Laid off on closed work permit

Hi community! I came from India to Canada this November on a closed work permit and unexpectedly got laid off last week due to acquisition and re-organisation in my company. I am looking for new opportunities in Canada as ML engineer/data scientist.

Is there anyway I can apply for open work permit? Can I work as contractor? Any lawyer whom I can reach out to? Are there companies which are willing to sponsor closed work permit?

Any referral/advice in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I am sorry to hear that buddy. What is your current PR status? Are you eligible for BOWP?
I remember you mentioned about claiming 50 points for arranged employment in another thread. Did you go through with it?

@RohsOttawa Hi buddy, the PR application will now be rejected because I will lose 50 points. I am not sure about BOWP.

I understand. You will have to inform IRCC about your situation.
From a job/work permit perspective, I think below are the options based on my understanding-

  1. Try to find a diff. employer who will have to file an LMIA first, and then a closed WP.
  2. No option to switch to an open WP.
  3. You can stay and look for an employer inside Canada till your current WP expiry.
  4. You can also switch for a student visa.
  5. Once your previous PR application is rejected/canceled, and you get another invite in the future, apply for a BOWP as well once you submit your application.
  6. You can also look for a US employer (full-time/contract) who is willing to give you a remote job.

With the current market situation, I don’t know which companies are actively hiring. Or who will be ready to go the LMIA route to hire, but keep on trying.

I’ll also suggest to apply for EI after your last date. And best of luck.

@RohsOttawa Thanks for detailing the options for me. If US employer gives me a remote job, should they still apply for closed work permit? If not, I guess I should work as a contractor? What is the procedure to become an independent contractor here in Canada? If I work as a contractor, is a work permit not required for me?

I don’t think a US employer can sponsor a work permit for you unless they have a Canadian subsidiary and they file for an LMIA first. I think you can work as a remote contractor but you can’t register yourself as a contractor in Canada, meaning you can’t have an incorporation in Canada on a closed WP.
Try consulting an immigration lawyer for the correct guidance.
In order to not hamper your chances of future PR, one cannot work under any other conditions as specified on your current closed work permit.


Hi Rohit… did you figure out anything? And what did you do with your current application?

Hi @RohsOttawa, my PR application was returned because my Indian PCC was taken when I was in India. Seems like I had to take one after landing in Canada. Thanks for checking in!

I see. Sure, let me know if I can help with anything. And best of luck.

Hi @RohsOttawa, I spoke with an immigration lawyer regarding my situation. They said I can work remotely for a US company without Canadian presence, without a work permit. This however would not count towards work experience in Canada for purposes of CEC.

If the company has office in Canada, they have to go through GTS LMIA route.

If you get to know any openings in the data science/ML/NLP space, kindly let me know. Thanks!

For sure. And best of luck.

Update: I interviewed with quite a few companies, but could not obtain an offer due to having a closed work permit. Hence leaving back to India end of February. If anyone can offer any referral with companies in India that has openings for Machine Learning Engineers, that would be of great help. Thanks!

Hi Rohit… I wish you all the best.
I know the closed WP situation is not favorable in Canada. I’ll let you know in case I come across any such openings. Thanks and take care.

Hi @RohitRanga, thanks for putting up your question here. Currently, I am in a similar situation. But I might have some contract work from the US. May I ask if it is allowed to work for a US firm with no Canadian ties, on a closed work permit? I have read the definition of work in Canada and it certainly doesn’t qualify as work, but I want to be extra sure as I don’t want it to affect my PR application. Do you have any documentation or are relying on your lawyer’s statement?

If you have a freelance contract and you are paid in the Canadian bank account, how would the taxes work? How do I pay my monthly CPP, EI, and health deductions from there to the Canadian government?

If however, I get this contract work through a registered entity in my own country, how do I claim the outside income in my tax returns? Can I still get Canadian EI benefits, that I am getting for now.

I know this is a lot to ask, but was wondering if you have put forth these scenarios in front of lawyer in the past.

Thank you!

Hi @sad, I am in a similar situation. Could you find remote work for US company? DOnt we need to have an authorization to work in the US, even remotely?

No, authorization is only needed if working in the US.

If working abroad (incl. in Canada) then the US company doesn’t need permission to hire a foreign worker. Though a lot of them don’t understand the different tax forms required (but a good overview exists in How To Hire Remote Foreign Employees: A Complete Guide )

As for paying taxes in Canada - technically you are supposed to report the income as long as you live in Canada on your tax form and then send over the taxes you own on it. I think some things - like EI - wouldn’t be taxes as it’s not Canadian sourced income, but double check with a canadian tax accountant on this. Also, to actually pay taxes you may have to use something like Wise to move money from an overseas bank account into a Canadian one while converting from a foreign currency into CAD.

But in short - you do owe taxes and there is a way to pay them.