5 Ways To Extend Your Canada Work Permit

May 30, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

If your Canada work permit is about to expire and you want to know how to extend your work permit in Canada, please be advised that there are several ways to get a work permit extension. If you're eligible, learning how to extend your open work permit in Canada can be straightforward and allow you to continue enjoying the wealth of opportunities in the Canadian job market.

While there are many ways to extend your work permit in Canada, most people apply for a work permit extension under the five major pathways. Please note that these options are only for those living and working in Canada with a Canada work permit and begin your application if your work permit expires before your permanent residency.

How to Extend Your Work Permit in Canada

The primary way to extend your work permit in Canada, provided you want to continue working in your current occupation, is to change the conditions of your current work permit. This takes a simple five-step process. To be allowed to extend your work permit, you must ensure you fulfill all eligibility requirements. To be eligible, you must:

  • Already hold a Canadian work permit and have continued to fulfill the requirements of your existing work permit.
  • Be married to someone with a study or work permit;
  • Be authorized to work without a permit;
  • Have a valid Temporary Resident Permit;
  • Be a refugee or applicant for permanent residence in Canada under section 207 of the IRPR,
  • Be in Canada as a trader, investor, transferee, or professional under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

To determine your eligibility and which work permit extension program is the best for you we recommend consulting with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Step 1: Gather The Necessary Resources

Applying online is the easiest way to apply for a work permit extension. Some of the requirements need to apply to extend your work in Canada includes having a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents and a valid bank card i.e. debit or credit card. To apply, you need the following documents:

  • Your Proof of Payment for application fees
  • Your Passport number, date of issue and expiration, name, date of birth, and authoritative Canadian stamp made when you arrived in Canada must all be visible on your travel documents
  • Your current immigration document
  • Your marriage license or certificate
  • Letter of employment (if necessary)

You're allowed to submit a paper application if you cannot apply online due to a disability or a problem with your online application.

Step 2: Read The Instruction Guide

Learning how to extend your open work permit in Canada can be a challenging process that can be made easier if you read the instruction guide. When you begin the application process, there are many detailed forms that you must fill in. Fortunately, the government of Canada has a detailed instruction guide, that you can access here, on how to complete all of the necessary forms and how to answer every field.

Step 3: Fill Out The Forms

You must complete several forms before uploading your documentation. Your answers in the forms will determine which documents you do or don't need.

Step 4: Submit the Completed Forms In Your Online Account

Your account will be where you upload your documents, pay your processing fees, and receive updates on your work permit application.

Step 5: Pay Fees and Submit Application

For your application to be complete, you need to pay the following fees:

  • Work permit fee (155 CAD)
  • Open work permit holder fee (if applicable) (100 CAD)

You only need to apply for an Open work permit holder fee if you're applying for an open work permit. Look here to find a full breakdown of an open work permit and how to get one.

After Submitting Your Application

A Canada work permit extension processing time is around 166 days. Once you submit your application, you'll get a letter from the government of Canada in your online account. This letter proves that you can keep working until your application is processed.

You must print this letter out and submit it with your current work permit when asked for your work permit. This letter will allow you to continue working after your work permit expires.

What is a Bridging Open Work Permit

If you want permanent residence in Canada but continue working while your application is being processed, you need a Bridging Open Work Permit. To be eligible for such a permit, you must be applying for one of the following programs:

If this program suits your needs, here is a handy guide on the eligibility requirements and how to apply for a bridging open work permit.

Find A New Job in Canada

If your work permit is going to expire because your time at your current place of employment is ending, but you still want to live and work in Canada, you can get a new work permit if you get a new job.

To gain a new work permit, your new job offer must be from a Canadian employer who has completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove they cannot fill the vacancy you're serving with the available local market.

The best place to find a job in Canada is to start looking online. Here you can find a directory of the top free job sites in Canada to start your job hunt.

Apply for a Visitor Visa

If you want to stay in Canada but don't necessarily want to continue working, you can apply for a Visitor visa to visit Canada. To apply for a Visitor visa, you must complete the four following steps:

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

To be eligible for a Visitor visa, you must:

  • Have been cleared as being in good health
  • Have a valid travel document i.e Passport
  • Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • Have clear ties to your home country
  • Have valid proof you will leave Canada after completing your visit
  • Have enough funds to cover your expenses

Step 2: Create an Account

Create an account on the Canadian government website. When you create your account, you will submit details, like your reason for staying in Canada, which will help determine which application process you undertake.

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation

Upload all documents specified in the Canadian Application for Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) Made Outside of Canada (IMM 5257) form. You must complete and submit this form from within Canada.

Step 4: Pay the Application Processing Fee

The Visitor Visa has certain processing costs. They are as follows:

Fees CA$
Visitor visa (including super visa) - per person Single or multiple entry temporary resident visa The same fee applies to both types of visas. 100
Visitor visa – per family (1 fee per family of 5 or more people) 500
Extend your stay as a visitor – per person 100
Restore your status as a visitor 200

Get a Working Holiday Visa from International Experience Canada (IEC)

If you want to continue living and working in Canada but have the freedom to move around and experience everything Canada offers, the IEC Working Holiday Visa could be for you. This visa provides an open work permit for up to two years, essentially allowing you to travel and work in Canada wherever you please until the visa expires.

This Visa program is for people under 35 and is only open to certain designated countries. Here’s how to apply for an IEC Working Holiday Visa.

With all of the necessary tools, you can continue to live and work in Canada with your Canadian work permit for as long as you need. To ensure you've chosen the right program and completed the application process correctly, speak to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and keep your Canadian dream alive.


What do I do if my Permit Has Already Expired?

You must stop working and immediately apply to restore your worker status on the Canadian government website.

Will I be Allowed to Work on a Visitor Visa?

Unfortunately, no. Visitor visas are designed primarily for tourists. Therefore, you will not be allowed to work or study in Canada with this visa, but it will enable you to stay in Canada long enough to land a new job or submit a Work permit extension.