Extend a temporary worker’s permit

COVID-19: new option for hiring a temporary worker already in Canada

A worker already in Canada with an employer-specific work permit may be able to start working for you right away if you

  • have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or
  • can hire in an LMIA-exempt situation using the Employer Portal

Find out more about workers in Canada who want to change employers.

The temporary worker must apply to extend or change the conditions of their work permit if you want to

  • extend their employment beyond the expiry date of the work permit
  • substantially change their occupation, wages or conditions
  • hire them after they’ve worked in Canada for a different employer

What you need to do before the temporary worker can apply to extend or change their permit

Before they can apply to extend or change their work permit,

  • if you need an LMIA, you need to apply for a new LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada
  • if you don’t need an LMIA, you need to

Find out if you need an LMIA.

When you don’t need to pay the fee or submit an offer of employment

You don’t need to submit an offer of employment if

You may not need to pay the employer compliance fee if the worker is exempt from paying the work permit processing fee.

See employer compliance exemptions for more details.

What the temporary worker needs to do

If the conditions of their work permit are changing

The temporary worker should apply to change the conditions of their work permit as soon as possible if

  • their occupation, wages or conditions (such as work location) at work are changing substantially
  • they’re changing employers

They should apply at least 30 days before the expiry date of their original work permit.

They’ll still maintain their status and be authorized to work without a permit under the conditions of their original work permit. However, they may not start the new work until a new work permit is issued.

If they want to extend their work permit

If your worker applies to extend their work permit before it expires and the conditions of their original work permit are staying the same,

  • they maintain their status in Canada while we process their application

and

  • they’re authorized to keep working under the conditions of the original work permit until a decision is made
    • If they have an employer-specific work permit, this means that they must continue in the same job, employer and work location.

If you need proof that the worker is authorized to continue working while we process their application, they can give you one of the following:

  • A letter (WP-EXT except PGWP) from their online account that proves they’re allowed to work until a specific date or until we process their application, whichever comes first.
    • Even if we don’t process the worker’s application by the date on their letter, they can legally keep working until we make a decision.
    • If you need proof that the worker can work past the specified date, they can contact us.
  • Proof that they submitted their application if they applied on paper.
  • The request letter from us asking for more documents to process their work permit application.

If the worker has an open work permit

Temporary workers with an open work permit don’t need to extend their permit to begin working for a new employer. They only need to extend their work permit if it’s about to expire.

Find out more about what the temporary worker has to do to apply to extend their existing work permit.

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