Renewing the work permit should not be a problem anymore. And I think the CIC is understanding this. Last time I wrote how I went to the border to get a new work permit with a new employer. In this case, I am going to talk about the renewal process.
This time I decided to do it online. I have found that you will not lose your status if your work permit expires and the new one is being already processed. And since my situation has not changed, being in an implied status does not hurt at all.
One of my first doubts about renewing the current work permit was if my current employer needs to run again the LMIA exception process. The answer is yes. So, he logged into the employer portal (he has already because this was his second time), paid the 230 CAD and took the code (LMIA exceptions code starts with A followed by digits).
Additional to the LMIA exception, I had to ask my employer for a letter (Job Offer). This is a custom letter stating he is willing to renew the work permit and the conditions of my work. Later I may upload a template for it.
This was new to me, in 2016 I was not asked for this. But now, even National Foreign Workers will need a medical exam. Medical exams are not cheap, in my case I paid about 1200 CAD for me and my family. The good thing is they can be used for a lapse of one year. So, if you are running your permanent residency as well, you can use the same exam for both processes.
Another thing is about the language. Since 2016, the form has a question asking if you have taken any language exam. I have not found so far that this is a must. At least in my readings for my NOC 2171. But it would be good if you already have it. Language exams expire in a term of two years and depending on where and who you take with, it costs around 300 CAD.
Before I forget, remember you will need to back up any claim you do. In my specific case, it was easy, as I have already done that (this is not my first renewal). If you are a Computing Engineer, you must show university transcripts, title photocopy and they should be translated by a certified translator. The same applies to birth, marriage, and any other certificate.
To get the application online you need to log in the CIC portal, pass all the verification pages and when you get into the dashboard then you look for a button that says you want to apply for a job permit. It will ask you for a code (which I did not have) or to take the questionary. Questions are very straightforward, however, there are some terms that I would like to clarify for everybody:
Filling the forms is a pain because you must use Acrobat Reader to fill them (using another PDF editor will not work). In my case, I had to fill forms IMM5707, IMM2708, IMM5710, and IMM5713. The system will give you the links to these forms, as they may change. I had to fill the forms with a lot of data, including some I did not know by hard such as:
I was having that worry because the system asks for something to be uploaded in the optional document section. After discussing with an agent, he told me that that form does not exist anymore. I do not need to get worried about that. With my LMIA exception code (the one that starts with an A followed by some numbers) in the IMM5710 form is more than enough.
Submit and wait. Good luck!
If I recall for good, one of the two writing task in the CELPIP exam is about sending a word to someone with higher hierarchy. Therefore, you must write a formal letter.
An Immigration Consultant is a person who has become an expert on the immigration subject. Their regulatory body is the ICCRC. It is a must to become a member and to be certified in order to provide this kind of services.
So, about the main topic: Do you need a Certified Immigration Consultant to come to Canada? This is a very tricky question, and there is not an absolute answer. I will explain my experience since I have run several processes with and without a Certified Immigration Consultant. After you read this, you can take a decision by yourself.