If a person applies for a spousal inland sponsorship together with an open work permit application, does the person have implied status as a worker (and able to continue to work) until the application is finally processed?
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR) section 201 allows a foreign national to apply for a renewal of their work permit only if the application is made before their work permit expires. Regulation 186(u) allows that foreign national to continue working under the same conditions in the event that they submitted an application under R201, and a decision on the renewal application has not yet been made.
The application for a work permit must be submitted as a ‘renewal’ (e.g. extension) of their present work permit to trigger R186 , work without a permit and it does not matter if the person is changing category of work permit, the effect is the same, they may continue working under the conditions of their present work permit until a decision is made on the new application.
For clarity, it should be noted that ‘status’ and ‘authorization’ are separate in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). A foreign national who submits the IMM 5710 Application to change conditions or extend my stay in Canada – Worker application is in effect submitting two applications in one. The foreign national is applying under section 181 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) for an ‘extension of their status’ and an application under section 201 of the IRPR to ‘renew the work permit.’ If submitted prior to the expiry of their present work permit, this combined application has two effects:
1) should a decision not be made on the ‘application’ under R181 prior to the expiration of their present status, the foreign national will be allowed to remain by operation of law (implied status) under R183(5), and
2) the application for renewal under R201 triggers the ability for the foreign national to ‘work without a permit’ under R186(u), unless they leave Canada.