Losing a work permit in Canada: cancellation or revocation

loss of work permit

Alina is a Paraguayan citizen with a valid employer-based work permit in Canada. Unfortunately, she recently lost her job. Alina wonders if losing her job means she has lost her work permit. Furthermore, she needs to know what causes losing a work permit in Canada, or rather what results in cancellation or revocation of work permits.

Losing a work permit by reaching the expiry date

The most obvious way to lose a work permit is by expiration. All work permits include an expiry date. You can locate the date in the middle of the work permit document.

Losing a work permit due to expiration

Reaching this date means you have lost this permit. However, you may consider one of the following to remain in Canada.

You lose legal status in Canada if you choose the last two options. Moreover, they could make you subject to a removal order. However, you could submit a Restoration application if you overstay less than 90 days. I have another article that discusses overstaying for more than 90 days.

Non-compliance and losing a work permit

As a foreign national, you must comply with the requirements of the Immigration Act. If you don’t, you lose your temporary status [practitioners see A47(b)]. Consequently, you also lose your work permit. Here are some examples of non-compliance.

  • Working outside the scope of your work permit: If your work permit is employer-based, you may not work for another employer. Furthermore, some work permits limit you to a specific region in Canada. Therefore, you may not work outside that region. Other conditions may also exist for the work permit that you have to obey.
  • The adult industry: Paragraph 183(1)(b.1) of the Immigration Regulations prohibits foreign workers from working for the adult industry in Canada.
  • Non-compliant employers: Sometimes, immigration authorities blacklist employers for not complying with immigration regulations. Consequently, you may not work for those employers [practitioners see R183(1)(b.2)].
  • Studying with a work permit: Unless authorized, you may not study with a work permit.
  • Becoming inadmissible to Canada: Inadmissibility is a gateway for losing a work permit.

You usually have to deal with a removal order to lose a work permit because of non-compliance.

Losing a work permit because of an officer

Subsection 185(a) of IRPR allows immigration officers to change the duration of your work permit. Therefore, they may technically cancel your work permit by bringing the expiration date close to today. However, I have not encountered any real cases in which an officer made such a decision for my clients. Moreover, I couldn’t locate a caselaw that reflects such decisions.

Work permit revocation because of public policy

Subsection 30(1.41) of the IRPA allows the Minister to issue instructions enabling officers to revoke a work permit. Consequently, you could lose your work permit if an officer uses any of the following considerations:

  • Revocation of the work permit after revoking the associated LMIA
  • Realizing that the LMIA-exempt work permit now has more negative effects than benefits
  • The employer misled the authorities.
  • The authorities have blacklisted the employer.
  • You received the work permit because of another foreign national (e.g., IMP C41). However, the authorities have revoked their permits.

Please note that this list is subject to change.

Losing your job

If you hold an open work permit, losing your job does not result in losing your work permit. However, you deal with a more complicated situation when you have an employer-based work permit. Technically, despite losing your job, your work permit is still valid. Nonetheless, the conditions on the permit, namely the employer’s name, prevent you from working for other employers. Therefore, despite not losing your work permit, you may only remain in Canada but may not work. You have some potential options to resolve this issue:

Of course, this list offers some examples only. You may book a consultation session with me to explore your options.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.