Can I work in Canada with an expired work permit?
Most foreign nationals who intend to work in Canada must hold valid work permits. Nonetheless, some may work in Canada with an expired work permit or even without a work permit. The focus of this article is on expired work permits. However, you may read my other article that focuses on working without a permit.
- Defining a work permit
- Work permit expiry
- Restoration of work permit
- Revocation of a work permit
- Let us help!
Before explaining an expired work permit, let’s define the work permit. A work permit is a piece of paper that allows you to work in Canada. A typical work permit consists of the following information:
- Your name and address
- The document number, application number, and UCI
- Your personal information (name, passport number, …)
- The specifics of the work permit (employer, location, start date, work permit expiry date, …)
- Conditions attached to the work permit
I have enclosed a sample work permit here. However, I deliberately chose an old work permit to prevent cheating. Of course, you can see that I have redacted some portions of it.
Remember that a work permit does not authorize re-entry to Canada. Please consider reading the following articles for more information:
- Can I travel to Canada with my work permit, study permit, or visitor record?
- The difference between visa and temporary status in Canada
You may only work in Canada until the expiry date of the work permit. However, if you meet the conditions, you may request a new work permit before the permit’s expiry date. Assuming you have submitted a complete package before the expiry date of the work permit, you may continue working in Canada. Nonetheless, your work conditions must follow the old work permit, not the new one. There are two reasons you may remain and work in Canada:
- Under the maintained status, you may remain in Canada, subject to subsection 183(5) of IRPR.
- Subsection 186(u) allows continuing working in Canada. However, you must obey the terms and conditions of your previous work permit.
IRCC usually issues a transitional work permit to assist you in maintaining your status in Canada. Regardless, you may remain and work in Canada according to the aforementioned sections. In other words, you don’t need a valid transitional work permit to work in Canada. Also, they sometimes could issue public policies to ease up the requirements. For example, a couple of public policies during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed workers to switch employers immediately. However, these are exceptions, not the norm.
You have to apply for a new work permit, study permit or visitor record before the expiry of your work permit. Unfortunately, if you do not apply in a timely fashion, you will lose your status in Canada. Nevertheless, you may consider the following:
- Apply for restoration of status within 90 days after the expiry of the work permit.
- Consider alternative options if more than 90 days have passed from the expiry date.
Keep in mind that while you are applying for restoration of status, you do not have any status in Canada. Consequently, you may not work in Canada.
- Revocation of the LMIA
- An LMIA-exempt work permit hurts the labour market.
- The employer has enclosed inaccurate, false or misleading information.
- The employer is now on the ineligible list.
- The foreign national has received their work permit because of a relative (e.g., IMP C41 ). However, the authorities have revoked the principal applicant’s permit.
Subsection 30(1.41) of IRPA allows an officer to revoke your work permit based on this public policy. However, this section does not prohibit them from other revocation options.
If you are approaching the expiry date of your work permit, book a consultation session with me to explore your options. Alternatively, fill out the following form if you face any immigration or visa issues. Of course, you may fill out our assessment form for immigration to Canada.
Read this in Spanish
Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.
For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.