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Options for immigrants in Canada who have lost their jobs

Posted on May 2, 2020
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How To Get Work Permit In Canada

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many countries across the world to amend rules regarding immigration and visa which are affecting the arrival and departure of immigrants from their countries. Another fallout of the pandemic has been its impact on the economy. This has caused many businesses in countries either to partially or fully close. Consequently, many immigrants have lost their jobs. They are naturally worried about staying on in a foreign country after they have lost their jobs.

Foreign workers in Canada who have lost their jobs are worried about the loss of their status and are wondering whether the loss of their job will affect their immigration applications.

The good news is that Canada offers options for immigrants to stay on even after they have lost their jobs. If the immigrants are on a work permit, they have the option to extend the validity of the permit, apply for a new one, or change its status. They can change the status of the permit either to students or visitors provided they make an application before the current status expires. Even if the permit has expired, they can restore its status.

Temporary residents with a work permit who have applied for renewal can stay on in Canada under the conditions of their original permit till a decision is made on their permit. This is called implied status.

 If the new application is approved, then the applicant can continue working as per the conditions outlined in the new permit. Otherwise, foreigners still have the option of leaving Canada and making an application for restoration of status if it has been only less than 90 days since their original permit had expired. However, they cannot continue to work while their application for restoration is under processing.

Immigrants with an employer-specific work permit

Immigrants working in Canada with an employer-specific work permit but have lost their jobs can legally stay on in Canada till their permit expires. But they cannot work for any other Canadian employer.

If they wish to work for another employer, they will have to apply for a new closed work permit or apply for a Canadian open work permit.  They can even choose to stay on in Canada as a visitor or student provided, they meet the application requirements and make their application before their work permit expires.

Immigrants with an open work permit

Open work permit holders can work anywhere in Canada and for any employee. But not all open work permits are renewable. So before making an application for renewal, they will have to check if they are eligible under the following visa categories:

  • Open Work Permit Pilot
  • Bridging Open Work Permit
  • Working Holiday Visa

Some immigrants may still not be able to renew their work permits but they can still try under the special measures of the government under the current circumstances.

Even though many immigrants have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian government is still open to welcoming more immigrants. It needs the help of immigrants to continue its economic growth and is keen to achieve the immigration targets that have been set.

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