ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 113 – May 12, 2009 (expired)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Pilot project for occupations requiring lower levels of formal training – Extension of work permits from within Canada at the end of 24 months

This Operational Bulletin has expired. Please refer to manual FW 1– Foreign Worker Manual for current information.


In July 2002, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), established the Pilot Project for Hiring Foreign Workers in Occupations that Require Lower Levels of Formal Training. The process introduced by the pilot project allows employers to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for job offers at skill levels C and D listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

After 24 months of employment, temporary foreign workers (TFW) were required to return to their country of permanent residence for a minimum of four months before applying for another work permit (WP) under this pilot. This provision was intended to ensure that TFWs maintained a connection with their home country.

The criteria for consideration under the pilot project and detailed transitional provisions introduced in February 2007 can be found on HRSDC’s website at

Current status

Officers are advised that a WP application cannot be refused solely because a TFW:

  • has already worked in Canada for 24 months; or
  • has not returned home for a minimum period of four months.

Applicants continue to need to meet all legislative criteria for the renewal of the work permit, including a current labour market opinion when necessary. CIC officers will assess these applications to ensure that the client continues to meet terms and conditions outlined in R179. If the TFW continues to meet all of these criteria for the extension of their work permit, an extension shall be granted.

Process for renewal of a work permit

The employer and foreign worker can request a labour market opinion and a renewal of a work permit. Instructions on the LMO process can be found on HRSDC’s website at

Implied status

If the application for renewal of the work permit is made before the expiry of the existing work permit, the employee may continue to work under the terms and conditions of the original document as per the implied status provisions found in R186(u). TFWs should familiarize themselves with these conditions, particularly as they pertain to staying in Canada while under implied status.Information can be found at

Restoration of status

If the work permit expires before the application for a new work permit is submitted, the foreign national is not permitted to work until their status has been restored. Information on restoration of status can be found on the CIC website at

HRSDC and CIC continue to work on improvements to the foreign worker program. Further instructions on this pilot project will be forthcoming.

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