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Renewing your work permit while you are currently in Canada

How the changes to the Renewing your work permit while you are currently in Canada

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If your work permit is about to expire or you want to change the terms of your work permit, you must fill out a new application at least 30 days before your work permit runs out. During the time that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is reviewing your application, you are within the bounds of the law to remain in Canada.

If your current job changes in ways like pay or responsibilities, if you are offered a different job, or if you want to work for a new employer, the terms of your work permit will change. You can’t get a new job or work for a different boss until you get a new work permit with the new rules.

If you have an open work permit, you can extend it as long as you can still work in Canada with an open work permit.

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How to renew your work permit

Most of the time, you have to apply online to change or extend the terms of your work permit. To apply online, you’ll need electronic copies of your documents and will have to pay application processing fees.

You have to answer some questions before you can send your forms. You will also have to make an account to send in your application and check on its status. If IRCC accepts your application, you will either get a work permit for the new working conditions or an extension of your current work permit.

Can I work even though my work permit has run out?

If your work permit runs out while IRCC is reviewing your application, you must decide if you can still work.

  • If you tried to get your work permit extended and then it ran out, you kept your status. So, you are allowed to work without a permit until a decision is made about your application, as long as you work under the same conditions as your current (or expired) permit.
  • You have also kept your status if you applied for a new work permit to change your employer, job, or place of work and then your old permit ran out. So, you are allowed to keep working, but only for the employer listed on your original work permit until IRCC decides on your application. Before the application is processed, you can’t start working under the new work permit.
  • Lastly, if you wanted to study in Canada or stay longer as a tourist, you can only work until your permit runs out. When it runs out, you have to quit working. You also might not be able to start studying until IRCC has finished looking over your application.

It’s important to remember that you can’t get your work permit to last longer than your passport.

How can I show my boss that I can still do my job?

When you apply to renew or extend your work permit, IRCC will send you a letter that shows you can keep working under the same rules as your original work permit. IRCC says that if your application is still being processed, you can even keep working after the letter’s expiration date as long as your working conditions don’t change.

What if my permit runs out before I can renew it?

If your work permit ran out before you could apply for a new one, you can’t work in Canada. But you might be able to get back to being a worker. You can apply to become a worker again if any of the following are true:

  • If you lose your status, you must apply within 90 days.
  • Follow the rules for your stay (ex., you did not work illegally)
  • You had to follow all the rules on your expired permit before it ran out.

IRCC says that there is no guarantee that your application for a new permit or to get your status back will be approved.

If you want to extend or renew your permit, you should hire an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer. The lawyers at Cohen Immigration Law will work with you to understand your situation and help you fill out the application.


  1. Apply 30 days before expiration.
  2. New rules require new permit.
  3. Open permits can be renewed.
  4. Continue working during renewal.
  5. No guarantee after expiration.
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