Extending after the CIC program

Old Oct 24th 2012, 8:14 am
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Default Extending after the IEC Bunac program

Hi guys, I hope you are all doing well this fine Wednesday!

I need some advice about my situation which is as follows:

I came to Ontario in December 2011 on the IEC Bunac program. I have 2 months left of my visa and I have been living with my Canadian partner (whom I met 3 years ago) since I got here last December. I would like to stay longer and preferably continue to work since I finally just found some decent work as an independent freelancer. Ideally I would like to apply for a PR with my partner as my sponsor. We are not married.

What is my next step from here? I know we need at least a year of proof of living together and sharing rent, bills, furniture etc. We will have that under our belt the day my visa expires.

I know I can apply for an extension online but since I do not work for an employer and have just been doing freelance work mainly based in the UK via the internet it's not the average case of getting my employer to apply for a work permit for me. I have just recently found some Canada based freelance work and am about to apply for a business number to work as self employed.

How can I go from a bunac work permit to getting an extension of my work permit to continue living and working here in Ontario with my partner? Or how do I apply for a PR but continue to work now that I have just found this freelance contract?

Please note I am now too old (31 now, 32 next Spring) to get a second year under the IEC scheme.

To recap in point form:

1. February 2010 - I first came to Canada for 2 months and met my partner
2. We flew back and forth for almost 2 years
3. December 2011 - I came on the Bunac 1 year work permit program and rented a house with my partner
4. Until now, I have mainly lived off my savings plus some freelance writing work based in the UK, done remotely, paid through my UK accounts.
5. I have just (as of October 2012) secured some Canada-based freelance work and am planning to register as self employed in Canada
6. My 1 year Bunac work permit expires in 2 months (December 2012)
7. My wish is to remain here, working as self employed and living with my partner.
8. My ultimate goal is to gain PR status.

Any help would as always be much much appreciated!

Last edited by skytek; Oct 24th 2012 at 8:32 am.
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Old Oct 24th 2012, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Extending after the IEC Bunac program

Originally Posted by skytek
How can I go from a bunac work permit to getting an extension of my work permit to continue living and working here in Ontario with my partner? Or how do I apply for a PR but continue to work now that I have just found this freelance contract?
You cannot extend your current work permit as IEC isn't extendable, and if you don't have an employer to apply for a LMO for you, you can't get a 'normal' Temp Work Permit either.

Unfortunately, from what you've said, your only options are to either get a job offer and LMO, to change to a visitor visa and await PR (although obviously you couldn't work on this), or to change to a study permit.

The only other possibility is to keep an eye on any IEC announcements, as it is possible that the rules will change in your favour for next year's program.

HTH, good luck.
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