What should I do if I want to extend my expiring work permit but do not have my new LMIA or CAQ yet? 

What should I do if I want to extend my expiring work permit but do not have my new LMIA or CAQ yet? 

Many foreign workers are unaware that it is possible for most people to apply for an extension of their expiring work permit even if they have yet to receive their new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a new Certificat d’Acceptation du Quebec/Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), when required.

What are LMIAs and CAQs?

Generally speaking, LMIAs and CAQs are both documents used to confirm that foreign workers can work in Canada. They are typically submitted with work permit applications.

An LMIA is an application that Canadian employers in the federal  Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must submit to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire temporary foreign workers.  This document confirms that hiring a foreign worker will generate positive or neutral effects on the Canadian labour market, rather than any negative impact.

Click here to learn more about LMIAs.

The CAQ, meanwhile, is provided by the Government of Quebec to foreign workers (as well as international students) who “meet [provincial] admission criteria” thus allowing them to “secure [their] work or study permit.”  CAQs are specific to work permit applicants in the province of Quebec. It is thus important to note that Quebec-based employers looking to hire foreign workers must secure both CAQs and LMIAs.

More details on CAQs can be found here.

How can I extend my work permit without my new LMIA and CAQ, if applicable?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) notes that you can apply to extend your work permit if your current permit is set to expire within two weeks of the date you apply for an extension.

However, IRCC also notes that, if you fall into this category, you must still ensure that you submit proof of your valid job offer and proof that you already made an LMIA (and CAQ*, when required) request when applying for the extension.

There are multiple ways for you to prove you requested your new LMIA and CAQ, if required. These methods involve including different supplementary documents or information when applying for your work permit extension.

  1. Uploading a copy of the LMIA and CAQ (if applicable) application submission(s)
  2. Uploading a copy of the receipt(s) confirmation number(s) (for online permit extension applicants) for your LMIA and CAQ, if applicable
  3. Indicating the following information within the “Details of Intended Work in Canada” section of your work permit application: (1) the date the LMIA/CAQ request was sent, (2) the office it was sent to, (3) the employer’s name, and (4) the confirmation number for submission (if available)

*If you are applying for an extension of your Quebec work permit online, you will be asked to upload a copy of your CAQ. In place of your new CAQ, you are permitted to upload your CAQ receipt confirmation number or a copy of the CAQ application itself.

What happens after I receive my new LMIA and CAQ, if applicable?

Within 60 days of when IRCC initially receives your new work permit application, you must send proof to the responsible immigration department of your new LMIA and CAQ, when applicable.

Failure to send timely proof of LMIA/CAQ receipt may result in the work permit application being refused.

If you are currently in Canada and your work permit is expiring soon, you may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process for extending your permit, with all necessary proof and documents.