After you apply

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Book your biometrics collection appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays. Find out how to give biometrics.

If you have to give biometrics, we'll send you a biometric instruction letter (BIL) that will direct you to a list of biometric collection service points you may choose from.

You must bring the BIL with you to the biometric collection service point to give your biometrics.

Processing your application

An immigration officer will make sure that you

If your application isn’t complete, it won’t be processed and will be sent back to you. Find out how this affects your status in Canada.

Your application will be delayed if

While your application is in process, you must tell us if you change your address or contact information.

Check your application status

You can check the status of your application online after we’ve started processing your application.

Decision on your work permit application

We'll make a decision on your application based on

We’ll contact you if you need to send more documents.

If you gain 12 months of experience before we process your work permit

If you gain 12 months of work experience before we make a decision on your work permit application, you can still send us proof of your work experience.

Follow these instructions to send us your proof.

If your experience qualifies, we won't need to assess your job offer. We'll issue you a bridging open work permit that lets you work for any employer in any occupation if you're eligible for it, instead of an occupation-restricted open work permit.

If your work permit application is approved

If we approve your application, what happens next depends on where you applied from.

If you applied from outside Canada

You get a letter (a port of entry letter of introduction) that says you’re allowed to work in Canada. Bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada.

The letter is not a work permit. You get your work permit when you arrive in Canada.

When you arrive in Canada, tell the border services officer (BSO) that you’re approved to work in Canada.

The officer will check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

  • If you enter Canada at one of 10 major Canadian airports
    • your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk
    • the system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted
  • If you enter Canada at smaller airports and all land ports of entry
    • your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints

You must pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.

You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. You must provide the officer with the documents that show that you’re eligible to enter Canada.

Presenting your documents

You must show your port of entry (POE) letter of introduction to the BSO, along with

  • your passport
  • your visa (if you need one)
  • any travel documents you’re carrying (such as airline tickets)

You should also have supporting documents, such as proof that you meet requirements of the job, and proof of work experience and education.

Once the BSO has checked your documents and confirms that you can enter Canada, they will print your work permit for you. If you have questions or there’s a mistake on your work permit, ask the officer before you leave.

If you applied from inside Canada

If you’re eligible to apply from inside Canada and used the in-Canada application kit, we’ll mail the work permit to the Canadian address you gave us.

If you’re in Canada but were not eligible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada

You should have submitted an outside of Canada work permit application. You need to leave and return to Canada to get your work permit.

When you return to Canada, show your letter of introduction at the port of entry. Read what happens when you arrive back at the port of entry.

If your work permit application is refused

We’ll send you a letter that tells you why.

If you’re already working in Canada while you wait for a decision

You must always have valid temporary resident status while working in Canada. This means you must apply to

If you apply for a new work permit before your current one expires, you can keep working under the same conditions of your original work permit while you wait for a decision. This is called “maintained status.”

If you submitted your Home Child Care Provider (HCCP) or Home Support Worker (HSW) pilot application, which includes your work permit application, before your current work permit expires, you may have maintained status. However, you may still want to submit a separate application to extend your work permit.

How being on maintained status impacts you

Your occupation-restricted open work permit application under the pilots will take longer to process than a regular work permit (check our processing times). We won’t issue it until we make a decision on your permanent residence (PR) application. This means you could be on maintained status for a long time (if you didn’t submit a separate application to extend your work permit).

There are some things to know about being on maintained status while you wait for a decision on your HCCP or HSW pilot application:

  • You may have difficulties getting some government services or benefits.
  • You can work while on maintained status, but you must keep the conditions of your expired work permit (for example, working for the same employer and in the same occupation).
    • If you leave Canada during this period, you may lose your maintained status.
    • If you re-enter, you won’t be able to work until we make a decision on your application. It’s also possible you may not be allowed to re-enter.
  • If we reject your permanent resident application for being incomplete or return it for being over that year’s cap (these pilots have limits on the number of applications we can accept each year), we’ll also return the work permit application along with any fees you paid with it. If this happens
    • you’ll lose your maintained status if you didn’t apply for a work permit separately
    • if you’re not eligible to restore your status, you’ll have to leave Canada

To avoid the situations above, you can either

  • apply for a different work permit that’s not related to your PR application or
  • extend a current work permit that’s not related to your PR application

Find out how to submit a separate application to extend your work permit.

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