While the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has tons of information on their website, I think applicants for work permit extension for live-in caregivers will appreciate a more straight-through process on how to do it. Before going on any further, I just have to stress out that there have been several changes in Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program since November 2014.

What is a Work Permit Extension for Live-In Caregivers in Canada?

The process of extending/renewing a work permit is ONLY applicable for Live-In Caregivers who already have an EXISTING work permit, who are already IN Canada, wishes to extend their stay under the SAME employer, and still subject to a live-in arrangement in Canada.

If you meet my definition of the process above, then allow me to explain the 4-step process to complete your application. Read on!

DECIDE HOW YOU WILL APPLY

Currently, live-in caregivers are given two (2) options:

Apply Online
You will need to sign-up for a CIC account and use the end-to-end process of applying for work permit extension. All files submitted must also conform to CIC’s file size requirement. You will need a scanner, camera, and a valid credit card to complete the process.

Apply on Paper
Simply collect ALL necessary documents and mail your application to the right department. You will also need to have a valid credit card to pay the application fee.

My Choice: Applied on Paper. Why? I personally think it’s easier to simply lodge your documents physically to avoid issues pertaining to scanned documents (i.e. blurred files). I initially thought that applying online is cheaper and much faster (as per their processing time on the CIC website), however, when I tried the online application process, it will just be the same (somehow, more or less).

COLLECT ALL NECESSARY DOCUMENTS

Your application should consist (and can be arranged) using the following documents:

  • Validated Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker Form [IMM 5710E]
  • Cover letter. Click here for sample letter. *
  • Proof of Payment Receipt (further explained in the next section)
  • Copy of passport and all its marked/stamped pages
  • Copy of current work permit
  • Copy of current contract with employer
  • Letter from employer. Click here for sample letter. *
  • Copy of new contract signed between you and your employer *
    • You may use the Schedule I – In-Home Caregiver Employer/Employee Contract PDF document provided by CIC on their website. Click here to see template link.
  • Document Checklist [IMM 5556]

* These documents are not included in the checklist but are documents you MAY include to aid your application. For what it’s worth, I think it’s better to submit such documents. Worry-free processing, remember?

If you are having difficulty in filling out the IMM 5710 barcoded form and other necessary requirements, then this Instruction Guide [IMM 5553] will be more than helpful for you.

PAY YOUR FEES

The fee list on the CIC’s website is always up-to-date. In my case, I paid $155 CAN for the application. Use this link to get CIC’s payment instructions. You will need a valid credit card to complete the process. Don’t forget to include the receipt to your application later on!

MAIL YOUR APPLICATION

  • Put all documents on a 23 cm x 30.5 cm (9″ x 12″) envelope. No prepaid/return envelope is needed with your application.
    For work permit extensions, mail your documents to:

Citizenship and Immigration – Work Permit
CPC-Vegreville
6212 – 55th Avenue, Unit 202
Vegreville, AB
T9C 1X6

  • Put sufficient postage on your envelope. I chose to avail Canada Post’s mail tracking system to avoid unwanted circumstances (i.e. lost of documents).

NEXT STEPS:

It took approximately 3-4 months until I received my new work permit. DO NOT forget to get a new SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER (SIN) from Service Canada after.
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OTHER HELPFUL TIPS:

Sharing with you other tips which I may/may not have done (BUT SHOULD HAVE DONE) when I submitted my application:

  • Apply 30 days before your work permit expires or EARLIER.
    My work permit expired last June 2016, and I applied in March of the same year. If I had to do it all over again, I would have applied much earlier than that to give way to unexpected delays on CIC’s part. I received my renewed work permit in July which meant that I was under an ‘implied status’ for some time while waiting for the decision. I tell you, the waiting itself was nerve-wracking – ‘What if I got my papers denied? What do I need to reinstate my status?’. Having said that, save yourself from worries and apply way  – and I mean way – ahead of time.
  • Include ALL relevant documents.
    I believe there is nothing to lose should you include other documents (that can greatly aid your application) not stated in the checklist. In my case, I included a cover letter/letter of explanation to clearly state my intent. I actually did not include the letter from the employer and the copy of my new contract as I found it too late already (somewhere) on CIC’s website. This ‘missing documents’ actually fueled up my anxiety while waiting for the new work permit. So, as a friendly advice, don’t be like me and just get those documents included in your application! Again, you have nothing to lose!
  • RENEW your passport.
    The CIC can extend your work permit by following your passport expiry date or the new contract agreed with the employer, whichever comes first. To avoid headaches, just get your passport renewed or have it valid for at least 1-2 more years before applying.
  • It is ILLEGAL to work in Canada without a valid work permit.
    This should be non-explanatory for any Temporary Foreign Worker living in Canada. You may still continue staying in Canada if you have an expired travel visa but such IS NOT the case for work permits. If you failed to lodge your application before its expiry, you will be given 90 days to apply ‘restoration of status’ which will cost you more or worse, face deportation back to your home country. Certainly, you wouldn’t want that, so KNOW when to apply for work permit extension for live-in caregivers.
  • READ the website… again and again.
    I certainly cannot count how many times I visited CIC’s website for clarifications. Surely, my case is not applicable for other readers out there. If you chose to live-out (which means you’re leaving the Live-In Caregiver Program), or change employers, then you need to read through the other processes that come with it. During my application, I have always kept Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) contact options handy with this web form or their call centre service number at 1-888-242-2100. You can speak to a call centre agent, Mondays to Fridays, from 8:00 to 4:00 pm, your local time (except holidays).

So there. I hope this post has been of great help to your work permit extension for live-in caregivers application. I know you’ll have tons of other questions (just like me back in the day), so DON’T hesitate to key in your questions below and I’ll try my very best to get back on it. Happy processing!

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