Losing Job on a Closed Work Permit
What happens if I lose my job while on a closed work permit?
Before providing any further information, knowing about the closed work permit would be a great start.
Closed work permits are a category of Canada’s work permit options, requiring foreign skilled workers to work exclusively for a designated employer. Furthermore, the employer must have acquired a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before extending a job offer to the foreign national, which ensures that hiring a foreign national will either have a neutral or positive impact on the Canadian labour market.
A closed work permit, or employer-specific work permit, comes with specific conditions that govern your employment in Canada. These conditions typically include:
● The specific employer you are authorized to work for.
● The duration for which you can work.
● The location where you are permitted to work.
If you lose your job while holding a valid closed work permit, you will no longer be able to work for your current employer or take up employment with a different employer. However, as long as the permit remains valid, you can legally reside in Canada even without employment.
If you wish to continue working, you will need to adjust the conditions of your work permit. If you intend to take up a new job, you must meet the eligibility criteria and apply for a new work permit. It’s important to note that you cannot start working for a new employer until you receive a new work permit with updated employment conditions.
Alternatively, you may explore the option of switching to an open work permit if you meet the eligibility requirements. An open work permit is not tied to a specific employer or occupation, offering you greater flexibility to move between workspaces, employers, occupations, or locations within Canada. You can apply for an open work permit whether you are inside or outside of Canada. Additionally, open work permits come with certain advantages. Unlike closed work permits, you do not need a job offer or a positive LMIA to be eligible for an open work permit.
Once you hold this permit, you are given a period of time to secure new employment and apply for a new work permit, allowing you to leave an exploitative or abusive work situation and seek a safer and more equitable work environment.