fbpx

Foreign Workers in Canada: How Long Can They Work on a Permit 2

by | Apr 6, 2023

As an employer in Canada with foreign employees, it’s important to be aware of the duration of work permits that your employees are eligible for. The length of time an employee can work in Canada on a work permit will vary depending on the program under which the work permit was initially issued. In this blog post, we will discuss the different work permit durations and limitations under various immigration programs in Canada.

Initial Work Permit Duration

When a work permit is issued to a foreign national to work inside Canada, the duration of the work permit is typically not exceeding three years. However, the duration could be substantially less than that, depending on the needs of the employer. For example, if an employer has a special project that will be running for six months, they have the option of requesting a six-month duration work permit. Therefore, when the work permit is issued, one of the conditions on the work permit will be that the employee will only be able to work in Canada for a duration of six months on that particular work permit. The duration may be as low as six months, but it can also go on for as long as three years.

Work Permit Renewal and Extension

Once the initial work permit expires, the employee has the option of renewing the work permit for another period of time, typically in two-year increments. Renewals or extensions of a work permit do not typically exceed two-year increments. Therefore, somebody who is on a three-year work permit would then be applying to have their work permit extended for another two years, and depending on their eligibility, they could then apply for another two years and so on and so forth.

Limitations on Work Permit Duration

Not every category of worker is able to apply for extensions on an ongoing basis and for an unlimited number of times. For example, employees coming to Canada under the ICT (Intra-Company Transfer) program and where those employees are what are called specialized knowledge employees, would initially be issued a three-year work permit. Upon expiration of those three years, they will be able to apply for an extension of two years, capping out at five.

A specialized worker applying under the ICT program would have met their cap at the five-year marker and would, therefore, have to leave Canada once they have completed five full years of work inside Canada. However, somebody who is a senior manager who fits into the senior managerial level of an ICT application would have a seven-year window within which to cap out their time in Canada. That person who is coming as a senior managerial worker under the ICT program would initially be issued a three-year work permit. When that time is done, they will be issued an extension of up to two years, assuming the employer still has a need for them. Then they would have the opportunity to apply for another two-year extension, totaling seven years for a senior managerial worker applying under the ICT. Once they’ve hit that seven-year marker, they would not be able to apply for an extension again and would need to return to their home countries.

Other examples of programs that have limitations on how long an employee may be able to work in Canada include:

A living caregiver will typically have a maximum period of four years.

An applicant under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) program would be issued a work permit for an initial period of three years. They would have the opportunity to continually renew that work permit in three-year increments for an unlimited number of times.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the length of time that foreign employees can work in Canada on a work permit varies depending on the program under which the work permit was initially issued. The typical duration of a work permit is three years, but it can be less or more, depending on the needs of the employer. The work permit can be renewed or extended for up to five years in some cases, up to seven years for senior managerial workers under the ICT program, and for an unlimited number of times for some workers under the NAFTA or Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement program. The duration of an employee’s work permit is an important consideration for employers hiring foreign nationals, and it is important to understand the limitations and requirements of the relevant immigration program.

Share:

Related resources

Navigating Immigration Audits: Our Success with a Canadian Employer
Navigating Immigration Audits: Our Success with a Canadian Employer

As a Canadian employer bringing foreign workers to Canada on work permits, it's crucial to be prepared for the possibility of an immigration audit. Each new work permit issued to your employees increases the chances of facing scrutiny from immigration authorities. In...

Looking for something in particular?

Suite 200, 201 City Centre Dr.,
Mississauga, ON L5B 2T4

     

Subscribe To GOOSELAW™Immigration

Please complete the required field below to receive GOOSELAW™ Immigration including alerts, insights and events.

You have Successfully Subscribed!