How to Stay in Canada After Losing Your Job
If you have recently lost your job due to the coronavirus pandemic, this does not mean that you have to leave Canada. If you are a foreign national in Canada and lost your job because of the COVID-19 crisis, you might be wondering whether if you will also lose your status, how can you stay in Canada and also, how the current loss of your employment will have an impact on your immigration application.
Fortunately, you still have some options to stay in Canada after losing your job. For those, who are in Canada on a work permit, can apply for work permit extension, change it for a new one or shift their status to student or visitor.
However, if you choose to change your current status you should do so before your current one expires. Having said that, individuals, whose work permit has already expired, may still have options to apply for the restoration of their status.
In general, having Canadian work experience is highly important and valuable for candidates who want to immigrate to Canada under economic-class immigration programs. However, since the current crisis may have impacted your employment and resulted in losing your job, you can still benefit from implied status.
Most temporary residents in Canada, who had study and work permits are allowed to stay in the country under the terms of their original permit until the final decision is made on their application if they applied to renew their status.
The validity period of implied status expires when the decision is given on the new application. If a candidate gets approval on his application, then he can continue working or studying according to the terms of their new permit.
If the IRCC does not approve the application, then foreign nationals have the option to leave the country or to apply for restoration of status if it has been less than 90 days due to the reason that their original permit allowing them to stay in Canada expired.
However, please note that foreign individuals are not allowed to study or work while waiting for a final decision for restoration status, which is not the same as implied status.
Does your work permit depend on your job?
If you have an employer-specific work permit or so-called “closed work permit”, then you can stay in Canada until your work permit expires. However, you will not be allowed to work for anyone else in Canada during this time.
Therefore, those, who want to start a new job, must be eligible for a new closed work permit or transition to an open work permit.
Furthermore, if an individual meets certain criteria, he then can stay in Canada as a visitor or student given that he applies before his current work permit expires.
Do you have an open work permit and lost your job?
Having an open work permit in Canada is actually an advantage since it allows you to work anywhere in Canada for any employer. Still, some of these individuals may still want to apply for the extension of their stay in Canada in order to be able to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Note that not all open work permit holders are allowed to apply for renewal. You need to make sure that whether you are qualified for one of the following programs: spousal or common-law Open Work Permit Pilot, the Bridging Open Work Permit, or the Working Holiday Visa.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs, Canada still needs newcomers to successfully address long-term economic challenges, it’s like an aging workforce, and labor market shortages. Therefore, the Canadian Government continues to accept and process applications for immigration.