Renewing the work permit should not be a problem anymore. And I think the CIC understands this. Last time I wrote how I went to the border to get a new work permit with a new employer. Now, I am going to talk about the renewal process.
This time I decided to do it online. I have found that you will not lose your status if your work permit expires and the new one is being already processed. And since my situation has not changed, being in an implied status does not hurt at all.
Before doing the Work Permit Online Application
One of my first doubts about renewing my current work permit was if my current employer needed to run again the LMIA exception process. The answer is yes. So, he logged into the employer portal (he had already because this was his second time), paid the 230 CAD and took the code (LMIA exceptions code starts with A followed by digits).
In addition to the LMIA exception, I had to ask my employer for a letter (Job Offer). This is a custom letter stating he is willing to renew the work permit and the conditions of my work. Later I may upload a template for it.
This was new to me, in 2016 I was not asked for this. But now, even National Foreign Workers will need a medical exam. Medical exams are not cheap, in my case I paid about 1200 CAD for me and my family. The good thing is they can be used for a lapse of one year. So, if you are running your permanent residency as well, you can use the same exam for both processes.
Another new thing is the language. Since 2016, the form has a question asking if you have taken any language exam. I have not found so far that this is a must. At least in my readings for my NOC 2171. But it would be good if you already have it. Language exams expire in a term of two years and depending on where and who you take with, it costs around 300 CAD.
Before I forget, remember you will need to back up any claim you make as I did. In my specific case, it was easy, as I have already done that (this is not my first renewal). If you are a Computing Engineer, you must show university transcripts and a photocopy of my title; they should be translated by a certified translator. The same applies to birth, marriage, and any other certificate.
Doing the Work Permit Online Application
To get the application online I logged into the CIC portal, passed all the verification pages and when I got into the dashboard. I looked for a button that said I wanted to apply for a job permit. It asked me for a code (which I did not have) or to take the questionnaire. Questions are very straightforward, however, there are some terms that I would like to clarify for everybody:
- what are you doing in Canada?: if you are looking for a work permit, select the option that says working for more than 6 months
- do you want to restore status?: there is a question that asks you if you want to restore your status. Answer no if your current permit has not expired yet. Restoring means that you have already lost it.
- what are your kids doing in Canada?: Usually, they will be students but in this case, this question refers to their stay rather than their activity. You should select the residence/stay option. The student option would apply if they are in college or university to the best of my knowledge.
Filling the forms was a pain because I had to use Acrobat Reader to fill them (using another PDF editor would not work). In my case, I had to fill out forms IMM5707, IMM2708, IMM5710, and IMM5713. The system gave me the links to those forms, as they may change. I had to fill the forms with a lot of data, including some I did not know by hard such as:
- UIC of your family members
- Original (first) arrival to Canada (place and date)
- Last arrival to Canada (place and date)
- Last expedited document number (This is the last permit number, they usually start with a U followed by numbers)
- Your work story for the last 10 years
Where is the form IMM5802?
I was having that worry because the system asks for something to be uploaded in the optional document section. After discussing with an agent, he told me that that form does not exist anymore. I did not need to get worried about that. My LMIA exception code (the one that starts with an A followed by some numbers) in the IMM5710 form is more than enough.
Submit and wait. Good luck!