Work Permits –  Extending Status When LMIA Delayed

Monday, December 8, 2014

Question [Holthe Tilleman LLP website]:

I am working in Canada on a valid LMIA based work permit. My employer has filed an LMIA application however it has not yet been approved. My work permit is expiring within the next 2 weeks. What can I do to ensure I can keep working until the LMIA is received?


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You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode, [spoiler]Welcome to the Canadian Immigration Answers podcast. My name is Mark Holthe and I’m an immigration lawyer with Holthe Tilleman, located in the beautiful province of Alberta Canada. This podcast is a source of answers to various immigration questions I receive through the ‘ask an immigration question portals’ on my website, ht-llp.com. Our Holthe Tilleman website is designed to provide lots or resources and information for people desiring to submit immigration applications to Canada.

The Immigration Answers podcast was created to provide this with an avenue where people could ask questions through our website, and then receive podcast and answers back. Now often I will receive questions from a number of people that relate to the same topics. So this podcast has been created as an avenue to respond to all those people, all at once. If you have specific questions that cannot really be answered through a general question and answer process, please go to my website at ht-llop.com, and book a consult, a paid consult. And we charge $100 for 30 minutes, and I would be happy to address your specific concerns and give you formal legal advice.

This time I’d also like to provide a disclaimer that the information provided here in this podcast is of a general nature only, it is not to be taken as a legal advice. If you really need legal advice and direction, then it’s recommended that you connect with a lawyer, an immigration lawyer to provide that advice to you. So without any further ado, here is this podcast — this is the question answer for this podcast. The question reads, I’m working in Canada on a valid LMIA based work permit. My employer has filed an LMIA application; however it has not yet been approved. My work permit is expiring within the next two weeks, what can I do to ensure I can keep working until the LMIA is received?

Well, we know when you file a work permit; you always need to have a labor market impact assessment supporting it, unless you qualify under one of the LMIA exempt categories. So in this circumstance here with this question, a person’s work permit is expiring, they are running out of time, they are not sure what to do; the company has not yet obtained the labor market impact assessment, and so the employee is really stuck. Well, in the past yeah, there wasn’t really a good option to resolve this issue that this particular person has articulated. In other words work permits would expire, and people would have to stop working and then apply to restore their status and they would have 90 days to do that, while they were waiting on the LMIA. But during that time period they couldn’t work.

That is until Citizenship and Immigration Canada released an operational bulletin that made it change. And so the change was to allow someone to file their work permit application when there was two weeks or less remaining on the validity of that work permit, provide proof that they had a valid job offer from a company, and that they have proof that the employer has submitted a request to service Canada for a new LMIA. The processing fee would be taken by the government, and that application would be held for two months from the date that it was received. And after that a decision to either refuse or proof the work permit would be made.

Now what this allows this person to do is to buy some time. By filing the work permit extension, they can benefit from implied status, and can continue to work under the same terms and conditions of the original work permit until a decision has been made on the work permit. Before this policy if someone filed that the work permit would often be refused because there’s no LMO to support it, or LMIA I should say. But now because of that policy, they have agreed to hold those work permits for up to two moths pending receipt of the LMIA. So for this particular worker you do have an option, and you can file through that process, and that is the answer to the immigration question for today.
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