Changing Employers in Canada on a Work Permit
Switching Employers on a Canadian Work Permit
Canada, known for its diverse culture and robust economy, attracts thousands of foreign workers every year. For many, the journey begins with securing a Work Permit Canada. However, what happens if you wish to change your job while in Canada? Lets explore the intricacies of changing employers in Canada and the various work permit types available.
Understanding the Basics: Work Permit Types in Canada
Before diving into the process of changing employers, it's essential to understand the different work permit types in Canada. There are primarily two types:
Employer-specific work permit: As the name suggests, this permit ties the holder to a specific employer. If you're on this permit and wish to change your job, you'll need to navigate the process of a work permit change of employer.
Open work permit in Canada: This permit allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada, offering more flexibility. If you're wondering how to apply for an open work permit in Canada, the process is relatively straightforward, but eligibility criteria apply.
Finding a New Job Offer in Canada
To transfer your work permit to a new employer, you'll first need to secure a job offer from a Canadian employer. When searching for a new job, consider the following tips:
Use online job boards, professional networking sites, and Canadian government resources like the Job Bank to find job opportunities.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to match the specific requirements of the job posting.
Network with professionals in your industry to discover potential job leads.
Once you've received a written job offer, ensure that it meets the necessary work permit requirements, such as salary, job title, and work location.
Obtaining a New Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), if necessary
If your new job offer requires an LMIA, your new employer will need to apply for one. An LMIA is a document that demonstrates the need for a foreign worker to fill a specific job and that no Canadian worker is available for the position. Your employer will need to provide evidence of their recruitment efforts and pay the necessary application fees.
Applying for a New Work Permit
Once you have a job offer and, if required, a positive LMIA, you can apply for a new work permit. Follow these steps:
Gather the necessary documents, including your job offer letter, LMIA (if applicable), and any other required supporting documents.
Complete the application forms and pay the application fees.
Submit your application online or via mail, depending on your preference and eligibility.
Processing times for work permit applications vary depending on factors such as application type, applicant nationality, and application volume.
Requesting Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), if eligible
If you're eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), you can apply for one while waiting for your new work permit. A BOWP allows you to continue working in Canada while your new work permit application is being processed. To be eligible for a BOWP, you must:
Have a valid work permit that will expire within the next four months.
Have submitted an application for permanent residence under an eligible program.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a BOWP online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Informing Your Current Employer
It's essential to communicate your work permit transfer professionally and courteously to your current employer. Be transparent about your plans and provide adequate notice, as required by Canadian labor laws and your employment contract. Ensure a smooth transition by wrapping up any outstanding projects and transferring knowledge to your colleagues.
Changing Employers: The Process
If you're on an employer-specific work permit, changing jobs isn't as simple as handing in your resignation. Here's a step-by-step guide:
Closed work permit Canada processing time: Before making any moves, understand the processing times. The closed work permit Canada application can take several weeks, so plan accordingly.
LMIA work permit: In most cases, your new employer will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you. This assessment ensures that there's a genuine need for a foreign worker and that no Canadian worker is available for the job.
Change employer work permit Canada: Once the LMIA is secured, you can apply for a new employer-specific work permit. Remember to check the temporary work permit Canada requirements to ensure you meet all criteria.
What Happens to My Canadian Work Permit If I Lose My Job?
Losing your job can be a challenging experience, and if you're in Canada on a work permit, it can lead to additional concerns about your immigration status. When you lose your job, the following aspects need to be considered in relation to your Canadian work permit:
Remaining in Canada: If you lose your job, you are still legally allowed to remain in Canada until the expiration date on your work permit. However, you must cease working for the employer listed on your work permit immediately upon termination.
Finding a new job: If you find a new job and your work permit is still valid, you may need to apply for a new work permit before starting the new position, especially if your current work permit is employer-specific. Your new employer may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you can apply for a new work permit.
Open work permits: If you have an open work permit, you can work for any employer in Canada, with a few exceptions. In this case, you don't need to apply for a new work permit when you find a new job.
Extending your stay: If your work permit is about to expire, you may apply for an extension, change your status to a visitor, or, if eligible, apply for permanent residency. It's crucial to apply for an extension or change of status before your work permit expires to maintain your legal status in Canada.
Leaving Canada: If you're unable to find a new job, extend your stay, or change your status, you must leave Canada upon the expiration of your work permit.
From Work Permit to Permanent Residency
A common question among foreign workers is, "Can I change my work permit to PR in Canada?" The answer is yes. Canada offers several pathways for work permit holders to transition to permanent residency, depending on their work experience, skills, and other factors.
Job Bank Canada: Your Go-To Resource
If you're considering changing employers, Job bank Canada is an excellent resource. It lists thousands of job openings across the country, helping you find the right fit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can I start working for my new employer while waiting for my new work permit?
A: No, you cannot begin working for your new employer until you receive your new work permit. However, if you're eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), you can continue working in Canada while your new work permit application is being processed.
Q: Do I need to inform my current employer that I am transferring my work permit to a new employer?
A: Yes, it's essential to communicate your work permit transfer professionally and courteously to your current employer. Be transparent about your plans and provide adequate notice, as required by Canadian labor laws and your employment contract.
Q: Can I transfer my work permit if I have an open work permit?
A: If you hold an open work permit, you generally won't need to apply for a new permit when changing employers. Open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada, with some exceptions.
Q: How long does it take to transfer a work permit to a new employer in Canada?
A: The processing time for a new work permit application varies depending on factors such as application type, applicant nationality, and application volume. Check the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up-to-date processing times.
Q: What documents do I need to apply for a new work permit when changing employers?
A: You'll need to gather the necessary documents, including your job offer letter, LMIA (if applicable), and any other required supporting documents, such as educational credentials, work experience letters, and identity documents.
Q: Can I transfer my work permit to a new employer without an LMIA?
A: If your new job offer is exempt from the LMIA requirement, you can apply for a new work permit without an LMIA. However, if your new job offer requires an LMIA, your new employer will need to apply for one before you can apply for a new work permit.
Q: Can I transfer my work permit to a new employer if my current work permit is about to expire?
A: If your work permit is about to expire, you can still apply for a new work permit with a new employer. However, you must submit your new work permit application before your current work permit expires. If you're eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), you can apply for one while waiting for your new work permit.
Ready to take the next step towards working in Canada? Let Immergity Immigration Consultant guide you through the work permit application process, ensuring a smooth and successful experience. Our team of dedicated professionals is here to help you navigate the complex immigration system and find the best pathway tailored to your unique situation.