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Immigration Issues/What if my work permit expires before i am granted residency?


Hello Roxanne,

I am a UK citizen, over in Canada on my 2nd IEC working permit.

I have applied for permanent residency, through the family class (my common-law spouse is a Canadian Citizen). However my application has not even begun being processed yet (I applied from outside of Canada, so the processing time would be quicker).

My current IEC work permit expires on march 31st 2013. I could not apply for a work permit at the time I applied for residency as at that point I was unemployed. I am now employed though.

What I want to ask you is, what are my options if my work permit expires before residency is granted? I would want to stay and keep working, as my whole life is here (common-law partner, home, bank accounts etc)

I am asking this now as i want to have something in place in case the permit expires before residency is granted, and i know how long it takes for immigration to process forms.

Thanks, in advance


Hi Emma,

Thank you for your question.  So you have applied for PR as a common law partner of a Canadian citizen and you are both living in Canada.  You are on an IEC work permit that expires in March, 2013.  You used the overseas method of application and after approval of sponsorship in Mississauga, your PR application will be assessed in London, UK.  

Assuming all of that is correct, the only option you will have to continue working if you have not received PR by the time your current permit expires is if your employer obtains a positive Labour Market Opinion and you apply for a regular work permit.  If the employer is not willing or is not approved for an LMO, you could apply to change your status from worker to visitor so that you can remain in Canada until processing is finished with the PR application.  Be sure to apply for any new status (regular work permit or visitor permit) BEFORE your current permit expires.  If your application was well organized and contained sufficient proof of your relationship to your sponsor, there is a very good chance that PR will have been assessed and approved before the expiry of your current permit.  However, there is no guarantee that will happen.  But at the very least, you should be able to remain in Canada with your sponsor even if you cannot continue working.

Don't panic about this yet.  You have more than 10 months remaining on your current permit.  Start thinking about your plan of action in December.

Best of luck.


Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

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Roxanne Jessome


I can answer questions pertaining to Canadian Immigration laws, policies and procedures as well as Canadian citizenship.


I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant specializing in the areas of family classes (spousal sponsorships, parents and grandparents), economic classes (federal skilled worker, provincial nominees, Canada experience class), and temporary entry (temporary foreign workers, visitors) and permanent residency obligations and citizenship requirements.

Immigration Consultants Regulatory Council of Canada Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants

Graduate of the University of British Columbia, Certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies and Procedures.

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