different employer. However, if your work permit is still valid, you can legally be in Canada without employment, until the expiry of the work permit.

I was exploited/ abused at my employment. What do I do? Do I have an option?

If you are being abused/ have a risk of being abused, you may be able to apply for a Vulnerable Worker Open Work Permit, which was introduced under the Internal Mobility Program to the aid of vulnerable workers in Canada. This Open Work Permit will give you the opportunity to be able to work for any employer, instead of the one listed on your closed work permit. Contact us now to talk to us, and see if this is an option for you.

Do I have options to extend my stay in Canada or pursue other employments?

If you have been working in Canada under a closed work permit and want to start a new job, you must qualify for and apply for a new, different work permit or switch to an open work permit. You can also change your status to that of a visitor or student.

What happens if I have applied to extend my stay and my Work Permit Expires in the meantime? Can I legally stay in Canada and work for my new employer?

If you applied to extend your stay in Canada as a worker, student or visitor, and continue to stay in Canada while the processing of the application, your status in Canada is maintained (previously referred to as implied status), which means, you stay in-status until an outcome is received. However, an important thing to note is that if you applied to change your status as a student, and you currently hold a work permit, you cannot start study before it is actually granted. Similarly, if you applied for an employer-specific work permit for different employment than the one previously, you cannot assume work at your new employment unless your new work permit is approved.

There have been, however, some policies during COVID-19, to allow holders of work permits to be able to work for their new employment while awaiting their new work permit if they meet certain conditions.

If you are in such a situation, contact us ImmigrateNow, to understand your options before time runs out. To discuss your situation more in detail, or find out more about the current COVID exemptions regarding work, please contact us at +1 604 545 0761.