Renewing your work permit or making changes to your work permit conditions while in Canada can seem daunting. This blog post aims to clarify the process and provide you with the necessary information to successfully extend or modify your work permit in Canada.


    When to Apply for Work Permit Renewal

    It is essential to submit a new application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at least 30 days before your work permit expires. If the conditions of your work permit change or if you hold an open work permit, you must renew the permit to continue working in Canada. Additional documentation, such as a change of job letter or a promotion letter, may be required.

    Living in Canada While Awaiting Application Results

    You can continue living in Canada while IRCC processes your application. However, you cannot start a new job or work for a different employer until you receive a new work permit with the updated conditions.

    Application Process
    • Create an account on the Canadian government’s online portal.
    • Log in and answer questions related to your work permit renewal or changes.
    • Upload electronic copies of your documents.
    • Pay the processing fees for the application.
    • Submit the application and check its status through your account.
    • Working with an Expired Work Permit

    You may still work in Canada with an expired work permit if you meet certain conditions. For example, if you applied for renewal or a new work permit and your current permit expires while awaiting a decision, you can continue to work under the same conditions as your expired permit.

    Proving Your Work Eligibility to Your Employer

    To assure your employer that you can continue working after your work permit expires, show them the letter from IRCC confirming your status and the conditions under which you should keep working.

    Restoring Your Status as a Worker

    If your work permit expires before applying for renewal, you may be eligible to restore your status as a worker by meeting specific conditions and applying to IRCC. To be eligible, you must:

    • Have held a valid work permit that expired within the last 90 days.
    • Meet the same eligibility requirements as when you first received your work permit (e.g., not having worked illegally).
    • Have maintained all the conditions listed on your expired permit before it expired.
    • Submit a complete application, including all required documents and fees.
    • Please note that IRCC does not guarantee to restore your status or issue a new permit.

    By understanding the process of renewing your work permit in Canada, you can ensure a smooth transition and maintain your legal status to continue working and living in the country.

    Additional Considerations When Renewing Your Work Permit in Canada

    In addition to the process and conditions outlined above, there are other factors you should consider when renewing or changing the conditions of your work permit in Canada.

    Open Work Permits vs. Employer-Specific Work Permits

    There are two types of work permits in Canada: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. Open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada, while employer-specific work permits are linked to a specific employer. The renewal process may vary slightly between the two types of permits, so it’s essential to understand which one you have and follow the appropriate steps.

    Medical Examinations and Police Clearances

    In some cases, you may need to undergo a medical examination or obtain a police clearance as part of your work permit renewal application. This is more likely if your job involves working with vulnerable populations or if you have lived in certain countries for an extended period. Be prepared to provide these documents if necessary.

    Processing Times

    Work permit renewal processing times can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of work permit, your country of origin, and the volume of applications received by IRCC. It is crucial to apply for renewal well in advance of your work permit’s expiry date to avoid any gaps in your ability to work legally in Canada.


    Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP)

    If you have applied for permanent residence in Canada and your current work permit is about to expire, you may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). A BOWP allows you to continue working while your permanent residence application is being processed. To be eligible, you must:

    1. Be currently in Canada.
    2. Have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within the next four months.
    3. Have received confirmation from IRCC that your permanent residence application has been submitted.

    Keeping Your Personal Information Updated

    It is essential to keep your personal information, such as your address, up-to-date with IRCC. This ensures that you receive important communications about your work permit renewal application promptly.


    By considering these additional factors when renewing or changing the conditions of your work permit in Canada, you can better prepare for a successful application process and maintain your legal status in the country.