Blog | How Long Can a Temporary Foreign Worker Stay in Canada?

Temporary foreign workers are able to stay in Canada for a specific period of time and the duration of their stay will depend on the type of permit they have as there are open and closed work permits available. Their duration will also depend on the category of the permit they have, which will affect their stay. 

Canadian immigration laws and policies regulate work permits for foreigners and there are a number of differences between an open and closed permit. If a foreign worker obtains an open permit, it means they are allowed open entry into the labour market, which is very different from a closed permit in which the worker is restricted to a single employer. Openwork permits have different lengths in terms of duration because most of the time it is linked to another application or status like a common-law application, for example. There’s a little more room in an open work permit, whereas closed ones come with far more restrictions. 

When a temporary foreign worker enters Canada with a closed permit, they will have a clear idea of the maximum duration they are allowed, which will be tied to the type of work they will be performing. Managers and executives, for example, are allowed a maximum of seven years, while specialized knowledge workers are entitled to five years. With an Intra-Company Transferee, which is a type of closed work permit, there is an exception in which the worker can leave Canada to continue the work for the same employer in a different branch outside of Canada for a year, after which they can return to Canada on their same permit. This is an option they can pursue once the transferee has reached their maximum work permit duration. 

When closed work permits are initially issued, they may have a restriction of a three year duration period, although it will all depend on how established the Canadian branch is and the work the foreign worker must complete. 

There is also a post-graduation work permit available for which the duration is a maximum of three years, although this too will depend on the duration of the study. Two years’ worth of full-time study at a publicly funded institution is the recommended course, which will allow the foreigner to stay the maximum three year period that is possible with this type of work permit. A labour market impact assessment would allow a post-graduation work permit holder to extend their stay in Canada in some cases, although the extended duration of work and stay would have to be tied to a specific employer in order for it to be possible. 

Immigration policies can get complicated, which is why an experienced and knowledgeable law firm like George Lee Law Corp is necessary to help with the process. Whether you need an immigration consultant, litigation lawyer or family lawyer, George Lee Law Corp can guide you through the steps, so give them a call today.