Conditions on Your Work Permit
Have you ever wondered what all the information on your work permit is for?
Have you ever wondered what all the information on your work permit is for? Some of it is clear, such as the date issued and when the document expires, while other remarks may seem puzzling or unnecessary. Are you sure you are meeting the conditions as required on your work permit?
When you are issued your work permit, it is a good idea to thoroughly review the entire document to ensure it is accurate and reflective of your employment situation, and that you comply with any conditions listed.
Name and Date of Birth
You know your name and date of birth better than anyone else. Review your document and ensure your name is properly spelled. It should match the spelling and format as listed on your passport. Next, review your date of birth; this should also match.
Date Issued and “Valid to” Date
The “issued date” is the date the document was issued by the immigration officer. The validity period of a work permit depends on a few factors.
First, the work permit may not be issued for a period that extends beyond the expiration date of your passport. If your passport expires in eight months, then your work permit will be limited by that date (unless you are exempted, for example, as a U.S. citizen). To save time and money, ensure your passport has plenty of validity remaining before you apply for your work permit. If the country that issues your passport does not permit early renewals, ensure you make note of the expiration date if you have a short validity period remaining. You will need to apply for a work permit extension once you receive your new passport.
Depending on the category under which the work permit was issued, it could expire anywhere from 90 days to three years. If it was issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the duration of employment, usually 24 months, is listed on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) confirmation page that is provided to you. If it was issued under the International Mobility Program (IMP), then the employment duration would be noted on the offer of employment that your employer submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) via the Employer Portal. Check with your employer if you are unsure of the duration of employment requested.
Only Permitted to Work for the Named Employer (Also Known as a Closed Work Permit)
Most work permits are known as “employer-specific.” This means that you may only work for the employer named on the work permit. If you wish to work for a different employer, you must obtain a new work permit with the name of the new employer listed. In most cases, the new employer will have to obtain an LMIA under the TFWP or submit an offer of employment specific to you under the IMP before they can hire you.
Some work permits may have the following notation: “Not authorized to work for any other employer.” This statement is added for clarification; the absence of this statement does not mean the holder may work for a different employer. If there is a name listed in the “Employer” field of your work permit, then you may only work for that specific employer.
If the employer on your work permit is listed as “unspecified” or “unknown,” then you have what is known as an “open” work permit. This allows you to work for different employers, usually with some restrictions or conditions. The most common conditions for open work permits are: “Not authorized to work in 1) child care; 2) primary or secondary school teaching; 3) health services field occupations.” Usually, this is because you have not completed an immigration medical. If you wish to work in one of the restricted occupations, you will need to undergo an immigration medical with a Panel-Approved Physician before you can request that those conditions be removed.
The restriction, “Not authorized to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages,” is listed on all types of work permits.
Location of Work
The location of work is an important part of your work permit. If your work permit is employer-specific, then the location of work should reflect the economic region of the issued LMIA or offer of employment submitted. It is up to the employer to make clear in the LMIA application or offer of employment whether you are required to work in various locations. If your work permit does not specifically note “various locations,” then you must restrict your work location to the geographic area/economic region noted.
The reason for the restriction is linked with both the TFWP and the IMP. The LMIA is issued based on a study of a specific geographical area, usually a city or specific rural area. As such, the positive determination is limited only to the area assessed.
With an offer of employment submitted via the Employer Portal, the exemption code used may restrict your geographical area. For example, if the code used argues for significant economic benefits in the area, you would be restricted to the specific area listed by the employer.
Some open work permits may also restrict a geographical area, such as a work permit issued to the holder of a Provincial Nominee Certificate, which would restrict work to within that province only.
Working time restrictions will be noted on the work permit. These are usually listed on a study permit, as students are authorized to work up to 20 hours per week off campus during the semester.
When to Extend
Should your employer want to extend your employment, he/she will need to provide you with a new LMIA or submit a new offer of employment before you can apply for a work permit extension.
To maintain valid status in Canada, you must apply for a work permit extension before your current document expires.