Can I Extend My Work Permit While Waiting For PR? Yes, you can! Obtaining a work permit is usually considered a step towards becoming a permanent resident in Canada.
This is why you had to agree to apply for PR while your Temporary Foreign Worker Permit Program was being processed.
Any foreign worker who fails to apply for permanent residency as at when due stands a chance of losing the temporary work permit.
Because applying for PR in Canada can sometimes be a lengthy process, it may become necessary for you to extend your work permit until you finally get your PR Card and can continue to work, no longer as a temporary worker but as a resident.
This article will reveal how you can extend your Work Permit while your PR is being processed by providing information on the most appropriate application option for you and how you can go about the process.
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Extending Or Renewing Work Permit In Canada
In Canada, an immigration work permit only lasts for one year. Usually, anyone (whether he/she has applied for PR or not) can apply to renew or extend your work permit from 180 days or 6 months before the current one expires.
You can also apply to extend your work permit during the first 90 days it expires. So long as you have applied for an extension or renewal of the Work Permit, you may remain in Canada until the processing is complete.
However, depending on the extension process, you may or may not be allowed to continue to work until the process is complete.
For example, those who apply to renew their Work Permit after the previous one expired are required to stop working and await further instructions, if their Work Permit has been restored or not.
Other processes such as the Bridging Open Work Permit allow you to continue working while your application is being processed.
The best way for you to extend your Work Permit in Canada while you wait for your PR application to be processed is through the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).
This program was introduced by the Government of Canada in December 2019 to foster the smooth transition of foreigners in Canada from temporary workers to permanent residents.
Bridging Open Work Permit
The Bridging Open Work Permit was created to allow foreign temporary workers to remain in Canada while their application for permanent residency is being processed.
Due to the lengthy procedures required to obtain a PR, you may find out that your temporary Work Permit will expire before the process is complete.
Before the Bridging Work Permit was initiated, foreigners whose PR was not yet processed when their temporary work permit expired were required to either remain in Canada as a visitor, and thereby forego work, or to excuse the country until their PR Card was issued.
Now, the BOWP ensures you still have the liberty to remain in Canada and continue working until the PR process is complete.
Eligibility for the Bridging Open Work Permit
Foreigners with temporary work permits in Canada can apply for the Bridging Open Work Permit if:
- They are currently in the country
- Their temporary work permit is due to expire within the next 4 months or less
- They have applied for PR and have received a confirmation that their PR application is eligible for processing. This confirmation can only be issued by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) when a foreigner applies for PR through any of the programs available.
These are the PR programs that make you eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit in Canada:
- Express Entry
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot
- Agri-Food Pilot
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trained Program
- Canada Experience Class
If you apply for Permanent Residency through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), your BOWP will be restricted to only the province you applied to.
While filling the application online or on paper, you should not forget to pick the province or territory you are being nominated from.
If your application for PR is not through the Provincial Nominee Program, you can select Unknown, seen as ‘UNK’ in the space provided for Province and City of Destination.
If your certificate of nomination through the PNP has employment restrictions, you may not be eligible for the Bridging Open Work Permit.
If you live in Quebec when you apply for PR, you are not eligible for the Bridging Open Work Permit.
However you will be eligible for an employer-specific Work Permit if you have a Quebec Selection Certificate, that is, Certificate de Selection du Quebec (CSQ).
Applying For the Bridging Open Work Permit
To apply for the BOWP, you need to take the following steps:
- Visit the Canadian Immigration Website
- Check if you meet all eligibility requirements by filling a form and checking the results
- Take a medical exam as requested of you. If you have recently traveled to certain countries especially in the past 6 months before starting this application, a new medical test will not be required of you.
- Scan and upload all documents required of you.
- Make the stipulated payment ($255) through any of the payment options made available
- Submit the application
Before submitting your application, you have the opportunity of reviewing every one of your details so you can make necessary corrections or fill in omitted information.
You can also apply for the BOWP on paper. All of the forms you fill, your supporting documents, and your evidence of payment should be mailed to the appropriate office in the CIC.
These are the documents required for applying for BOWP:
- The online application form
- Family Information Form (IMM 5645E)
- A passport
- A digital photo
- Application for the Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257). This is optional
When To Apply for the BOWP
You can apply for the Bridging Open Work Permit once you have applied for permanent residency and have received an Acknowledge of Receipt (AoR) from the CIC.
Even so, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will check your application for permanent residence before finally granting you a BOWP.
The Bridging Open Work Permit can take about 60 days to be processed if you apply online or about 100 days if you apply online.
If your temporary work permit expires before your application for BOWP is approved, it means you are living in Canada under implied status.
However, you can continue to work until the application is approved. If you are denied a Bridging Open Work Permit, you are required to stop working immediately and seek other ways to remain in Canada.
If you were successfully issued a Bridging Open Work Permit, it works just like any other Open Work Permit. This means that you have the freedom to work multiple jobs in different locations as you wish.
The Bridging Open Work Permit remains valid for one year from its day of issuance. It is believed that your PR would have been approved by then or you will have received feedback.
If however no feedback is received, you can request an extension of your BWP and this will be reviewed on a personalized basis.
Q. Can I keep working in Canada before while my Renewal of Work Permit is Being Processed?
Ans. Yes. If you apply to extend your work permit before the previous one expired, it means you have maintained your status and can continue to work under the same conditions you were before the previous work permit expired.
Q. How Long does it Take to Process PR in Canada?
Ans. Getting a PR Card in Canada may be as short as 13 or 45 days or may extend to about 124 days depending on the peculiarities in each individual’s application and some other factors such as how much people apply for PR at a particular time. If you did not complete the application process before submitting your PR status may be delayed or your application returned.
Q. How Long does it Take to Extend Work Permit in Canada?
Ans. Apply to renew or extend your work permit in Canada can take about 30 or more days before the processing is completed. It is best that you apply for an extension way before your current work permit expires.
Q. Can I still Renew my Work Permit in Canada after it Expires?
Ans. Although it is best to apply for the renewal of the Work Permit before the initial one expires, you can still renew your Work Permit within the first 90 days of expiry. If you do this, you are not allowed to work until the permit is renewed but you can still remain in Canada until you receive feedback.