Work Permits, Debt, and Residency
asked November 10, 2020 by Anonymous
I was working in Canada on a work permit and I obtained a credit line and credit card. I thought I was going to get residency, but I never got it when my work permit ran out. I had to leave the country along with 40 thousand dollars in debt. I have the chance to come back to Canada again with another work permit and will be looking to pay my debt back. However, I am wondering if the debt will cause me any problems at immigration or when leaving the country again?
Expert Answer from Steve Rhode, Get Out of Debt.
The short answer is no, it won’t.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), like most border control agencies from other countries, are trying to keep illegal activities and people from crossing the border. The failure to pay a debt is a civil matter and not a criminal matter, in most countries.
However, you should absolutely work out a payment arrangement with a credit counselling company. Tackle the debt now and show you took responsibility for it so when your work permit is processed there is a track record of dealing with this debt.
You will then have an explanation about how you are dealing with the debt rather than saying, “If I get the job I’ll do something about it.”
Which explanation looks more responsible to you?
If you get the second chance to work in Canada and then want to tackle the debt in some other way, that’s a different story. Agencies like to see easy solutions that can be dealt with using a tick box. Did the applicant make arrangements to repay the debt? Check. Enjoy your visit to Canada but it’s time to deal with that lingering debt if you see a future for yourself here.
Visit Steve’s site for more answers to your financial questions.
Answer from Consolidated Credit Staff
We are not lawyers and are not giving any legal advice here. Outstanding general debt should not affect your chances of getting a work visa or entering the country. But we would advise you to consult with an immigration attorney – it’s a pretty straight forward question.
You may have other issues, such as:
- Getting approved for a credit card
- Finding a new phone plan
- Leasing a car, or
- Entering into a rental agreement.
You may also want to review the statute of limitations on the collectability of the debt. Each province is different. If you select credit counselling as an option on our site, we can connect you with a trained credit professional. This person can help you navigate your return and that won’t cost you anything. Good luck!
answered 4 months ago by Debt.ca Staff