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What To Do When Your Passport Expires Before Your Work Permit Does?
What should you do if your passport expires before the predetermined duration of your post-graduation work permit? In this case, IRCC officials will issue a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) of a shorter duration than what you are eligible for, to match the expiration date on your passport. The predetermined duration of your PGWP will be based on the length of your studies at an accredited and approved Canadian post-secondary institution. Your PGWP has a maximum length of 3 years. So, if you are eligible for the full 3 year PGWP, but your passport is valid for less than three years at the time you get your PGWP, your PGWP will be expire when your passport does.
If your passport expires before the full predetermined length of your PGWP, then in order to extend the duration of your PGWP to reach the full length, you will need to extend your work permit by applying for a new work permit with your new passport. This is done as follows:
- At least 30 days before your current work permit (your PGWP) expires you should fill out the Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada. Go here to apply online. To submit a paper application, click here to download the application package.
- Remember to apply for your new passport before you undertake to apply for a new work permit. At the very least have your new passport as soon as possible before your current work permit expires.
- You may apply both from within Canada or from outside Canada, if you are travelling or visiting family abroad when your PGWP expires.
- In either case, you will need to pay both:
- The work permit fee of $155 and
- The open work permit holder fee of $100.
If you are unsure how to proceed, MaxCan Immigration has years of experience with renewing work permits. Call us at 1-855-562-5188 and ask to speak to Mary.
It is important to remember that a work permit is not a travel document. Your PGWP does not give you the right to travel to Canada. When you apply for a new work permit you likely also have to apply for either:
- A temporary resident visa if your passport is from a visa-required country OR
- An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if your passport is from a visa-exempt country
You only need an eTA if you fly into Canada, not if you arrive by land or sea. If your work permit was issued before August 1, 2015 then you need to apply for an eTA. If your work permit was issued after August 1, 2015, then an eTA was automatically issued to you. eTA’s are normally valid for 5 years. These same conditions apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States.
Please note that starting May 1, 2017 visitors from Brazil, Bulgaria, and Romania began to receive eTAs when they renewed their work permit. So if you are from these countries, and are entering Canada by air, you may be eligible to receive an Electronic Travel Authorization which makes the process of entering Canada a lot quicker and easier.
It has been suggested to some visitors in Canada with a PGWP that they should use an alternative method to renew their work permit without having to pay the fees listed above. It involves filling out Form IMM 5218: Request to Amend Record of Landing, Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Valid Temporary Resident Documents.
Do NOT use this method. Not only are you using IMM 5218 for purposes for which it is not meant, you may be breaking immigration law. IMM 5218 is meant for the following purpose:
“This application is for permanent residents or Canadian citizens who wish to correct errors made by Canadian immigration officials when recording certain personal information on the Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688).
It is also for temporary residents who wish to correct errors made by Canadian immigration officials when recording certain personal information on valid temporary immigration documents.”
When the immigration officials made your work permit’s expiry date the same or a little earlier as your passport’s expiry date – despite the fact that your pre-determined work visa’s length should have been longer – they were not making an error. They were following IRCC policy when it comes to your PGWP.
It is not worth it to risk running afoul of Canadian immigration policy and law in order to save $255 in work permit fees. And to save money on temporary visa fees. Do it the right way, and apply for a new work permit along with a temporary visa.
For assistance, call MaxCan immigration's head office in Markham at 1-855-562-5188 and ask to speak to Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang. Mary has handled numerous work permit renewals and will make sure you can work in Canada as long as possible.