Working or Studying without a Permit

Most people who wish to work or study in Canada require a permit to do so. There are a few exemptions, for example if you are studying in a course which lasts less than 6 months, or if you are conducting business activities in Canada solely as a business visitor. We encourage you to consult a professional about your situation to determine whether one of the exemptions applies to you.

There are cases where a person initially held a study or work permit, and continued to study or work beyond its expiry date. Unless you applied for an extension of your status before it expired (giving you “implied status”), any study or work done at that point is considered illegal under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Similarly, if you are on an employer-specific work permit, you cannot legally work elsewhere without obtaining authorization. A finding that you studied or worked illegally can result in an exclusion order, which means you may be barred from Canada for 1 year, and this may affect future applications. Even if you are not subject to an exclusion order, you may also be barred from obtaining a new study or work permit for 6 months.

Do not allow your work or study permit to expire if you plan to keep working or studying. If you do not think it can be renewed, we encourage you to contact us to explore other avenues that may work for you. If you end up working or studying without permission, we can also assist in explaining your situation and to regularizing your status. We specialize in unique and complex circumstances.