Implied Status after an IEC Work Permit ends

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What you need to know about IEC and Implied Status


The question often comes up on whether people who in Canada under the IEC program can benefit from Implied Status. There is a lot of misconception about this, particularly in that many immigration lawyers and the CIC helpline often tell people that they CAN benefit from implied status. In fact, you CANNOT benefit from implied status if you are coming off of an IEC visa. However, it's logical that most people will think "I'll believe the immigration consultant, not some stranger on the internet", so to arm yourself with the correct information, here are references from CIC itself, from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and from the Temporary Foreign Worker's Handbook - official sources that clarify the situation.


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Link to handbook: [1]


The Temporary Foreign Worker's handbook

Link to Handbook: [2]

IEC is a type of temporary foreign worker (TFW), so this handbook applies to you.

Note 24-Jul-2014: The handbook has been removed from CIC's website, presumably for updates to LMO/LMIA information. The link to the new handbook will be updated when it is republished. For now, please use the archived version of the handbook: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2013/cic/Ci63-27-2013-eng.pdf

What is the definition of "Implied Status"?

"Implied Status" is the extension of an existing work permit, meant to bridge you between the expiry of your original work permit, and a decision being made on an application for a new work permit, whether that "new" permit is an extension of your existing work permit, or an entirely new work permit altogether.

But let's find this in the official documentation.

In the Immigration and Refugee Regulations, Section 201(1) on page 245 is the part of the regulation that allows you to apply for a renewal of work permit in the first place. It states:

Quote:
201. (1) A foreign national may apply for the renewal of their work permit if
(a) the application is made before their work permit expires; and
(b) they have complied with all conditions imposed on their entry into Canada.

In the TFW Handbook, Section 5.22, "Work without a work permit R186(u)—Implied status" is the section that deals with Implied Status. Implied status is defined as:

Quote:
R186(u) allows for persons to continue working under the conditions of an expired work permit, as long as they applied for a new work permit before the original work permit expired and have remained in Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Regulations also has a section 186(u), pages 224-229, which states:

Quote:
186. A foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit:
...
(u) until a decision is made on an application made by them under subsection 201(1), if they have remained in Canada after the expiry of their work permit and they have continued to comply with the conditions set out on the expired work permit, other than the expiry date

Those together say that if you have applied for a new work permit (whether an extension or a new category), you are effectively working under the same conditions, restrictions, and regulations as your original work permit.

As was stated before, implied status is a type of extension. This is important.

If you have applied for PR outland: Then R186(u), Implied Status, cannot possibly apply to you because you have not applied for a new work permit. Since PR is not a type of work permit, you cannot claim to have applied for a new work permit, and therefore you cannot benefit from implied status.

If you have applied for PR inland: Inland applications allow for an Open Work Permit (OWP) to be submitted at the time of application. So, unlike the limitation in an outland application, you fulfil the criteria that you have to have applied for a new work permit, so you are just bound by the conditions of your old work permit - that is, the conditions of your IEC visa. So, let's look at the conditions of your IEC visa - skip to (3).

If you have applied for a work permit (TWP, OWP, CEC, etc): You fulfil the criteria that you have to have applied for a new work permit, so you are just bound by the conditions of your old work permit - that is, the conditions of your IEC visa. So, let's look at the conditions of your IEC visa.

Conditions of the IEC work permit

Open the TFW Handbook up to Section 5.34, "Canadian interests: Reciprocal employment—International Experience Canada (IEC) (formerly known as the International Youth Programs and International Exchange Programs) R205(b), C21".

Find the paragraph that begins with "Conditions of Work Permit", and take note of this line:

Quote:
IEC participants may not request to extend their stay under IEC unless the extension is within the original authorized period of stay as per their LOI.

It is explicitly a condition of IEC that you cannot ask for an extension. Remember, implied status is a type of extension.

Some people say "but I'm not asking for an extension of my IEC, I'm asking for a new work permit!" But you *are* asking for an extension. Implied Status just means you are asking to extend the validity and conditions of your current work permit in order for you to continue working until a decision has been made on the application for your new work permit.

So, for you to benefit from implied status (i.e., an extension of your current work permit), you need to have a work permit that can be extended.

It says right there, IEC cannot be extended. Because you cannot extend IEC, you cannot benefit from implied status.

Let's say you had a normal TWP which was expiring, and your employer was going through the process of getting you another work permit. TWPs can be extended, so if you apply for a new work permit, you can extend your current TWP to cover you in the interim. You are bound by the same conditions as the original TWP for the time you are implied status, until your new WP is issued.

But, you are not on a normal TWP. You are on IEC, which is valid for one year, and one year only, with no extensions. Therefore, because there is nothing to extend, you can't benefit from implied status.

What does CIC's website have to say about it?

CIC addresses this question directly on their FAQ page, here: [3]

Find the "Work and Study" section, and take note of Question 5:

Quote:
5. I am currently in Canada with a work permit issued under the IEC initiative. My employer would like me to continue working after the permit expires. Is this possible? What should I do?
You may not work in Canada without holding a valid work permit. A work permit issued under the IEC initiative cannot be renewed or extended. Sometimes it is possible to obtain a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Workers program.
If you wish to extend your stay in Canada under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program, you must apply for a work permit at least 30 days before the expiry date of your current work permit under IEC.
Go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada or call 1-888-242-2100 to check the requirements for changing the conditions of your permit or extending your stay in Canada. You should make your inquiries after entry to Canada, while your current work permit is still valid.

Remember, we said implied status is a type of extension, and as you can see above, IEC cannot be extended.

Communication from CIC on the subject

In November 2014, two users posted emails they received from CIC on the topic of implied status and IEC visas. These two emails clearly state CIC's position that IEC holders are NOT eligible for implied status.

The first email:

Quote:
Sir, Madam,
Thank you for contacting Citizenship and Immigration Canada. I am pleased to follow up on your request:
Implied Status - Temporary Residents
As a temporary resident (TR), if you send your application for an extension of your authorization to remain in Canada at the latest on the expiry date of your status, you will be considered in status as a TR until a decision is made on the application. This is known as an Implied Status*.
If you hold a work permit or a study permit, you can continue working or studying under the conditions of your previous permit if you have applied to extend your stay in Canada under the same category. However, if you have applied to extend your stay under another category, you must stop working or studying.
If you leave Canada while under implied status, you may be authorized to:
Re-enter Canada as a TR, if the Case Processing Centre (CPC) has not yet made a decision on your application to extend your work permit. Please note that you will not be permitted to work/study until you receive your new permit. You must satisfy the officer at the port of entry (POE) that you have sufficient means of support. This applies if you:
--are temporary resident visa (TRV) exempt;
--held a valid multiple-entry visa before leaving Canada; or
--travelled only to the United States** and/or St.Pierre and Miquelon by the end of the period initially authorized for their stay or any extension to it;
--Re-enter Canada as a worker/student, if the officer at the POE determines that your application to extend your work/study permit was approved by the CPC while you were outside Canada;
or
--Apply for a new work/study permit at the POE provided you have the right to do so under the Regulations.
For more information on implied status, please consult the Operational Manual - Overseas Processing (OP 11) - Section 24.
-* Participants in international youth exchange programs (e.g., Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP), International Experience Canada (IEC) or Working Holiday Program (WHP)) do not benefit from implied status, unless extending a work permit not initially issued for the time limit authorized by the program.
-**Including its Territories and Possessions.

Note in this email, the first asterisks states clearly "Participants in international youth exchange programs (e.g., ... International Experience Canada (IEC)...) do not benefit from implied status." It doesn't get much clearer than that.

The second email is from another user, and is similar to the above email, but not identical:

Quote:
Sir, Madam,
Thank you for contacting Citizenship and Immigration Canada. I am pleased to follow up on your request:
Implied status - Temporary resident
If you send your application for an extension of your authorization to remain in Canada at the latest on the expiry date of your status, you will be considered in status as a temporary resident (TR) until a decision is made on the application. This is known as an implied status.
If you hold a work permit or a study permit, you can continue working or studying under the conditions of your previous permit only if you have applied to extend your stay in Canada under the same category. However, if you have applied to extend your stay under another category, you must stop working or studying, if applicable, before the expiry date of your permit.
If you leave Canada while under implied status, you may be authorized to re-enter Canada:
As a TR, if your application to extend your stay has not yet been approved*. This applies to you, among other things, if:
--are temporary resident visa (TRV) exempt,
--held a valid multiple-entry visa upon your return to Canada, or
--you have travelled only to the United States** and/or St.Pierre and Miquelon and return to Canada before your status as a visitor, student or worker expires; and
--the officer at the port of entry is satisfied that you have sufficient means of support,
--As a worker or student, if the officer determines that your application to extend your work/study permit was approved while you were outside Canada, or
--If you are eligible to apply for a new work or study permit at your arrival in Canada.
For more information on implied status, please consult our website.
-* You will not be permitted to work/study until you receive your new permit.
-** Including its Territories and Possessions.

The interesting part of this email is in the middle "...You can continue working or studying under the conditions of your previous permit only if you have applied to extend your stay in Canada under the same category. However, if you have applied to extend your stay under another category, you must stop working or studying, if applicable, before the expiry date of your permit." IEC holders who apply for another type of work permit, whether it's TWP or an OWP in a spousal application or another category, clearly are in violation of the above condition - they have applied for a work permit under a different category, and therefore they must stop working.

In addition, if you read the sentence with the single asterisks as a full sentence, it reads:

As a TR, if your application to extend your stay has not yet been approved, [y]ou will not be permitted to work/study until you receive your new permit..

This further points to the fact that you cannot work past the expiry of your IEC work permit. Your application to extend your stay in Canada could be either an application for a visitor visa, an application for spousal sponsorship, an application for another work permit, and so on - any application that will allow you to stay, regardless of whether or not you are working, in Canada is an application to extend your stay.

In addition, those who leave Canada while on Implied Status may be authorized to re-enter Canada as a temporary resident if their application for an extension has not yet been approved, but they cannot continue studying or working until they receive a new permit to do so.

But I want to beat the dead horse!

Information that explicitly states you cannot work after the expiry of your work permit is also here: [4]

In summary...

  • If you have applied for PR outland, you cannot benefit from implied status because you have not applied for a new work permit.
  • If you have applied for a new work permit (either via inland PR or directly) then you can only benefit from implied status if you have an work permit that can be extended
  • IEC cannot be extended
    • Therefore implied status cannot possibly apply to IEC
    • Therefore those on IEC visas cannot benefit from implied status under any circumstance.

Another way of phrasing it...

(thanks to Siouxie for this neat wrap-up)
1) Subsection 201(1) is the provision that allows you to extend a work permit. Remember, implied status is a type of extension.
2) Section 186(u) provides implied status to those work permit holders who have made an application under subsection 201(1).
3) IEC permits cannot be extended therefore 201(1) is not applicable.
4) An IEC permit holder cannot have implied status as provided by 186(u) because they cannot make a valid application under 201(1).

Has anyone actually been caught?

Yes.

There are many people who have NOT been caught, and these people tend to be the ones who squawk the loudest about it being just fine to continue to work on your IEC permit.

However, it is illegal, since IEC permit holders cannot benefit from implied status as a worker.

Not being caught is NOT the same as not actually being allowed to do it in the first place. You can steal from a shop and not get caught... that doesn't magically make stealing legal.

Here is one example on another message board from 2013: http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/apply-inland-after-iec-expire-keep-working-and-now-aip-refuse-t163087.0.html The applicant was on an IEC permit, then applied for inland sponsorship and included an OWP. The application was refused based on the applicant working illegally. The communication from CIC explicitly states that as an IEC permit holder which is not extendible that she did not benefit from implied status and therefore was working illegally.

Border Security: Canada's Front Line also did an episode on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xMKC2w1-Dk In the episode, a guy goes to get his new work permit at the border. He was previously on an IEC work permit that expired 4 months prior and his work had told him that he could continue working as he had applied for a new work permit. CBSA clarifies that his IEC permit was a non-extendible permit and while he could remain in Canada as a visitor, he could not continue working, and because he had admitted to working illegally for 4 months, his application for a new work permit was rejected. He did not qualify for implied status.